God In The Marketplace: Defining Business as God's Missio Dei (Part 1)

God In The Marketplace: Defining Business as God's Missio Dei (Part 1)

As a missional business,  we thought we would take some time to dig into what this term really means and how it differentiates TK Collective from other social business models. 

An Introduction:

Business as Mission (BAM) is a growing term that encapsulates the use of profitable business as an instrument of God's Missio Dei (Mission to the world).  This is not a new idea. God has been using business as a means of transforming lives, families, and communities for His glory for a long time. The two terms have been united in varying ways, and at varying times times throughout the history of the church.  However, more recently the BAM movement is an intentional pursuit on behalf of the global church to fully incorporate business objectives with the great commission-the call of the whole church taking the gospel to the whole world.

 Historically, in Christian communities, there has been a misunderstanding of the capacity for business to be mission, primarily because of a poor theology of money. While this is an entirely different subject that would require its own in-depth post to really flesh out, it is important to note here, because far too many Christians believe that money is considered evil, discussing it is taboo, and let's not even get started on the creation of wealth for the expansion of God's kingdom!  However, to that, the bible says, "for the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs". (1 Tim. 6:10) It is the love of money that is evil; and good stewarding of money is not only a gift, but the responsibility of every believer. 

Doing business and creating wealth is a God-given vocation and institution in society that is to be used to honor God and bless others.-Jo Plummer

A Definition 

At present, there is not one universal definition for business as mission, but there are common denominators that run throughout the various terms being used to define business as God's mission. And while we are closer to establishing a consensus around the definition, there are other terms the express a similar idea. Including Kingdom business, missional entrepreneurship, business for transformation, missional business, and transformational business. For the purposes of this post, we will use the definition coined by Mats Tunehag, one of the leaders of the BAM movement, who suggests that it is simply, "legitimate economic activity (business) by a workplace professional which serves as a vehicle for sharing the love of Christ".

Four Bottom Lines



The major differing factor between business, and business as mission, is the bottom line.  Traditional business is measured by a single bottom line; the amount of money made. Whereas a kingdom business has a fourfold bottom line that governs each and every operation and includes;

Profits- make business self-sustainable, which means little to no fundraising, and the vast potential to create new wealth and resources in developing countries.

People-Are just as important as profits. Profits open the doors for us to engage with, and impact the lives of the world's most vulnerable, living in some of the least reached areas of the world, but stories, hearts and relationships are our passion. 

Planet- How we exist in the world and utilize the resources that God has placed in our control are vital to holistic transformation and are therefore very much a priority for the success of our business. 

Purpose-business as missions is not business doing ministry, or ministry doing business, it is both and. It is the leveraging of the power of business for the Glory of God, and the good of people, and societies. 






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