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Greatest Potential for the Christian Movement rests on the Shoulders of Christian Business People


The greatest “unrealized potential” in the Christian movement for the next 20 years probably rests on the shoulders of Christian business people. That’s great news for every Christian person who loves business. Talk about a life of adventure. What more could you ask for when your faith and your love for business intersect?


The marketplace is the only institution that touches virtually every person on planet earth. Pastors are very limited in their direct exposure to the marketplace. At the same time, the marketplace in general terms doesn’t look to professional church staff for guidance on managing their business.  They do look to their pastors to help disciple them on how to live out their faith, but most haven't showed them how to connect it to the marketplace.


Here is the $70 billion question.  What is our strategy to reach this world for Christ? Do we try to hire another 600,000 pastors, missionaries, worship leaders,etc??  Or do we unleash 6 million business people to take the Christian movement to the next level?


For too long, many faithful Christians have “out sourced” their responsibilities as believers.  They give generously to the church and then allow the “organized church” to do the work. Honestly, it’s easier. You can live your life in compartments.  There’s your task driven, results oriented, hard charging business world.  Then there is your church world.


But what happens when you are asked to combine your sacred activities and your spiritual activities?  Have we been indoctrinated to believe that oil and water do not mix?  No wonder many successful entrepreneurs and business owners can’t wait to “cash out” when they are 50 or 55.  For them, perhaps business was all about business.


There is a new generation of business leaders who see the world differently. For them, God has called them into business.  Their company is to be used by God for His purposes. They are passionate about creating products or services. They love marketing and sales. They are always mindful of the bottom line. But there is a higher calling. Everything that the church stands for is actually expressed in “real terms” in their business.


Most people today, don't think this way but we need to see that more do. I’m convinced that we can discuss terms like Business as Mission and Marketplace Ministry and so many other subtleties until we are blue in the face but unless the bridge between our sacred spaces of Sunday morning is bridged with our work, then we'll continue to struggle in living a segmented life.

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posted by Justin Forman | 3.23.2010 - 7:10 AM

6 Comments:

Justin,

Thank you for this post. I am thrilled to be a part of the movement unleashing business leaders in the advancement of the Gospel throughout the world. Keep sharing this message.

Chris
commented by OpenID smorgasblurb, 9:05 AM  

Justin,

Terms like BAM must become as common in the educational setting as math and science. I realize that I may be putting the horse before the cart, but wasn't that exactly what Paul did?

David Bryant
commented by Blogger a regent, 6:26 PM  

Justin:

Your introductory piece on the "Greatest Potential" is one of the finest, most concise statements about the state of church and business I've read. I will distribute it widely.

Gary Moore
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:13 AM  

I enjoyed this piece, thanks!

In response to "a regent," I'm a MBA student at Pepperdine University, a Christian school in CA that draws both Christian and non-Christian students. Speaking purely from personal experience, there's a tension between academics and faith that make it nearly impossible to address BAM in school settings. All the top b-schools are competing to teach the most innovative and ground-breaking material. And they, including my Christian school, don't want to mar that academic reputation by teaching BAM. We enthusiastically explore Social Enterprise, but not BAM. In fact, the only b-schools I know of that address BAM are the ones not as concerned about competing in the nationwide school rankings. Thoughts?
commented by Blogger Angela, 3:31 PM  

Hi Angela,

I don't have the answers. Although I often wonder, can you have a Social Enterprise without a Soul?

David Bryant
commented by Blogger a regent, 5:12 PM  

Hi David,

That's a great question. But what do you mean by "soul"? As in "born-again Christian", "social consciousness," or something else?

Angela
commented by Blogger Angela, 6:09 PM  

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