In What Areas is Greater Collaboration Most Critical?

The business as mission community is contributing to a wider ‘listening process’ in the global evangelical mission community as part of our connection the Lausanne Movement. Lausanne also asked us:

 In what areas is greater collaboration most critical in order to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission?

We received input from 25 global leaders on this question especially as it relates to business as mission. Four themes emerged as follows, illuminated by some direct quotes from leaders:

1. Collaboration between clergy and laity; between the business sphere and the church, mission agencies, and theological institutions.

2. Collaboration and openness by Evangelicals with other church traditions; overcoming barriers to hearing and learning from other perspectives, both political and theological.

3. Collaboration between geographical regions; working against nationalism and communicating and partnering with cultural humility.

4. Collaboration between organisations, and especially different parts of the BAM ecosystem; reducing redundancy, resource wastage and destructive competition.

 In what areas is greater collaboration most critical in order to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission?

 

1. Collaboration between clergy and laity; between the business sphere and the church, mission agencies, and theological institutions

I commend the Wealth Creation Manifesto as a foundation for cooperation between the BAM movement and mission organisations. There is great suspicion of business among mission organisations, much of it based on observation of the unethical (Babylonian) way in which so much business occurs.
RSH

The institutional church needs to recognize that itself alone would never be enough to see the fulfilment of the Great Commission. We need missional leaders from all walks of life: the marketplace, the media, the government, etc. to share the vision together and to collaborate.
FKT

There needs to be a much greater collaboration between the business as mission movement and the institutional church.  Most pastors do not understand the God of Business, and many perpetuate the dichotomy between “sacred” and “secular.”  Many BAM ministries find the church difficult to move in and through, so this work is done in NGOs outside of the church. But once a denomination does commit to this idea, so many pastors are happy to receive this news, because it is a win-win-win-win. It is a win for the business owner, the business itself, the church, and the community. This is powerful.  There is no downside.
RRT

The significant barrier to recruiting and engaging more believers in BAM towards completing the Great Commission is the dualistic worldview or the sacred-secular dichotomy that is still prevalent within churches. Churches or a global body of churches should find a collaborative way to reduce and remove this unbiblical dichotomy.
 JJL

The deployment of the vast human capital talents within the global church to tackle issues of injustice, poverty and exploitation through business and economic solutions. The BAM ecosystem can learn to strengthen collaboration and forged alliances to build stronger businesses for greater Kingdom impact.
TC

2. Collaboration and openness by Evangelicals with other church traditions; overcoming barriers to hearing and learning from other perspectives, both political and theological

More of a focus on what every Christ-follower agrees on theologically rather than allowing theological disagreements to reign supreme. (Majoring on the majors).
CAB

I attended the Lausanne Northeast Asia Young Leaders gathering as a mentor. I enjoyed the vitality and new ideas of young leaders but was disappointed that nobody talked about war, conflicts, enmities, and peace in the region. Can I say this reflected the narrow view of the evangelicals in mission?
SC

We need a greater collaboration between evangelical/protestant and Orthodox Christians.
MD

Global politics and forms of communication are creating more “echo chambers” of groups who listen only to those who agree with them, reinforcing divides. Jesus often went to places of discomfort, listening to and loving people who were outside his circle, not in his comfort bubble; challenging the tough conversations of the day, not sticking to the easy or accepted dialogues.  How do we create more space for Jesus-like conversations across divides and on the tough, but urgent issues of our day?
RAD

3. Collaboration between geographical regions; working against nationalism and communicating and partnering with cultural humility

The evangelical world is divided along the east-west divide, where western Christianity typically controls the finances, while east and southern Christianity tries to fulfill the Great Commission while accessing the resources of the west.
SV

We must do a better job of resourcing and networking our global south brothers and sisters. This includes ensuring that resources about BAM, the priesthood of all believers, and other empowering theology are available in their native languages- ideally written by locals.
HE

In terms of BAM I believe we need to work closely with our brothers and sisters from other parts of the world, i.e. South America, Asia, Africa, etc. For instance, what I am seeing coming out of Brazil these days is amazing
MK

We have witnessed the fast resurrection of the ghost of nationalism over the last decade. Power competition and tensions of the two superpowers of US and China have influenced the global world to increasing geopolitical conflicts and economic downturn.
SC

4. Collaboration between organisations, and especially different parts of the BAM ecosystem; reducing redundancy, resource wastage and destructive competition

In the evangelical world, my personal perspective is that we are less than effective since we tend to overlap and compete with one another.
SV

Practically within the BAM ecosystem, various resources, such as financial, human, technological, marketing,  need to be pulled together to produce synergy for the Kingdom of God. Fragmented uses of God-entrusted resources may result in an ineffective and inefficient outcome in God’s eyes. Christ-centered selflessness is a prerequisite for fruitful collaboration.
 JJL

Collaboration between the church-local, sending task forces, academia, funders/investors, BAM practitioners, and businesses with a capacity to train and send workers… are all part of a Kingdom ecosystem that is needed to get the job done.
CS

There are billions of dollars tied up with Christians that can be funneled into projects, However, in order to gain the trust of the investment community, we need to do everything possible to ensure the success of the business receiving the capital. Greater collaboration between the practitioner and the investor is needed (it is already improving greatly). Having someone connect these dots can help accelerate this process. One example of this includes strong BAM coaching that can bring the two together.
BB

At the functional level no one organisation has a monopoly on everything that is needed – recognise your strengths and invite others to add value.
DS

Open-handed and coordinated sharing of resources is needed, i.e. business training, stewardship training, etc., especially as more of these move online, to prevent duplication of efforts and save cost.
RAD

Organizations need to stop thinking in terms of their own needs and begin thinking in Kingdom terms. Duplication of services, training, etc., needs to decrease. This will free up people and monies  to get these people and resources focused on the true frontlines of the battle. Or maybe that’s the point, do we really want to be on the frontlines?
PL

Collated by Jo Plummer, with thanks to the 25 BAM leaders that contributed input to the Lausanne Movement listening process. This listening process is part of “Lausanne 4”, a multi-year consultation on strategic issues in global mission.

Read responses to the first ‘listening question’:

What are the most significant gaps or remaining opportunities toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)?
>>Part 1: The High and Holy Calling of Business and Breaking the Sacred-Secular Divide
>>Part 2: Reaching the Marginalised and the Skewed Deployment of Resources
>>Part 3: A Holistic Gospel and the Kingdom Coming in the Marketplace
>>Part 4: The Task Still Ahead and Plugging the Resource Gaps
>>Part 5: Promising Breakthroughs & Innovations to Accelerate the Great Commission

 

 Jo Plummer is the co-chair of BAM Global and co-editor the Lausanne Occasional Paper on Business as Mission. She has been developing resources for BAM since 2001 and currently serves as Editor of the Business as Mission website and blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 In What Areas is Greater Collaboration Most Critical?