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Business as Missions -- blog
BAM, Learning from Examples
1/15/2012 6:34:31 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment


Over the years of this blog, we have illustrated many real examples.  There is value in that, so that we can learn from the experiential learning that others have live out in the world of BAM.  We will do that again in the future, with some new additions to our list of example projects.

Before we look at more actual cases in the world, let's remind ourselves that there is not one specific pattern that makes for the best BAM project.  Let's briefly consider a few generic models before we look at more real cases.

Kingdom companies– these are Christian led companies, often in a mono-cultural setting.  The leaders work to include the Christian faith in the operation of the company.

BAM companies– these are Kingdom companies that operate cross-culturally.  These companies focus on positive community impact in order to achieve impact for the Kingdom of God.

Great Commission Companiestend to be larger BAM companies.

Global Outsourcingis a BAM strategy to cooperate with established business and use BAM companies to provide resources matched to the needs of the larger businesses.

There exist other terms and models as well.  The important point here is that these are not mutually exclusive.  Some projects will weave these models together as the BAM initiative grows and transforms over time.

Blessings and many thanks,




BAM with Solid Grounding
11/6/2011 8:56:24 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


Our previous post talked about the beauty and necessity of entrepreneurship for our BAM endeavors.  At the same time, building our business structures on a solid foundation is also a priority.

That is true for our individual lives, and certainly true for any ministry effort.

What you know about business remains very important, even as you strive to stimulate creativity in a BAM startup. 

Blending the two things, entrepreneurial capabilities and business principles, is perhaps one of the most interesting challenges.

As any business starts to really get legs under it and grow, business processes become increasingly important.  It is like turning a corner, stepping out of the laboratory of invention into the tasks of running a business.  Some people really struggle with turning that corner, and great ideas never become great businesses.

Look to Christ through it all, each phase of design and implementation.  Keeping his purposes in mind will help you with each transition in the journey.

Many thanks,




BAM and Entrepreneurship
10/28/2011 1:09:30 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


BAM definitely involve entrepreneurship.  That includes some interesting characteristics and skills:

  1. Vision
  2. Creativity
  3. Risk taking
  4. Complex problem solving
  5. Much more...

Though including discrete elements such as the brief examples above, truthfully, entrepreneurship is almost like an art form compared to more rigid business models.  It requires people to understand business principles, but to be adaptive and flexible in applying them as new ground is broken.

That capacity is tailor made for BAM.  So, our strategies to implement BAM should not try to control or restrict the God given creative capacities and gifts.  Instead, our strategies should seek to release that creative energy for God's purposes, and then blend our business practices with the creativity in a way that serves the Kingdom, and thus succeeds for the communities where we are working.

After all, our model is the Lord, who from the beginning has been in the business of creation.

Many thanks for your continuing interest,




BAM and Work Ethic
10/24/2011 2:56:32 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


Everything we do as Christians is seen and perceived by those around us.  That is certainly true in areas where we serve with business projects and companies.  In recent posts we have talked about "influence" and our intentional work to influence others in a positive and inspiring way.

We pause here to consider this, everything we do with our business practices in the mission fields will have influence, whether intentional or not.  Whether its impact is positive or negative will depend to a great extent to how people see us modeling work concepts.

This is prominent in a brief passage by Paul found in 2 Thessalonians.

2Th 3:8nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

2Th 3:9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.

Go forth with your BAM ideas and projects.  As you go, pay close attention to how you work in the process.  Simply being seen as hard working, committed, positive... (the list can go on and on), the point is, it all sends powerful signals to those you are trying to reach ultimately in the name of Lord.  There is something of a universal honor given to those values; people appreciate those that work hard and serve people in a community.

Many blessings,




Confronting Barriers to BAM
10/20/2011 2:29:57 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


Some of the topics we have been addressing illustrate that we can encounter some huge challenges when implementing BAM projects.

Our strategy should seek to confront those potential problems in a way that honors and glorifies God in the process.

For example, as we confront what can be huge cultural differences, we can undertake our responsibilities as influencers in a way that exists in harmony with and within the culture we are entering.

You and your team can work to not just enter another culture and society, but to navigate within the local economy in a way that builds opportunities for people and their families.

Greatest of all the opportunities will be the relational way that you will be able to introduce people to our Savior in the process.  When we find that our focus is on His purposes, we should find that our attitude is to shape our business projects in a way that make them a part of His master plan to reach people.  This may sound overly simple, and that is because the point is subtle.  Let me break it down a little.

  1. Instead of thinking about how to make God fit into your BAM plans, think about and pray about how your projects can be designed and implemented in a way that fits God's plan.
  2. Instead of being driven by business purposes simply tailored by our professional life experiences, we should strive to see God's design and purpose for all life, including our own.
  3. Rather than thinking about how to apply the Bible to our business, we should dwell on how to apply our business and life to the Bible and all that God has revealed to us in his holy Word.
  4. These days, fortunately, many business practices carefully consider the impact of business on God's creation, the world and its environment where we live and work.  With BAM, we stretch still further beyond that, and consider how our business can impact the new heaven and new earth that we lean toward on the eternal timeline.

I hope you sense the power behind these points.  They suggest that we invert our thinking in our business strategy in order to see how we can fit into the marvelous eternal story that is God's.

Many thanks,




Diversity, What a Beautiful Design
10/13/2011 3:48:58 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


I pray that you will approach crossing diverse cultural boundaries as a wonderful privilege from God.

Work to hold cultural diversity in your mind and heart as a precious and beautiful part of God's design.  As we have discussed, you will be wearing the hat of a "change agent."  For all of our efforts in this role, we can still seek to all of the cultural beauty in its best forms, even while we are striving to help people out of poverty, and into God's family of believers.

There can exist great creativity and opportunity within our diversity.  Let's just reflect on the United States of America for a moment.  We don't bring this nation forward as an example out of  arrogance, but simply as an example of a couple of fundamentals that have led it to grow into the its leadership position in the economic markets of the world.

  1. The USA was founded on Judeo-Christian values
  2. It is perhaps the most diverse country on the planet – it is a land of immigrants

That one example should help us grasp the tremendous strength and creativity that emerge from our diversity.

The other fundamental, connection to God's values, is most important.  Let's be honest, raw capitalism and increased wealth can and often is accompanied with sin.  Self interest and progress tend to go that direction.

On the other hand, economic advanced that is focused on God's purposes can move powerfully in a positive direction.

Many thanks and best wishes,




BAM Influences Those It Touches
10/11/2011 6:50:26 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment


Introducing and/or creating a new business in a new place, just by its existence and nature, will influence those involved.  It is an introduction of ideas and business concepts into a different culture.

  • The ideas often are often framed or based on Western, or other international, business culture
  • The receiving culture is often a traditional, underdeveloped, or possibly even impoverished part of the world

The injection of ideas will include many elements:

  • Business ideas
  • Technologies
  • Production concepts
  • Management practices
  • Marketing methods
  • More...

And, of course, that comes all wrapped in our Kingdom purposes and mission.  The business stuff provides the platform for developing relationships that can then lead to Christ.

As you think about and/or perhaps plan for BAM projects, keep in mind that you will be acting in the role of "change agent," working to influence change in a foreign culture.  Prepare yourself carefully for that role.  If not done well, it can actually do harm, rather than the serve and benefit the Kingdom, the society and the people.

Many thanks for participating in the discussion,





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