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Stories & Blog

Challenges for Job-Makers

Challenges for Job-Makers

Read the series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

This series
focuses on the global marketplace as a natural way for all believers to engage in the Great Commission. Marketplace workers — those who take their jobs or professions overseas — can live and love like Jesus where people spend the majority of their time: the workplace. And job-makers — the subject of the next two articles — have a unique opportunity for gospel impact through job creation that builds God-reflecting work cultures where people can flourish.

Challenges for Job-Makers

by Larry Sharp, Crossworld Vice President Emeritus and Business Consultant

The Business as Mission (BAM) movement today is recapturing the biblical vision for all believers from all professions to take the good news to the nations. And passionate kingdom job-makers are at the heart of it.

Such kingdom workers go abroad to start businesses to help fulfill the Great Commandment to “love your neighbor” in a world of poverty, injustice, and unemployment. They see job creation as what Jesus would do in today’s world. But it’s not just about social justice. The Great Commission to make disciples is integral to their business start-ups, and Jesus-followers in community — churches — are the result.

Not long ago I visited one of these job-makers in Asia. Rob practiced fair business, built friendships with his employees, and lived like Jesus in every way possible — creating a distinctive biblical work culture. His goal: Provide jobs for 25 employees and see how God would work in their lives. When I talked with his employees, they all expressed how they loved working for Rob and how different he was as a boss. Can you imagine how excited I was when I got the email that the first employee had begun to follow Jesus?

Opportunities are endless | “BAMers” have the opportunity to enter countries with credibility — even countries where missionaries are not allowed and the Christian faith is forbidden. Yet in these same countries, they are invited because they provide jobs and develop the community. And as they go, they take the gospel of Jesus with them to people who have never heard.

Here’s one example: A job-making friend of mine hires handicapped workers for his business overseas. This has impressed the city officials so much that he now has permission to live and serve freely, and he has seen scores of people come to faith because he humbly serves like Jesus.

Challenges are significant | Like anyone moving overseas, job-makers face cultural and linguistic barriers. Economic and political uncertainties, along with major corruption, present real issues for job-makers trying to build their businesses with integrity. Many of the societies where job-makers live are not rule-based, and what rules do exist are constantly changing or twisted to the advantage of those in power. It’s hard enough to start a business in North America; the challenges only increase cross-culturally. Job-makers in a new culture must trust God with their businesses and their families.

However, churches and sending organizations who see the enormous potential of BAM can come alongside entrepreneurial job-makers to help prepare, send, and mentor them. As they do, cross-cultural business is not only possible, but transforming. God will use it to advance His global purposes and display His glory among the nations ... as He has done throughout history.

The people in this story are real but italicized names have been changed to protect identity.
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