Enterprise as Mission Proposal

BAM for Business Men and Women

A Proposal by Finishers Project and Business Professional Network

INTRODUCTION

The Business as Mission (BAM) movement continues to expand rapidly, yet it is far from being a household word in houses of evangelical worship across the country.  There are many high quality, accomplished Christian business men and women that have retired, or could retire or have been retired at 50+. At this age, many are thinking about significance rather than success, as success had been defined for them earlier in life.  Many of these are tired of the same old grind, bored, under challenged, under stimulated, but without clear, compelling alternatives.

Some of these have not separated from their careers by choice in the midst of the current economic downturn. They are uprooted, bewildered, disappointed yet are generally talented, accomplished, positive people that have the energy and motivation to engage in productive activities using their expertise.

Those at the leading edge of the boomer generation are now over 60. This group finds themselves less employable in the face of their shortened long-term outlook and being a more costly health insurance burden.  Approximately twenty percent can be self-supporting. That is simply a lot of people.  However, the position of being able to self-support is not a measure of potential success or effectiveness in a BAM assignment. So it is productive to recruit talent across the spectrum of perceived economic viability.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Consequently, there are more and more opportunities for second-career or early-retirement business people to join organizations doing BAM.  These positions may be salaried as in Tentmaking. But most situations require support, either by being self-funded, by support-raising, or a combination of all three.  The organizations that do a good job of recruiting and deploying these professionals into business related service options will get a wave of talented business people.  These options must be presented with clarity. This demographic will have a full range of spiritual maturity.

BACKGROUND

Working off of the tremendous success of Misson:Teach attracting educators into mission, Finishers Project is now building other affinity-group websites.  In the case of educators, the Mission:Teach website communicates in a powerful way, that counter to their intuitive understanding, teachers are needed and invited to serve in missions.   FP seeks to build an affinity portal to match business people to mission opportunities.  This initiative anticipates the need to position the case for BAM and at the same time clarify the pathway into mission from very talented people from a confusing life-spot. 

THE CHALLENGE

Most business people in our churches in North America are completely unaware of opportunities for them in missions.  The stereotype of mission is still to serve in remote places to work with unskilled nationals.  Whereas the reality is that their life skills are critically needed to disciple the nations to start and build sustainable enterprises operated by Christian leaders. By being useful in this way, business people serving earn the right to be heard and make a difference for God.  This is an under marketed, largely untold story, with a difficult pathway, even to those inclined to take it.

It is appreciated by those in the movement that business people can get involved in the following ways:

  • Conduct business seminars in the cities of the emerging world.  This is a way to initiate productive relationships.
  • Consult, build, re-build, turn around and/or administer businesses and NGOs performing below their capacity and capability.
  • Travel or even live overseas to advise and support growing national businesses.
  • Move overseas to oversee burgeoning BAM movements.
  • Invest in companies overseas and interact closely with senior management

Finishers Project (FP) has a broad footprint into evangelical America engage business people to serve in the BAM movement. FP and the entire BAM movement really do not know how to get the attention of the target business audience or how to position the opportunities in a compelling way. Another way to say this is that FP has a good reach to the supply side for this movement.  It is the demand side that is unclear for this demographic that generally operates only in spaces of clarity.

THE PROPOSAL 

To develop pathways—the demand-side for recruiting business people into missions, the Business Professional Network (BPN) and FP are working collaboratively on a means to identify and direct candidates for BAM positions to mission agency and other organizations that facilitate BAM workers, short-term or long term.  This is intended to be a research, discovery and beta test for best marketing practices to attract Christian business people in the missions movement.  For more than 10 years Finishers has been matchmaking second-career adults, mostly boomers, into the 100+ agencies that have used Finishers to assist in their recruiting.  Finishers Project sponsors events for mid-life adults as well as connecting people by the Internet.  Over the years, the number and caliber of qualified spiritually mature people of any age entering a profile has been rising.

THE INVITATION

This is an invitation to participate in the consultation and beta test of whatever is developed as an outcome.  The consultation will include a number of seasoned business people that have indicated an interest in finding a spot in serving the Lord among the nations. Come prepared with having identified several positions in your organization where there is a need to be filled by qualified business people who are open to get involved in some aspect of BAM part-time or full-time. The objective is to gather ideas so as to contribute to facilitating the movement. The need is to break-the-code to attract well-qualified people by collaborating as stakeholders in a way that your organization could not do on its own. 

How you can participate in this consultation and beta test?

  • Provide a thorough job description, including the location (or region, if sensitive) of the work for inclusion a new BAM website owned and operated by Finishers Project.
  • Provide a mission, vision, core values, goals and objectives statement for this movement within your organization or for at least one initiative on the drawing board or even underway.  If that is not available, send what you have for us to work over with you. This can be completed on the website or submitted for FP to enter.
  • Outline how you will process inquirers who respond to the postings–the option will be entirely yours, your agency will not be revealed on the website, but when good matches appear, you will want to be able to respond appropriately and quickly. Inquirers pay close attention to how they are treated.
  • Submit your plan as to how you will make engagement decisions and then prepare new staff for the field. Best practices will be shared collaboratively.
  • Finishers Project can supply candidates. Also, you probably know 2 or 3 in your own church that would qualify.
  • Participate in the consultation with BAM leaders from your organization.
  • Depending on the outcome of the consultation, participate in the ongoing initiative.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • Mission agency leaders and leaders of churches and other ministries with responsibility for bringing business leaders to their organization for whatever reason—to set up enterprises, mentor nationals in enterprises, develop a BAM track within their organization, sponsor or facilitate short-term trips with business leaders.
  • Organizations that train business leaders in international and cultural issues.
  • Leaders in financial organizations that fund international business enterprises
  • Business men and women seeking to serve in missions, but cannot see a clear point of entry.
  • Those interested in contributing to a movement to market and make the business as mission option to a generation of seasoned business people.

ACTION

When: Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time: 8:15AM-9:00AM Free Continental Get-Acquainted Breakfast

Time: 9:00AM-3:00PM BAM Consultation (Lunch Provided)

Where: Hilton Charlotte University Place, Charlotte, NC

Cost: No Charge, but we do ask for your best efforts.

Whether you decide to participate in the test or are only very interested at this time, you are to attend the consultation, facilitated by John Warton President of BPN and Finishers Project founder, Nelson Malwitz.

Please contact us to discuss this in detail.


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