“One of the great challenges for everyone is finding a place in the world – seeing a lot, hearing a lot, reading a lot, and then deciding where we will be and what we will do. Knowing what we know, what will we do?” - Steven Garber, Visions of Vocation
“Knowing what we know, what will you do?” Garber’s question parallels the parable of the Good Samaritan. When the man was left half dead between Jerusalem and Jericho, the priest, Levite, and Samaritan all saw the depleted man. Yet, the priest and Levite chose not to engage in the brokenness. Instead, they continued on their journeys. When the Samaritan saw the man, he knew the man was hurt and in desperate need of help. With this knowledge, he chose to help the man. He brought the man to the inn and took care of him.
In Visions of Vocation, Steven Garber stresses the importance of engaging in the broken world around us, similar to how the Good Samaritan engaged with the hurt man. As Christians, he says “it is clear that the way we live shows what we believe.”
Through missional enterprise, we have a chance to live in a way that will demonstrate what we believe. As we see problems around the world, we get to engage and create positive social impact, financial sustainability, and spiritual transformation through business. Jesus’ Kingdom advances. As Garber exemplifies in his book, whether you have the desire to start a clinic in an area with inadequate healthcare, an agriculture business that treats employees fairly and grows crops honestly, or a climbing gym to build trust in a society where it is lacking, you get to create positive change that brings glory to God.
Just like the Good Samaritan, it is important to see the wounds of the world and to do something about it. Missional enterprise is one context that allows the Kingdom to salve the pain of the wounds.
What are some specific ways your business could see the world as it is and step into the brokenness to make an impact? What are ways you could be the Good Samaritan to the hurting in your community or around the world?
– GEN Desk Intern
“We were called here to serve.” Many overseas missionaries and domestic missionaries have used this phrase to explain where and why they are serving in a specific region or vocation. As powerful as this phrase is, it can also be a hidden challenge for missional entrepreneurs to confront.
Missional entrepreneurs face the hard test of serving as both business owners and missionaries. So what service comes first, their call to witness or their call to operate as business leaders?
The question of these priorities is a tough, but necessary, topic to address. A fine balance exists in the BAM world as missional entrepreneurs. A business may fail because it is not given proper time and attention. On the other hand, personal relationships may suffer at the expense pursuing a prosperous business.
So what is the answer?
Missional entrepreneurs are blessed with the unique opportunity to influence fellow co-workers and employees. With the guidance of Christ, the workplace is the missions field. Intentionally focusing on business operations, and seeking to serve employees as an involved leader, allows the real Mission to manifest itself into the daily lives of the lost.
A story in Mark L. Russell’s “The Missional Entrepreneur," is told about two small businesses that were both located in the same cultural context, supported by Christian missions, and run by faithful believers. One business excelled, the other failed. What was the difference between the two businesses? One owner became overwhelmed by the need to spread the gospel and run a full-time business, the other intertwined the gospel with daily business operations and devoted his missional efforts to reaching the lost and hurting who came to work at the company.
Discovering the balance between serving in the missions field and running a business is not an easy path to traverse. Have faith in where your heart is being led, and rest in the peace that the One who sent you has gifted you specifically with the desire to meet the needs of His children through the capacity of business. (Romans 8:28)
As you are called to serve as a missional entrepreneur, so His will and glory will be done. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
- GEN Desk Intern