Auteur: André Mann
Category: Ministère sur le lieu du travail
To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.
A response to Jo Plummer - Thinking Bigger About Business
Jo Plummer in her article “Thinking Bigger About Business” urges us to work out what makes the Business as Mission movement distinctive from the other initiatives that seek to combine profit and mission. There are two characteristics that ought to mark the Business as Mission movement: excellence in business, and the primacy of the gospel above all things.
Unfortunately, the Business as Mission movement is at risk of losing its relevance for two reasons:
Meanwhile, a group of highly successful godly men and women have built up enormous companies that have integrated profound impact for the Kingdom as they have generated tremendous wealth. These entrepreneurs do not necessarily attend BAM conferences or social entrepreneurship seminars. Rather, they labor in the marketplace, viewing their work as worship, even as they succeed in building profitable businesses. They are generous with their time and money, know how to impact lives with the gospel, and know how to grow excellent businesses. They are off the radar of most missions thinkers because, for the most part, they have built their businesses within their own countries. It is incumbent on us to reach out to these entrepreneurs and give them a vision for the impact they could have internationally on the least reached parts of the world.
The gospel--the good news that Jesus died in our place, and that only those who accept Jesus as Lord are saved from eternal punishment--is primary. If through excellent social-minded business, we make all the world’s poor a little less poor (or a lot less poor), or solve all the water problems in Asia and Africa, or if we rescue a million women from human trafficking, but do not share the gospel message, we do not understand the gospel--that only those who believe in Jesus will be saved.
It is hard enough to build a profitable business. It is even harder to create a business that in an integrated fashion impacts a second bottom line, whatever that may be, social, environmental or spiritual. It is virtually impossible to watch a third or forth bottom line, although a few outstanding entrepreneurs have managed that without losing their families. Thus, as we integrate greater intentionality for impacting the world through business we need to make sure that we add the spiritual bottom line, the gospel, first. The gospel is primary. And then once we have an excellent Business as Mission enterprise that can be profitable and advances the gospel, we can think even bigger about business.
André Mann is the Managing Director of the Sovereign’s Wealth Fund, a Private Equity Fund that invests in companies that advance the gospel in Africa and Asia. He is an experienced, multilingual entrepreneur and international business manager with 18 years of business experience in Latin America and the Muslim world, working at Procter & Gamble, Citibank, and starting various Kingdom businesses in Central Asia, where he lived for 8 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Economics from Georgetown University and a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a member of the Summit Church and lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife Laura and two sons.