Ever heard the phrase in missions, “doing business as mission?” I’ve heard it used to describe professional missionaries who go to their respective fields with a platform (such as a business) to gain access into a closed country legally or to gain credibility among the people of a culture. We see some solid biblical examples in the life of Paul.
But in today’s culture, while we might hear the phrase “business as mission” used, I believe we should consider changing our wording to doing “business with mission.” Though replacing “as” with “with” may look like a minute change, it actually alters the meaning significantly in my opinion.
Doing business with mission can be an accurate description of living and working in a place (either at home or in another culture) missionally. It’s not simply creating a “platform” only to gain access into a culture and then not actually carrying out that task. If we create
Living missionally is an effective and authentic way to be a missionary (with or without the title) in a culture. It simply means integrating missionary efforts naturally into daily work and play.
If we all lived missionally, it wouldn’t matter where we lived or what we did. If every part of our lives is meant to be worship, and if everything we do counts as worship, then we should do it all for the glory of God.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. - 1 Cor. 10:31
Not only can we give glory to God through our work in business, social activism, art, or any other field, but it’s through our work that we can also win the respect of outsiders.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. - 1 Thess. 4:10-12
So how could this affect global mission efforts? I see a day where thousands of believers intentionally take jobs overseas to live out their faith incarnationally in the marketplace and communities of the world. I see this as a new wave of missionary efforts in the future. And I think the local church can support them not so much with finances but with prayers, accountability, encouragement and emotional support. PLUS view them as real missionaries sent out by their church by commissioning them when possible.