In this coming week, Discipling Marketplace Leaders will have the opportunity to speak during the BAM (Business as Mission) Global Congress on the role of the church in the Business as Mission movement. The Business as Mission movement started in around 2001 and has grown significantly in influence around the world. Yet while the original recommendations for this movement were to start with the church, to date it has mostly operated outside the church.
The reasons BAM leaders have given for this are 1. that the church is too difficult to work with, 2. that church and business don’t mix, and 3. that if the church is the people, then we should be able to work directly with people in the marketplace without going through the gathered church.
Yet the belief of the Discipling Marketplace Leaders global team is that NOT working through the church is the main reason that faith and work integrations have come and gone over the centuries. Because it has not been embraced and fully accepted as a core need for holistic discipleship in the church means that there has been no institutional grounding for this movement.
So it remains a movement outside of the church, with a very real risk of dying out without the sustaining role that workplace discipleship can be given through the institutional church, pastors, and seminaries.
But the greater loss of not doing this through the church is the loss of an exponential rippling impact when this discipleship is done through the church, rather than individual business by individual business. The potential for the church to teach more Christians to do our work for the flourishing of our customers, the flourishing of our employees, with a missional, social, environmental, and economic bottom line has impacts that can ripple out even further into communities.
When churches begin to teach life on life evangelism rather than evangelistic programs and events, the opportunity for the growth of the church is also exponential. Our research shows that churches grow both numerically and financially when a workplace ministry becomes part of the fabric of the church.
We have great hope for what could happen if more churches and denominations begin to accept the need for discipleship in this important area. Yesterday my pastor said that hope is profound certainty. This is based on trust that God is continuing to work out His purpose for the Church and bringing His people together. We have seen it, and we are seeing it, and we believe we will continue to see it going forward.
So we ask for your prayers this week as we have these conversations. Prayers for the right people to attend from around the world, for the internet to not be a barrier for those who need to be in these (and other) conversations. We will be working with BAM Global to build a task force to study this opportunity globally, and we will be looking for those individuals who have a calling and heart for this opportunity at this time.
Darrow Miller from Discipling Nations Alliance says, “You cannot transform nations without saving souls, but you can save souls without transforming nations.” Releasing members to be the church every day of the week, in every workplace, can transform nations.
Please pray with us!