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Business as Mission and Tentmaking


Welcome to the Business as Mission and Tent-making section of the Missionary Resource Center. This section of the Resources Library will help you find pertinent tools and resources for serving God in missions while working to earn a living.

First, let's clarify a few things: "Business as Mission" and "Tent-making" (or "tentmaking") are both similar, yet slightly different terms. Business as Mission (BAM) typically refers to using a secular business or service (such as import/export or Teaching English) as a means to reach a particular people group. Sometimes this business or career may be simply a way to gain access to a closed country, while other times it may be a means to reach individuals with the Gospel or simply a way to make income to support oneself as a missionary.

Tent-making can be a more broad term and can generally include anything a missionary does to support his/herself while on the field. Sometimes the career of a tent-maker may not have any relevance to their ministry, whereas Business-as-Mission most often specifically refers to using a business venture in the ministry.

Books and Videos

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1. Business as Mission: The Power of Business in the Kingdom of God
by Michael R. Baer

"While some Christian professionals dream of being "freed from business" to go into the ministry or see business as enemy territory to be invaded for Christ, others are convinced that Christian principles simply don't work in the "real world". In this book, Michael Baer challenges each of these positions. He rejects the unbiblical thinking that ministry and business are by definition separate activities - that our lives can be compartmentalized into the sacred and secular. Instead he guides business leaders in developing the vital characteristics of a kingdom business - the kind of business that will free them live fully integrated lives and lead organizations that significantly impact the world."
Published by YWAM (September 2006)
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2. Great Commission Companies: The Emerging Role of Business in Missions
by Steven L. Rundle and Tom A. Steffen

Editorial Review: "In recent decades global missions have been revolutionized by such movements as microenterprise development efforts and tentmaking professionals working in restricted access countries.But little has yet been said about the new missions opportunities created by today's globalized economy. Nor has much been documented about the role that corporations and businesses can have in the missionary enterprise.Economist Steve Rundle and missiologist Tom Steffen offer a new paradigm for the convergence of business and missions--the Great Commission Company. These companies intentionally create businesses in strategic locations, pursuing profits while remaining unabashedly Christian in their purpose. By establishing authentic businesses that employ local workers among the least-reached peoples of the world, they contribute to the economic health of the immediate community and also provide avenues for both physical and spiritual ministry.Based on a five-year study of groundbreaking enterprises like Pura Vida Coffee, this book offers keen analysis of the principles and practices of these companies. In an era where multinational corporations have global influence and impact, the Great Commission Company opens up new possibilities for missions-minded entrepreneurs and businesspeople who want to change the world to the glory of God."
Published by Intervarsity Press (December 2003)
Buy at Amazon.com

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3. On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies
by Tetsunao Yamamori

Editorial Review:
More than one quarter of the world’s people have little or no opportunity to hear the gospel. While few of the unreached care to investigate the claims of Christ, they are concerned about their own economic advancement. This is an opportunity for the gospel. On Kingdom Business proposes a new model for using business in missions: kingdom entrepreneurship. Kingdom entrepreneurs are “job-makers,” starting for-profit businesses of all sizes—real businesses that meet real needs. On Kingdom Business provides a conceptual foundation for kingdom entrepreneurship and explores its contemporary development using case studies of kingdom businesses and reflecting on the lessons kingdom entrepreneurs have already learned.

“Probably nowhere can you find the range of actual examples and keen insights offered by the spectrum of contributors to this landmark book. We are deeply indebted to both the contributors and the editors for so stout and comprehensive a set of documents, on so crucial and yet baffling a challenge.” — Ralph D. Winter, President, William Carey International University

“Forthright, practical, and compelling! On Kingdom Business addresses the tough questions surrounding profit making in the name of Christ, and convincingly validates the fact that authentic ministry can indeed take place within the context of authentic business.” — Christian Overman, Executive Director, Worldview Matters, Inc.
Published by Crossway Books (2003)
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4. Tentmaking: Business as Missions
by Patrick Lai

Editorial Review: "hose who are unfamiliar with the world of tentmaking will find valuable information to introduce them to the concept and to help in getting started. Designed to be a manual, Tentmaking is more than just an overview of questions and issues. This work will serve as an in-depth reference for existing tentmakers.

This thoroughly researched collection is the result of interviews from over 450 people serving in the 10/40 window. It provides a unique viewpoint on missions, sharing proven, workable alternatives to conventional missionary life.

Tentmaking provides an important and much needed resource to this specialized area of world missions."
Published by Authentic (2005)
Buy at Amazon.com

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5. Working Your Way to the Nations
by Jonathan P. Lewis

A process driven course to equip those who go to work overseas with a kingdom perspective. A very practical guide that focuses on personal qualities, skills, and relationships necessary to make tentmaking a successful venture.
Published by Intervarsity Press ()
Buy at Amazon.com

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Resource Directory

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Do you know a good related link? Suggest a Resource.

1. Article: Six Ways to Get Involved in the Business as Missions Movement
2. Business as Mission Network
3. Right Now.org's BAM Opportunities
4. Scruples.net
5. Urbana's Business as Mission resources
6. YWAM Connect Business as Mission Resource Center

Discussion Postings on Business as Mission and Tentmaking

Have a missions related question? Ask it here in the discussion forums and our volunteer staff will be glad to help you find an answer.

1. Test, just a test
(posted by GregoryPucky on 01-01-18, 0 replies)
2. Test, just a test
(posted by GregoryPucky on 12-18-17, 0 replies)
3. Convenient employment products - a closer look
(posted by MichaelOpich on 10-15-17, 0 replies)
4. Заработо ...
(posted by Zarabotok--doma.ru on 10-06-17, 0 replies)
5. Заработо ...
(posted by Zarabotok--doma.ru on 10-06-17, 0 replies)
6. Please tell me where to get a loan in kansas city
(posted by Donaldloli on 06-23-17, 0 replies)
7. Лечение а...
(posted by AniTNe5 on 06-21-17, 0 replies)
8. Лечение а...
(posted by AniTNe5 on 06-18-17, 0 replies)
9. Bestdish
(posted by CindyJE on 03-06-17, 0 replies)
10. Bestdish
(posted by CindyHY on 02-24-17, 0 replies)

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