Mission, Business and the Silk Road
In the last few years there has been lots of talk about “Business as Mission” as if it were a new idea. But Christian mission has long been connected to business. For example, mission and long-distance trade were so closely associated in the Church of the East that the word for merchant became a code word for missionary along the ancient Silk Road.
Although few of us today work in dusty bazaars or ride a camel to our job, we can still learn from the way the gospel flowed on the ancient trade routes. Perhaps the most important lesson is that best place to share our faith is the gritty, dusty real world, not the surreal environment of a church service. Anyone can look holy and pious for 45 minutes on Sunday, but someone who lives out their faith in the rough and tumble of the work world is a bright light shining in a dark place.
How does this relate to reaching unreached people groups? First, Christian entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders have the opportunity to live out their faith in an increasingly internationalized workplace. They can be living examples of faith in Christ before Hindu, Muslim and Chinese colleagues. Secondly, Christian businessmen can help provide training, coaching, and start-up resources for local Christians who live geographically near the unreached so they can develop viable businesses which will showcase the beauty of a redeemed life.
Real Christian men and women, engaging in real business, in the real marketplace, are a key piece of the puzzle for taking the gospel to unreached people groups. Personally modeling this, and helping our brothers and sisters in the majority world do the same, could be one of the most untapped resources in the Kingdom.
Written by Gene Daniels
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