The Present Movement: Business as Mission Today

by Mats Tunehag

Part 2 of a 3 part series on Business as Mission: Roots, Scope & Future. Read Part 1 here.

Why is There a BAM Movement?

Each generation has to review and highlight old-age concepts and truths and see how they apply to today’s context. That includes various arenas and constituencies, like business, church, and academia.

While acknowledging our roots, we also recognize the emergence of a global BAM movement in our generation. Today we can talk about a global BAM movement – we could not do that 25 years ago. Today there are tens of thousands of businesses on all continents on a BAM journey. Today there are churches and denominations embracing Business as Mission. Today most of the oldest and biggest Evangelical mission agencies in the world are pursuing BAM. Today there are many academic institutions teaching BAM and producing Master and Doctoral theses on Business as Mission. This was not the case just a few decades ago.

Thus, we may ask: why is there a global BAM movement? How did that come about? First and foremost, we recognize that God is the ultimate initiator and conductor of the movement. But allow me to also mention three essential building blocks: common language, communication and collaboration.

Without a common language you cannot communicate. If you cannot communicate you cannot collaborate, and it will lead to disconnected initiatives with limited impact.

BAM Global Think Tank

BAM Global has since 2002 focused on creating and sharing intellectual and social capital. What does that mean? An underlying principle is the belief that there is wisdom in the counsel of many. To that end we have been facilitating global listening processes, where voices from both history and today’s world could be heard, discussions were held, and documented.[1] These inclusive and participatory conversations created ownership of the concept, which continues to be discussed and shared in many languages and contexts. We have also brought people together to not only listen, share and learn, but also to connect and act. The BAM Manifesto and the Wealth Creation Manifesto are essential for establishing a common language for communication and collaboration, to create greater impact. See the BAM A – Z booklet which also expresses the common BAM language.[2]

The 2nd BAM Global Think Tank (2011 – 2013) started over 30 national, regional and international working groups, dealing with BAM in a particular country or region, or BAM related to issues like poverty, human trafficking, unreached peoples, metrics, funding and incubation. Many of these groups produced a report, but the ongoing conversations also catalyzed BAM initiatives around the world which further propelled the global movement. Today there is a growing number of BAM Global Ambassadors serving regions and issues.[3]

Poly x 3

A movement is different from an organization. The latter is registered, has a board, a budget and they hire (and fire) staff. It is defined and operates under some kind of legal and management control. A movement, on the other hand, consists of many independent initiatives and organizations, which share a vision, and are aligned in mission and values. Examples are the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, and the charismatic movement.

Nobody has an executive control or power of a movement, but it is held together by a common cause and it grows through collaboration built on trust relationships.

BAM is a global movement, with numerous initiatives on all continents, in business, missions, church and academia. The glue is our common vision, our aligned mission and values, as briefly expressed in the two manifestos.

A movement can be served by an SMO, a societal movement organization. BAM Global is such an entity. An SMO facilitates communication and collaborations within and outside a movement, and it catalyzes new initiatives. BAM Global exists to invigorate, serve, strengthen and equip the global BAM movement.

The global BAM movement can also be described with three words which starts with the prefix ‘poly’, which means ‘many’.

Polycentric: BAM does not have a global headquarters. Today you’ll find BAM centers, initiatives and networks from Seoul to Sao Paolo, from Sydney to St. Petersburg, from Bucharest to Birmingham (Alabama), from China to Cuba, from Egypt to England, from Southern Africa to Sweden, from Nepal to the Netherlands, from Myanmar to Mongolia – and beyond

Poly directional: BAM is not a Western idea or initiative which goes from the West to the rest. No, it goes from everywhere to everywhere.

Polyglot: BAM operates in many languages. In fact, the biggest BAM networks in the world are not using English. Today there are many BAM websites, books, conferences, blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels in different languages. The BAM Manifesto, the Wealth Creation Manifesto and other key BAM documents are available in 20 plus languages.

 

Mats Tunehag is a senior global ambassador for BAM and has worked in over half the countries of the world. He is the chairman of BAM Global and contributes to TransformationalSME.org. Visit MatsTunehag.com for BAM resources in 22 languages.

 

 

Endnotes

[1] The preamble of the BAM Manifesto shows the ethos of our modus operandi over 20 years – and counting: “The Lausanne 2004 Forum Business as Mission Issue Group worked for a year, addressing issues relating to God’s purposes for work and business, the role of business people in church and missions, the needs of the world and the potential response of business. The group consisted of more than 70 people from all continents. Most came from a business background but there were also church and mission leaders, educators, theologians, lawyers and researchers. The collaboration process included 60 papers, 25 cases studies, several national and regional Business as Mission consultations and emailbased discussions, culminating in a week of face to face dialogue and work.” http://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/BAM-MANIFESTO-2.pdf

[2] “The BAM A – Z booklet communicates the concepts of Business as Mission, BAM, with graphics, single words and short texts. Using the 26 letters of the English alphabet, Tunehag has identified 26 key words and concepts related to BAM. They are accompanied by a brief explanation and a graphic. 66 pages.” http://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/BAM-A-Z-Booklet-25-April-2021.pdf

See also the A – Z of Business as Mission, BAM, in 26 short videos: https://vimeo.com/showcase/9233513

[3] See minute and a half video introducing BAM Global Ambassadors, https://vimeo.com/618984120 and a three part blog https://businessasmission.com/bam-a-global-glimpse/

 

 

 

 

The Present Movement: Business as Mission Today