The emerging trend of business-as-mission (BAM) is revolutionizing global outreach.
As Bill Job walks along the hallways of his company chatting with workers or laughing with young women in the cafeteria, it's easy to see that there is an extraordinary business application at work in this Chinese manufacturing plant.
One of Bill's employees describes it best: "I used to be a beggar, and I had no family. One day Bill saw me and helped me work in his factory. I got to know Jesus with the help of our boss. Love is everywhere in the company."
It's no wonder that Bill's company is different, because his very definition of the purpose of business is unconventional. He says, "If you go to business school, you learn that the purpose of business is to create value for the shareholders. I think that's a little short-sighted. I think it makes more sense that business is for creating eternal value."
Bill Job's mission-minded approach to business is just one example in a growing movement known as business-as-mission (BAM). Entrepreneurs are discovering that they can use their talents to create sustainable enterprises overseas that impact cultures from the inside out, in ways that few other mission efforts can. Operated with the basic Christian principles of love and respect, these companies often stand in stark contrast to the local business environment where fair wages, employee benefits, and spiritual enrichment are practically unheard of.
Thomas Sudyk, another businessman and a prominent volunteer leader in the BAM movement, explains, "Business done well changes lives, lifts societies, and glorifies God." Sudyk runs EC Group International, a software development company in India whose employees reach out to the orphans, disabled and poor. He started in 1999 by finding a medical transcription niche and hiring a Christian manager in Chennai, India. He then capitalized the effort with $150,000 and secured one client, a U.S. medical company that would outsource work to Sudyk's Indian staff. Today, he employs more than 60 people globally developing software for US companies and non-profit organizations.
"We expect our efforts to be seen as a blessing to the people of India and China by providing jobs, a decent workplace, and a fair wage," says Sudyk, "and reflecting Christ in all we do." Now there's an app you won't find every day in business.
This post was written by Sheila Dolinger.