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BAM in a Box: Accelerating the Impact of Business as Mission

作者: Mats Tunehag
日期: 21.09.2011
Category: 未得之民, Social Justice, Business as Mission

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One can identify 3 essential activities which have helped to catalyze and grow the global Business as Mission (BAM) movement: 1. Developing the concept,  2. Spreading the concept and 3. Applying the concept.

Of course one cannot credit just one book, event, person or organisation with the current interest in Business as Mission amongst Christians today. BAM is a Biblical concept and thus as old as the foundational stories of creation. It is based on theology and anthropology; who God is and what he does, and who we are as human beings and what we are called to do. Good and godly principles of work and value added processes are found in the first chapters of the book of Genesis. God has used women and men throughout history to serve God and nations in and through business.

Developing and Spreading the Concept

Nevertheless, in our time there is a new growing global movement of people, organisations, churches and businesses who are understanding and embracing Business as Mission (or ‘BAM’) as an idea. Consultation work on Business as Mission, including a Global Think Tank on BAM under the auspices of the Lausanne Movement in 2004, has helped with the assessment of BAM practices and have been key developing our understanding. (You’ll find the Lausanne BAM Paper 2004 under ‘Further Reading’ at Since then the number of books and organisations focused on BAM has multiplied.

Applying the Concept

Although the number of BAM businesses in the Arab world and Asia have been growing steadily, this growth has been relatively slow. There are many more who accept the business as mission concept than those who are actually applying it.  Of course there will be some natural time lag between understanding and action and not all who hear about BAM will be cut out for business as mission practice. But even allowing for this, there is still much more ‘BAM talk’ out there than BAMers taking up the challenge of starting and developing BAM companies. How do we bridge that gap?

I have observed in the global BAM movement since the mid-90s, that many pioneering and gifted entrepreneurs have started and developed successful BAM businesses. There have also been many failures, often related to the wrong people trying to do the right thing. But I don’t believe that’s the end of the story.

High and Medium Level Entrepreneurs

In any given context there are more medium-level entrepreneurs than high-level entrepreneurs. There are just a few Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Ingvar Kamprads (IKEA) who can start from scratch and build big. There are others who can start with an idea and develop a growing business in the small to medium size range.

But how are we to tap into the many more medium-level entrepreneurial people who also are good managers, but probably won’t start from nothing?  People in this category can often run a franchise successfully, a McDonalds, a Starbucks, a Chick-fil-A, etc… These are businesses ‘in a box’ so to speak. Not quite as simple as unpack, read the manual and go… but nor are they as difficult or high risk or demanding as starting something from nothing.

关键词: BAM in a Box, Business as Mission, human trafficking, franchise

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回复 标记 0 支持 反对 rome_15 (0)

This is an amazing opportunity.  It is also something that I have never thought of.  We, so very often, get it in our heads that people are just going to show up at our church doors.  Meeting people where they are is the example we see in Christ. By taking the BAM concepts into the work place, there is more of an opportunity to have converstations about faith, giving people the opportunity to ask questions and be engaged.

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 TCoker (1)

This is a great way to provide a Christian presence in a community. As Christians we have to stop expecting people to walk the church doors just because they are open because in reality this is becoming rare. By implementing the BAM concept we are able to step outside of the walls of the church and interact with non-Christians and do so in a manner that they want to ask us why we do things the way that we do. Sometimes it is a simple action that can generate a conversation and bring someone to Christ.

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 mah6515 (0)

As someone who has no background in business, this form of mission work intrigues me. With the problem of slavery in labor, I think this is a wonderful opportunity to provide jobs that would actually pay a wage an individual could live on. However, I am curious to know how this will go over in countries that are more hostile to an American presence. 

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Mats_Tunehag (0)   

Dear all,

The BAM Global Think Tank has published a report on BAM in a Box. See below. 

Mats Tunehag 

1. Biblical Foundations for Business as Mission

2. Business as Mission & the End of Poverty

3. Business as Mission in Mongolia

4. Business as Mission and Human TraffickingCombating the Business of the Slave Trade with BAM

5. BAM in a Box : Business as Mission Franchising: Replicating Proven Businesses

For a complete list of all reports, to be published from October 2013 and onwards, click here –> BMTT Reports in this Series

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 ANuessmeier (0)

This sounds like a great opportunity! Not only is it not as “high risk,” but it is also more familiar than a whole new company or product. There are so many products that are iconic throughout the world and, though I am just assuming, it would probably be more comfortable for people to engage in a location that brings some sort of familiarity. 

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 rushing777 (0)

This is one area of mission I had never really considered. I would love to know how these entrepreneurs actually reach out missiologically to their communities. Does it go beyond just providing jobs?

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Tumelo_Rose (1)

Hello Mats,

I recently went on a mission trip where I saw Business as Mission applied, but was not sure what to call it.  I had never heard of this terminology until today, so it is nice to be able to verbally identify what I witnessed. 

I appreciate BAM in a Box because it no longer limits the opportunity to engage in business as mission to those who only want to start “from scratch.”  BAM in a Box also creates opportunities for employment for those who may otherwise be victims of human trafficking. 

I agree with you Mats that many like the concept of BAM but “who is applying it?”  My prayer is that many would catch hold of this vision and begin planting small business or franchises in countries as a means of accomplishing the great commission.  

Thank you.



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