BAM: A Global Glimpse
One of our goals here at The BAM Review, and in all our work, is ‘to put more global into BAM Global’. We want to strengthen and invigorate the BAM movement in all parts of the world, creating greater depth and breadth globally. To that end, BAM Global has started to identify leaders around the world who are working to facilitate the BAM network in their region or around a particular topic. These leaders are points of contact and coordination, they engage others and help raise up other leaders, building capacity in their network and for the movement at large. We call them BAM Global Ambassadors, or “BAMbassadors” for fun!
We would like to introduce nine out of our current 20 BAM Global Ambassadors to you. To begin with, we asked them to share what is happening in their network and also what got them started in BAM.
You are the BAM Global Ambassador for… What are one or two things that have been most encouraging or exciting in your region or issue network? What has happened so far in terms of growth, initiatives, or moving the needle?
I am the BAM Global Ambassador for Romania. We started a BAM Incubator in Romania and so far we have eight youth that want to start a business as mission enterprise through this program. We organised a BAM Webinar in June and more than 50 people participated in that meeting. We now have a team of three people dedicated to do and promote BAM in Romania including me.
As a BAM Global Ambassador in Brazil since 2019, I have seen the BAM network here grow in an amazing way through the initiatives that we’ve had to spread this concept, especially being a constant presence on social media. This has reached and awakened many people beyond what we could have imagined, in a relatively short time. Today, in Brazil our team consists of João Mordomo, myself, and other two people who are operationally helping the team. Many people have come to BAM Brazil to be part of the movement and for training and partner initiatives have gained strength and visibility after BAM Brazil began to spread the vision. I have received a lot of positive feedback from people who have now understood BAM as a calling and the movement has grown and become stronger in the churches. Many institutions such as churches, theological seminaries, and missionary agencies, NGOs, and business groups have sought out BAM Brazil to give lectures, BAM classes, speak at events and provide training.
I am the BAM Global Ambassador for South Asia. We had a regional conference in February 2020 and are planning for the next conference for February 2022. There is a core team that meets monthly and we are organizing webinars on helpful topics every two months which are well attended. We have become a network of networks, other marketplace ministries are now a part of BAM South Asia.
I’m the BAM Global Ambassador for Russia. Not many people in Russia have even heard about BAM. There are some groups of business people doing some elements of BAM, but they have no holistic understanding of how to do business in a Godly way. In November 2019 we had the first BAM Russia Conference and planned to do it every year, although the pandemic has disrupted our plans a little.
I am BAM Global Ambassador for the Southern Africa region. We launched the network at an event in March 2021 with Mats Tunehag as our guest speaker. We’ve had two online roundtable sessions so far in August and September, with a third one in October as a means to help activate the network. We are partnering with BAM Global in presenting these and have invited keynote speakers we’ve connected with through the BAM Global network in order to give a global perspective.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate what we call “BAM Academics”. The primary accomplishment to date has been helping academics in higher education connect, share, and grow. We do this in the areas of research, BAM practitioner support and student engagement in business as mission. The hope is to expand the impact of academics within the BAM movement. For instance, BAM Academics has provided venues for scholarly presentations and catalyzed research teams in BAM. Additionally, like-minded academics have found a group that offers encouragement and support for their work in BAM in a variety of applications. Specifically, the Business as Mission Theses and Dissertations Repository is a BAM-specific, internet location that consolidates degree-related research for worldwide use.
Dr. Mick Bates
I am BAM Global Ambassador for the Nordic region. Over the last decade it seems like very little has happened as BAM has not been an issue that has raised great interest. It has been a lonely journey with repeated futile attempts to start something moving, the timing hasn’t been right it seems. However, attitudes are now changing and over the past couple of years doors have started to open and today in Sweden almost all denominations say that they simply have to start to look at business as part of their mission. We are getting there!
I am BAM Global Ambassador for North East India. I have started introducing BAM in the North East India Christian Business Association (of which I am the coordinator) and even showed a short BAM video clip in one of our online fellowship meetings. I have talked with several of the business persons in Manipur about BAM and also on a regular basis and I am now in touch with another BAMer from Mizoram (thanks to the BAM Global network) for a future BAM initiative in NE India and Mizoram. I am also in constant touch with the other two core team members who will push forward the BAM movement in the region and we hope to soon launch the first BAM training course in NE India, in close coordination with BAM Global.
I’m a BAM Global Ambassador for Mobilization. As part of my work with the BAM network in YWAM, I’m helping mobilize and train in North America, Central America, Caribbean and India. This includes teaching, casting vision and mentoring business owners. I’m encouraged that one of the biggest North American training centers in San Diego is developing a BAM department. YWAM Colorado Springs has developed an online version of their 12 week training course. It’s fabulous and increases access to teaching for people around the world. I’ve been connecting with the BAM USA network led by two leaders from the Navigators and with the BAM South Asia network as well.
How did you get involved in BAM? Why? What motivates you?
I used to live in a divided reality, doing my business for money and going to church on Sunday to serve God. In my journey God showed me that I am free to live my whole life under the Lordship of Christ. I searched for answers regarding my faith and business, how can I serve God through my business? I could not find answers among my friends, so I started to Google to see how business people around the world integrate their business and faith. I landed on the BAM Global website and started to read, watch, attend conferences and courses, connect with people who are doing business as mission and learn from them.
I got involved with BAM in 2015 at the YWAM School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Colorado Springs, USA where I met Mats Tunehag and was introduced to the BAM Global movement. Some years later I connected with João Mordomo who is Co-chair of BAM Global and I was invited to join the team.
I was initially thinking of “Tentmaking” which I learned about from my father. As the founder of a business, I began to ask how I could extend beyond myself in having an impact for the kingdom. I began to learn about the concepts of Kingdom Business and BAM through reading some books and articles and later meeting Steve Rundle and Mats Tunehag.
I served as a local church pastor and seminary teacher and for me it was (and actually is!) very important to find ways how Christians could be involved in ministry. From the very beginning I knew that to serve God did not mean only to serve in the church. I believe that daily work can and has to be a place to worship God, to serve people and to share the gospel. And BAM gives me a very clear and holistic concept of how one can do this practically. Also for me it was very important to have a personal meeting with Mats Tunehag and his readiness to support launching BAM in Russia.
I am motivated “…to be about my Father’s business…” but more specifically I am personally involved in business through owning two small companies. Beyond that, I have an interest in the significance of business to access and connect with people; recognizing the barriers that exist in the church in understanding the role of business. The journey to becoming a BAM Global Ambassador began when in April 2020, as the facilitator of a missions’ network in South Africa, I asked the question, “Where is BAM as a strategic initiative?” After some research I discovered that although there were some key players in our country, there was no intentional space where they could gather, communicate and collaborate, etc. A few of us began a conversation as to what to do next and the end result was the launch of a BAM Southern Africa network in March 2021. The scope is the whole of Southern Africa because through the mission networks we have a natural connection to our region, beyond just the country of South Africa.
My involvement with BAM started with the search for a market niche for the new Center for Research and Innovation at Taylor University, a Christ-centered university, in 2004. I was led to this activity called Business as Mission which reflected quite closely the ethos of the business program at the University and my perspective that business is one of the best ways to love on people. This find grew into a doctoral dissertation on “How Business as Mission Entrepreneurs Decide to Start Businesses”. My vision is for students and graduates to see business as a way to love on people and disciple them into the kingdom of God.
I was so frustrated as a church planter in the Middle East that I could help my church members with such an elementary thing as a job. Due to that, our mission as church planters was not sustainable. I knew that the young people, who were the current leaders of the church, would at some point in the coming two or three years have to leave the country for education or a job and the church would suffer from loss of momentum. This was in fact what happened and nothing about the source of the issue was being changed, it was doomed to be repeated. By then I was already deeply involved in business back home to try to learn what was missing in the church planting strategy. At that time, in 1998, I didn’t know about BAM but was soon to discover the idea. Today my main driver is the same as it has always been, to reach the unreached – only the tools have slightly changed.
In the first place I never intended to get deeply involved in BAM. I came across BAM in several places on the Lausanne website, newsletters and a few articles. I also subscribed to The BAM Review email and follow the BAM website from time to time. It caught my attention so much that I preached about this and also referred to the idea of BAM in seminars, encouraging the business people in many places. During the Transform Manipur Summits in 2017 and 2019 we held some sessions, but the participants were so busy doing business they did not bother to know more about BAM or training themselves so that they can powerfully connect their business with mission. I also see the opportunities of BAM in several regions here as I traveled around seeing the poor economic conditions of the communities. Business as Mission can help solve some of the basic economic problems of the Christian community and also to those we try to reach out with the gospel and with humanitarian work. BAM has a great opportunity to engage with every tribe, community and nation for the greater glory of God. And yes, “for the greater glory of God” because it is about the three mandates and the quadruple bottom lines as we seek to bless the world and the unreached, bringing economic, social, environmental and spiritual transformation. This is another reason that struck me deep into my heartbeat and caused me to follow and join the movement. Lastly, I prayed to at least let me go deeper by attending the BAM Global Congress, to learn more and encourage others into it. But I never strive or expect myself to become the BAM Global Ambassador for NE India! And today here I am by God’s grace. I feel so humble to be part of this and so much encouraged and excited to be part of this Global movement of God. Thank you for the opportunity to serve God and the world!
My journey in BAM began during my university years. God spoke to me in August 1978 that my calling was to be a business missionary. I was to use my business career to witness in my “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria… and Afghanistan”! I felt called to missions and to be a non-traditional missionary, different from much of the 20th Century mission movement. I want to bless my coworkers, customers and communities through business. I want to create evidence of God’s character and His kingdom in and through the business I lead.