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Missions Focus: Social Entrepreneurship

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Written by BGU

“When I first begin my business as missions course,” John Depree says, “I ask the BCOM students what they think the most spiritual things you can do are. They’ll often say things like ‘reading your bible, praying, or fasting’, but by the end they change those answers to…
‘being a mom, working hard, mowing the lawn.'”

The point Mr. Depree was making was that we can glorify God inside and outside of the chapel. Usually, some consciously and subconsciously, people will support a well established dichotomy in all religious circles:  mowing the lawn is nonspiritual while reading your Bible is spiritual.

In Christianity, however it’s a different story.

The other day I was able to sit in on a meeting of entrepreneurs affiliated with Bethany. They were discussing how to incorporate social entrepreneurship with missionary training. More and more these days, missionaries are having to form trades or occupations that will enable them to do missions work. This isn’t simply for the sake of financial support, it’s also to keep the government from expelling them from the country for illegal conduct such as proselytizing, distributing illegal literature, and, well… being missionaries. While the old model of business as missions was merely a means of getting in, the new view is a means of ministering to the people of that country via social entrepreneurship. The old model was a door to ministry while the new model is ministry.

The history of Bethany is rich with social entrepreneurs and creative businessmen. “It’s in the soil”, someone commented in the meeting. From private business owners to macro business owners, Bethany has a history of tactful and resourceful people who make what others call impossible possible.

I pray that this legacy of business and social entrepreneurship continues as new students come in. I pray that, as training for social entrepreneurship develops at BCOM, the leadership will skillfully teach the students that work is worship so long as you do it to the glory of God.

Learn more about Business in Missions and our new major in Transformational Entrepreneurship in Missions.

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