Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Business as Missions

Recently I attended a seminar hosted by SendRDU on Business as Missions featuring Patrick Lai. He had some intriguing thoughts on missions going forward into the future that looks vastly different then what many of us are used to, what he called B4T or Business for Transformation. In B4T there is a place for all kinds of people in missions instead of the traditional model of it just being for a select few with a special calling. 

Admittedly so there are many issues that were hit on in B4T that I have been wrestling through in the last year and in many ways I am still wrestling through. Patrick Lai has helped me see more clearly how to connect all people to missions since the Great Commission was given to all followers of Christ not just those that are seminary trained or going into vocational ministry roles. 

Here is a summary of the notes that I took on the topic as I believe that he has hit on what the future of missions will look like in the next 20-30 years. To hear the complete audio of the seminar click on the following link:

B4T - Business for Transformation
-Businesses strategically placed in Unreached areas which are profitable in serving the local community and planting churches.
-Contexualization is not an issue in B4T because you are legitimately there for business so you contextualize by "playing" by the rules of the business world within that context. 
-In B4T you are credible, model the truth in the gospel, and have integrity about what you are doing and why you are in the country. 1 Corinthians 9:12; 9:18

Three Terms:
-BAM: Market Place Ministry
-B4T: A Circle within BAM
-Tent making:All workers overseas are fully supported by their business.
(I think that this would significantly help with the budget shortfall that some denominational mission organizations are currently experiencing).

Missions & Globalization
1.0 - The mission agency told me who to reach, what to do, when to do it, where to do it, and how to do it. (Pre-Modern World)
2.0 - I negotiated with the mission agency: what, when, where, how. (Modern World)
(This is where most of us are currently stuck) 
3.0 - I am my own mission agency. (Post-Modern World) 
(This is where most of the world is and where missions is headed)

In future missions people will seek organizations where:
1. There is no central leadership
2. There is no central office
3. People subscribe to values
4. People want people who care about them and can relate to them where organizations functions more like networks working towards the same goal instead of being in competition with one another. 

1 comment:

  1. There is some practical benefit to central leadership, like less missionaries stepping on each other in mission areas while some areas are left unattended. However, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. We have seen decentralization in some of our efforts at Western Avenue and the results are tremendous. We have small groups from such as CCCI, SB-IMB and other groups working together on an effort that is not the particular focus of either large organization. Yet the effect has been extraordinary.

    Many of the missions that we do are the result of business trips that turned missional or previous associations that grew into independent ministry opportunities that utilize resources from different organizations. The trip I was on this summer used insurance from the IMB, materials from CEF and Desiring God, and people from CCCI. None of these groups has us listed as a ministry under their umbrella. With these resources we started a local ministry (that I'll leave unnamed right now) to funnel future efforts through in that area.

    So, I would say that it's already starting - and it's exciting to see.