Business as Mission, Miscellaneous

August 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

God’s mission to, within, and through the marketplace: Toward a marketplace missiology, This dissertation describes some emerging aspects of what God appears to be doing as mission, missio Dei , into, within, and through the Marketplace and to propose ways to apply this knowledge both theoretically and practically through the Christian academic community.

The use of business in missions in Chiang Mai, Thailand The purpose of this study is to take an in-depth look at business as mission in a single cultural context, namely Chiang Mai, Thailand. This research project is based on a seven month long research project involving twelve businesses and 128 interviews. With a focus on cross-cultural missionaries operating businesses, five businesses are featured as detailed case studies.

Model of business and evangelism: A model combining business and evangelism for mission work in the Soviet Union during the time of perestroika A Model for Mission in the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly U.S.S.R.) was demonstrated in Nizhny-Novgorod (formerly Gorky), Russia. By combining business seminars and evangelism a significant number of Russians were reached with the Bible and witness from nine Christian businessmen. Many doors opened for contact with Russians in industrial, educational and governmental sectors.

Megachurches Add Local Economy to Their Mission (New York Times) The church’s leaders say they hope to draw people to faith by publicly demonstrating their commitment to meeting their community’s economic needs.

The Mission Of Business Companies around the globe are mixing profits with gospel ministry.

BAM! Business As Mission and mission as business The social enterprise movement is primarily a secular phenomenon, at least in its prototypical rhetoric and associative networks. But like so much of modern charity, hybridizing business and public benefit is a practice that has deep religious roots as well as parallel religious tracks.

Business as Mission Books Business as Mission Books  The topic of Business as Mission has become very popular in contemporary missions. More and more missionaries are embracing Business as Mission ideas as an effective, useful tool to help people with physical needs, as well as to provide a platform for reaching spiritual needs.

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Business as Mission, The Galtronics Story, A Tool for Integration and Conclusion, Highlights (5/5)

August 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

…why even concern oneself about these things?  Why not keep your company totally secular (86)?

…”love”. If we love Jesus and know He loves every man, woman and child in the world, we are motivated by that love to tell others about it (86).

Therefore, we want to avail ourselves of every vehicle possible to make known God’s love (86).  Business offers a strategic vehicle for doing just that (86).

The Bible talks about ‘ministry’ as the role of a servant for Christ’s sake (86).

In our day, we have come to associate the term ‘ministry’ with paid professional clergy, thus creating an artificial distinction between clergy and laity (87).

One of the hallmarks of the Protestant Reformation was emergence of a principle known as “The Priesthood of All Believers” whereby reformers asserted all believers stand as equals before God, all with gifts of serving in some capacity and all with equal responsibility to do so (87).

This was in contract to “clericalism” a view held by the Holy Roman Catholic Church and one, which claimed clergy, had a special, more important relationship with God than the masses (87).

Eph. 4:11-13 He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

We know in the heavenly realm there are powers and principalities watching what is happening on earth as God works out His plan through his Church (88).

One group is in submission to the Father and is committed to glorifying Him in all they do.  The other group is in rebellion against the Father and is seeking to undermine His will (88).

Each individual in the Body of Christ has been given at least one gift and with it comes an expectation to serve (88).

Unfortunately, most pastors would admit too often they end up doing the ministry for the saints instead of preparing the saints for ministry (88).

Has the Church ever really succeeded in making the switch from clericalism to “The Priesthood of All Believers?” (88).

…if you expect different results, you have to change your methods (89).

In a year’s time, they have hundreds, if not thousands of conversations with other people.  Here they encounter many unbelievers, many who have never had a significant conversation about who Jesus is (90).

Could not these relationships become a bridge of trust across which the good news about Jesus Christ could be communicated (90)?

Could not these believers begin to pray regularly for their co-workers, customers, clients, vendors and suppliers that those who don’t know Jesus could come to know Him (90)?

Could they not in some cases begin a Bible study and invite some associates to join them (90)?

What forces cause Christians among both the 3% full-time workers and 97% paying parishioners to accept as normative these barriers that divide so-called secular from sacred and clergy from laity (90)?

What would happen if we could discover examples of men and women who, in the context of their professions and occupations, saw themselves as full-time Christian workers and ministers of the Gospel (90)?

William Danker, Profit for The Lord…Early in the history of Protestant missions we find important missionary efforts taking so much more sympathetic view of economic activities (91).

But the most important contribution of the Moravians was their emphasis that every Christian is a missionary and should witness through his daily vocation…the businessman might have retained his honored place within the expanding Christian world mission beside the preacher, teacher and physician (91).

Ken and Margie have never regretted their call to minister through their business (93).

Every Christian has been given the purpose of being a disciple-maker (93).

Our professional career is actually means of going and teaching to obey (93).

Integrating our disciple-making purpose into our professional career can add a whole new sense of purpose and meaning (93).

Very few Christians ever think about a business as a structure through which to make disciples and to thereby further the Kingdom of God.  They may consider business, ministry and missions as separate realities but they don’t relate them (94).

…millions live in countries where traditional missionaries can not get visas, but Christian business professionals can enter with freedom (94).

Business Owners, please consider using your business as a vehicle for reaching others with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (95).

Goheen, William. The Galtronics Story. Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2004.

Business as Mission, The Galtronics Story, A Tool for Integration, Highlights (4/5)

August 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

…when a structure, be it a business, church or organization, doubles in size, all of the major systems by which it is managed must grow in tandem for that entity to survive (77).

…as the business grows, its communication methods must become more formal and systematic to remain effective (77).

As a business grows and develops, complexity increases (78).

…the businesses’ effectiveness is directly proportional to the degree of cooperation management is able to achieve (78).

…communication as one of the six characteristics of an effective team (78).

…a primary function of leadership is to provide a structure for cooperation, a structure in which all of the players on the team are able to communicate effectively (78).

…six Characteristics of an Effective Team are: 1. Alignment toward a Common Purpose, 2. Appropriate Division of Labor, 3. Accepted Leadership, 4. Agreement on the Plan, 5. Solid Relationships, 6. Good Communication (78)

The selection of effective management and the delegation to it of leadership and authority, while maintaining ultimate responsibility for what goes on, is one of the most challenging and critical tasks the entrepreneur faces in business (79).

Adding different cultures, languages, geographic regions, a ministry agenda and theological differences presents Goliath-sized challenges to good communication.  Also, as first generation leadership begins to phase out, succession planning adds even more to the complexity (79).

…call for men and women to replicate in other countries what God had done in Israel through the Gal Group of companies (80).

…recruit a small team of several families, train them in operations, get a prototype operation up and going and then move the prototype to the target country (80).

…customers sent a clear message to Ken that if Galtronics wanted to keep their business, it would need to set up plants in Europe, the United States and Asia (80).

…wrestled with the opportunity to use this now global business as a platform for a church planting ministry, to replicate in other countries and among other people groups what they had seen God make a reality (verity) in Israel (80).

…they located the plant where it could be used for a church planting ministry among a target people group whom they knew had little opportunity to hear about Jesus (81).

…it is evident as a company passes through various phases of its life cycle, its approach to integration must change (81).

Taxonomy of Business and Ministry Interaction:

…described in six different categories: Precarious, Propagation, Presence, Purity, Pluralistic and Pagan (81).

All businesses in their early stages of life are Precarious (82).

When the business reaches the point where it breaks even and its owners are committed to pursuing both the making of money and the making of disciples, we refer to that as being a Propagation company (83).

As a company grows and begins to hire more and more non-Christians or Christians who are not committed to making disciples, it begins to move into the Presence stage (83).

Integrating Biblical principles into the warp and woof of the business makes sense to many who would be uncomfortable with what they would view as proselytizing…(83).

…a fairly small number of believers are committed enough to the making of disciples to whole heartedly support the use of the company they are working with to accomplish this goal (83).

…as a company grows and more people come into the employment ranks, conflict often begins to develop for the business owner or leader (83).

As the leader moves to create opportunities for advancement for all employees, the likelihood increases that people will be placed in leadership who are not committed to, and may often be resistant to, the goal of making-disciples (84).

A continual pressure or force moves the company toward secularism (84).

…Purity stage…”golden rule’ of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you becomes the essence of spiritual values within the company, a movement generally supported by both religious and nonreligious people except perhaps those committed to a strict and rigid belief in “separation of church and state (84).”

…Pluralistic stage…spiritual matters may be addressed only very cautiously if at all (84).

How do followers of Jesus, who want to obey Christ by seeking to make disciples, live for Him in these different types of companies (84)?

…Pagan company…Owners and/or leaders in this type of company are actively involved in activities that link them and their business with demonic forces (84).

…the approach believers take must fit the type of company where they are working (85).

As Ken brought in leaders and investors he found they did not always share the same view about how to integrate Christianity and Christ’s mandate to make disciples into the business (85).

If an owner of a business wants to align the purpose of that business with what he perceives as Christ’s purpose, but a leader to whom the owner is delegating authority does not share that sense of alignment, it can cause problems.  The same is true if an outside investor is brought into the business (85).

It must be understood that even two people wanting to operate a Propagation business can differ as to strategy (85).

…told by some middle managers in the company that a “glass ceiling” existed, above which no non-Christian could advance (86).

Goheen, William. The Galtronics Story. Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2004.

God is at Work, Silicon Valley to Bombay (Chp.1), Highlights (2)

July 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

…I knew that if we had two years before facing any real competition from these economic giants we would be well-enough established to survive.. we prayed to that effect (30).

How can I make it a Christian company (31)?

“Only people are Christians”… “But believers can use their businesses as opportunities to make Christ known (31).”

By word and by deed, we can make Christ known through our businesses (31).

…by word… We acknowledged and thanked God for His blessings in prayers at company banquets, lunches and meetings.  After asking prospective employees what motivated them, I would then take the opportunity to share with them what motivates me (31).

…open invitation for employees…praying for their (employee) concerns (31).

…spiritual and Bible tracts…letter outlining personal faith and that affected the way people were treated and business was conducted at Inmac (31)

…by deed in the way our business is conducted (33).

sharing software…”I don’t care if everybody does it,” I stated. “We need to do what is right before God (33).”

As Inmac grew … I became concerned that I could no longer monitor its spiritual temperature. How could I make sure we were still operating according to biblical standards (33)?

I had to trust that God would alert me to sin in the camp, as He had done with regard to the software (33).

High-level service to the customers continued to be a hallmark of our company (33).

The biblical tenet “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is central to good service (34).

Over the years, I learned that business is part of a larger process, a walk with God through one’s life (34).

I wanted him to know that the company he was acquiring was the direct result of much prayer. I shared with him God’s guidance over the years and my personal faith in Jesus (35).

I only knew that God expected me to follow a higher standard of integrity (35).

…by providentially leading me away from a board position, God had enabled me to sell much of my investment during the most opportune time period (37).

…God opened my eyes to the opportunity for business to transform individuals and nations around the globe (37).

I agreed to help my friend under one condition – that he would give educated and capable young Christians in India the opportunity to work for him (37).

God gave me a vision for using my position of influence at ET to advance His Kingdom in India (38).

We would be intentional about recruiting and hiring qualified Christians (38).

The company would offer attractive wages to its employees (38).

Christians at the company could be equipped and mentored in their faith (38).

The would also give to the local church, enabling it to free itself from dependence on Western funds (38).

It was a vision to use a for-profit business to further the Church in India (38).

Bombay is one of the few cosmopolitan cities in India, and it has a relatively open religious attitude (38).

There is an enormous opportunity to provide spiritual training and discipling for the hundreds of Christians at ET (39).

We have had the opportunity to introduce a Christian-based leadership development program called PowerWalk within the company (39).

While the management is Hindu, the company embraced the idea and expressed a desire to have the entire management group go through this Christian-based training course (39).

At the end of the week, it was agreed that this training should be offered to everyone in the company – including spouses (39).

…committed to planting house churches in the area (40).

When ET experienced an economic downturn that threatened the company, Christian employees got together to pray for their business.  The company recovered, and many recognized the source of the turnaround (40).

God gave me a vision for using business to advance His Church and provide economic blessing in India…(40)

What different approaches were Kingdom-focused believers using to effect economic and spiritual transformation…(40)?

Eldred, K. A. (2005). God is at work: Transforming people and nations through business. Ventura: Regal Books

 

God is at Work, Silicon Valley to Bombay (Chp.1), Highlights (1)

July 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

ET is a call center in Bombay, India with approximately one thousand employees – smart, college-educated professionals (20).

At ET, 60 percent of the employees call themselves Christians (20).

…the Spirit of God giving a vision for using business to further the gospel of Jesus (20).

…comprehensive ministry that creates jobs and profitable businesses, and strengthens the local church…(20)

Kingdom business is achieving economic and spiritual tansformation around the globe and is welcomed even by developing nations that are traditionally closed to the gospel (20).

By the way of Sunday sermons, I (Ken Eldred) had come to the (wrong) conclusion that any serious Christian could only serve God as a pastor; a true follower of Jesus would lay down his career and go into preaching (22).

I wanted to be a Christian, but I also wanted to be a businessman.   My education, training, abilities, and passion were in business (22).

…even mature Christians often succumb to this line of thinking, concluding that they must change careers in order to serve God.  They fail to see the opportunity for spiritual value of their work in the marketplace (22).

…business was my ministry…(22)

…my faith needed to impact my work. I needed to do my business by the Book. I needed to evaluate my actions in light of the bilbical standards of integrity, morality and love (23).

I used the Bible to carefully consider the morality of my actions. I wanted to please the Lord, and I could see the value of operating aboveboard. This was the first step of making my work my ministry (23).

Eventually, the Lord showed me that He wanted to be more than a moral standard or an example of loving concern for others in my business practice.  He began to reveal that He wanted to partner with me in all that I was doing (23).

The realization that God desired to partner with me – that He cared about business outcomes and wanted me to ask Him for specific results – deepened the sense of business as my ministry (24).

…the Bible is the foundation of all meaningful business concepts. Honesty, service, excellence, respect, commitment, value, trust, loyalty and quality are not only successful business practices, but are also biblical principles. They were biblical principles first (24).

…nations of economic greatness display a very high level of trust in their moral, cultural and economic systems.  Of course, trust is fundamental to our relationship with God, who is trustworthy.  The rule of law, so fundamental to strong economies and stable societies, is also basic to the Bible. We are under a higher authority, and God’s laws are immutable….Ethics and morality are defined by a strong set of fundamental beliefs to which all adhere.  And the Lord is the glue that holds it all together (25).

Because biblical principles lead to successful business, the marketplace affords us the opportunity to present God’s truth in a uniquely relevant way… we can present the gospel by word and by deed (25).

I asked God to open my eyes, to remove the veil…I felt God’s urge to start a business (26).

God is focused on relationships… in God’s economy, success means that first I must have a relationship with God, and then second I must have a quality relationship with my wife and my children.  Finally, if my company is prosperous, that’s a bonus (27).

…as a result of bootstrapping the start-up venture, we maintained a greater equity interest in the company (28).

Like Gideon…I set out a fleece before God (28).

…God gave me confidence that even if His answer was no, it would mean He had something better in store for us (29).

…God had demonstrated clearly that He cared about the venture, that He had His hand in it, and that He wanted me there (29).

“Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him” (1 Cor. 7:20)

The spiritual value of business is in serving one’s fellow man (29).

Eldred, K. A. (2005). God is at work: Transforming people and nations through business. Ventura: Regal Books

Business as Mission, The Galtronics Story, Verity Years Highlights (3/5)

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

if God gives a vision or an idea or sense of direction, we must persevere and not surrender to seemingly impossible difficulties (42).

Ken had been pursuing some engineering ideas he thought would be significant (42).

As sales increased, the company was able to reduce its debt and begin to provide employees with many of the benefits that before had been impossible (45).

Expenses, net profit and return on investment are some of the other key measurable factors that must be monitored as a business grows (45).

…the company still faced great opposition from outside forces (46).

…the years between 1987 and 1993 were amazingly fruitful for Galtronics, both in making money and in making disciples (47).

…there were three major goals identified: 1) to bless Israel, 2) to provide jobs and 3) to tell Israelis about the Messiah.  By 1993, all three goals had been met (47).

…we wrote down a long list of things we were asking of the Lord…requests regarding the business: good workers, good morale, good machines, good parts, good vendors, better products.  God would restore out testimony…(48)

…profit sharing plan…success being due to God’s grace…tried to be open, not hiding anything…as general manager, …refused to have a company car…until the last debt was paid (49).

One of the main reasons we did not want it publicized was that we thought, if word got out, there would be people who would put political pressure on to make sure that we did not receive the award (50).

…the greatest impact on the evaluation committee was we had taken in many immigrants and had made such a concerned effort to provide jobs for them (50).

…God answered our prayers at that midnight prayer meeting when we had asked Him to restore our testimony in front of the whole nation (53).

The whole discussion of what it means to be a Messianic Jew became a public debate (53).

…more than one half million Russians had come into the country…Many of these believers in Jesus (55).

…”we need three things. First, we need a product to make that we can sell. Second, we need space, facilities to work in. Third, we need leadership (55).”

God had provided everything we needed! Praise His Name (57)!

He eventually developed a pastoral relationship with his employees and his workplace became his parish (57).

Ken and Maggie’s third goal was to tell the Israelis about the Messiah.  More specifically, they saw themselves as supporting the planting of a local church (57).

The “vision, valley, verity” pattern held true for both the business and the church it had spawned (58).

Believers were stoned as they worshiped and the building where they met was burned down (58).

When the little fledgling church was struggling to find a place to meet in light of this persecution, it was a small fellowship of Arab believers in a village miles away who reached out to them.  This kindness demonstrated unity in the body of Christ that transcended racial barriers which have inflamed hatred and dissension for years. This spirit of unity and love in Christ set a bold and obvious example and gave evidence to the power of the Gospel to bridge chasms now centuries old (58).

I pose a question to you, the reader. Why would you follow a God who calls you to risk your assets at least, and your life at most, to follow Him in starting and growing a Kingdom-building business?  Given the inherent risk of business, why add the dimensions of using the business to make disciples (59)?

Ken Crowell, “…don’t encourage people to get into this in order to make money…they may lose money…focus on listening to the Lord’s voice…walking with Jesus is all that matters…If God gives you a heart and gifts for running a business, that business can be used in a might way to bring glory to God and to further His Kingdom…(59)”

…why would anyone want to miss out on the blessings with or without the trials (59)?

It is important to note that throughout this process of walking with the Lord, trials occurred.  Scriptures are replete with warnings that Christian suffering is both essential and unavoidable (59).

Often, in the course of fulfilling that mission, other ideas surface which deserve pursuit yet need to be structured so as not to undermine and confuse those working in the core business.  A difficult question business people should ask repeatedly is how do we structure this effort (60)?

If a business is to be used as a platform for furthering Christ’s Kingdom, ownership must recognize the real owner is the Lord Jesus Christ (60).

As the company grows and leadership changes hands, the decision-making process continues to evolve from its initial individual control to a team concept.  If not properly managed, the process of making decisions can become rife with tension.  The good news is God is able to accomplish His purposes in each and every phase of a company’s life cycle (61)!

…if you are interested in business or have experience in business and have a desire to follow Jesus as a disciple-maker, Ken and Margie would cheer you on and encourage you to seek to integrate your business activities into Christ’s plan of World Evangelization (62).

Goheen, William. The Galtronics Story. Eugene, Ore.: Wipf & Stock, 2004.

God Is At Work, Foreword and Author’s Note Highlights (1)

July 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

…witnessed firsthand the power of God to transform a nation’s economic and moral-cultural state (11).

…Christian faith and Christian values set the foundation ofr successful business (11).

kingdom business…recognized the fundamental connection between spiritual transformation and economic transformation (11).

Unfortunately, many churches today have accepted the view that business is essentially secular, void of any spiritual value, and thus unworthy of a Christian’s pursuit (12).

The marketplace is just as legitimate a venue for serving God and others as the church is (12).

Kingdom business is a purpose-driven business.  It is a business pursued with a goal of achieving spiritual, economic and social transformation in individuals and nations (12,13).

Sensing a specific spiritual need, these men used skills honed int he business world to establish successful ministries (18).

…opting to remain in the business arena.  They are using commerce and business development themselves as a vehicles for blessing a people and bringing the gospel of Jesus (18).

Clearly Kingdom Business is a major opportunity, and the key will be the response of the Church (18).

Kingdom business requires support and involvement from a wide range of members of the Body of Christ (18).

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