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Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great MinistryTurn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry with News, Resources, and Tools from the leading businesss leaders, authors, pastors around the world

A Conversation with Ken Eldred, Author of God is at Work

Interview by Janet Maxim - Ken Eldred is author of God Is at Work: Transforming People and Nations through Business, a benchmark analysis of BAM published in 2005. He holds an MBA from Stanford and has developed several successful businesses practicing Scriptural principles. Eldred’s new book, Living the Abundant Life: How to Live at the Intersection of Faith and Business is available through his website, http://www.godisatwork.org/newbook.html

Q: At the end of God Is at Work, your chapter titled “Outrageous Visions” suggests how Kingdom businessesmight transform people and society on a grand scale. Four years later, what progress is being made toward those visions?

A: They remain somewhat outrageous and somewhat elusive, yet we are seeing roots of change in a lot ofdifferent places. More mission agencies are picking up the idea of BAM; really, they can’t afford not to, there is such a slowdown in microenterprise funding. And more Christian colleges are teaching BAM—just look at what Regent University is doing, setting up Centers of Entrepreneurship around the world to provide the ability to develop BAM, and to gain resources and funds for it. Regent graduate students are working with locals to create BAM within local
churches.

Q: I’m wondering about the “outrageous visions” of BAM “reaching enormous scale” and “transforming societies.” Any examples of these?

A: Yes, there are enormous transformations happening around the world—they’re documented in Sentinel Group’s Transformations videos. On March 10-12, I was in Guatemala for the Luis Palau Festival where we spoke to more than a thousand people about how we can do business as mission. You know, fifty percent of Guatemala professes to be born-again Christians, but the country still has very, very serious problems with the drug trade and kidnappings. But in the village of Almolonga, which was once dirt-poor, there has been a huge transformation and ninety-five percent claim to be born again there. The story is in one of the Transformation videos. So I asked for some vegetables from Almolonga, to show people at this conference. Do you know why? Because their carrots are as long and as big around as my arm.

Q: Oh, tropical carrots, right?

No! The U.N. has certifi ed that Almolonga’s fi elds are 42% more productive than anywhere in the world. But when you go there, the fi elds don’t look any better, and they’re actually pretty small. My son, who speaks Spanish, overheard a woman say that she bought seeds from Almolonga and planted them in her garden in Guatemala City, but the carrots were only regular-sized. But in Almolonga, the radishes grow to the size of baseballs...and it is just the blessing of God. The pastors of that area got together and prayed, and there was revival. When the people
changed, and practiced godliness in their lives and businesses, He blessed them. When God commended Job (in Job 2:3) it was for his integrity—that is the most important issue to God.
When we are Christians, but we operate as non-Christians in our business lives—God doesn’t bless our businesses.
Satan’s biggest lie is that God doesn’t care about this portion of your life. But if we are unrighteous in our businesses, we do not refl ect His righteousness—and He does not bless our businesses.

Q: What opportunities will open for Kingdom businesses as a result of the current economic conditions?

A: Enormous ones...depending on what people do with it. The challenge is, how do we get these ideas across to people? Everyone wants economic well-being. The communist governments have seen the failure of communism, and they’ve never been so wide open to Biblical businesses. The opportunities there are great. Did you know there are two competing bus lines in North Korea? There’s the public line, operated by the communist government, and a private line, operated by Christians. The public line is free, but of course the private one has to charge fares. Yet more people patronize the private line because it runs on time and the buses are in good repair, but the public buses are always late or breaking down. Change seems to take forever, but I believe we are lighting a fuse to a very large piece of dynamite.

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posted by Justin Forman | 6.17.2009 - 6:17 AM

1 Comments:

Note the url at the end of the article is incorrect. It should be "godsisatwork.org" (not.com). Rick
commented by Blogger Rick Thrasher, 12:41 PM  

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