What is missional business?
By AfriGO Team
Missional Businesses (MB) are the commercial endeavors of Christians with the intention to use them for missions. Missionaries involved in MB are called of God and sent by the Church to share the Gospel and to make disciples in cross-cultural environments using their business skills. Several categories of MB reveal different emphases, but all are intentionally used for missions.
1. Business as Mission (BAM)
BAM refers to a business used as the actual ministry venue. The missionary ministers to contacts made in the usual processes of doing business — employees, suppliers, clients, government workers and business associates. The operation of the business models biblical principles and brings shalom to the local community.
2. Business for Transformation (B4T)
B4T are businesses strategically placed in areas where Christ is unknown or is least known. Designed to create local jobs, the intention is to bring transformation to a segment of society, specifically through evangelism, discipleship and church planting.
3. Business-Based Mission (BBM)
BBM refers to a business used as a way for missionaries to stay in the country. When the business is successful, it can provide partial or full salary for the missionaries. The primary ministry is usually outside the business, though some ministry can also occur within the company. Tentmaking is a form of BBM.
4. Business for Mission (BFM)
BFM describes ventures with the primary intention to make profit to support missions work. To be considered BFM, the intended use of the profits is clearly stated and committed to at the start of the business venture. Examples could be operating a tour company that offers special tickets to missionaries or operating a publishing company solely dedicated to publishing materials for use in missions.
Micro-finance programmes provide small loans to individuals or groups to help them start and run small businesses. They are most relevant in poorer communities, where employment opportunities are limited. The organisation that provides the capital typically trains the loan recipients and supervises the programme. The terms micro-credit, micro-enterprise or micro-business are often interchangeable.