Opening doors through business ministries
By SIM Australia | Asia in International
God has uniquely gifted each of us with skills that we can use to serve in His global mission. Business ministries mobilise entrepreneurs, professionals and tradespeople so they can use their skills as a platform to share the Gospel with those they interact with.
More than just a platform to serve in creative access countries, the vision of SIM’s Business Ministries is to see flourishing workers in sustainable business environments that are transforming communities where Christ is least known.
Some of the businesses within SIM include artisan handcrafts, language institutes, tourism, vocational training, business consulting, food processing, personal coaching and many more. In Asia, business ministry enables mission workers to develop an identity within the community, build trust with locals and integrate into the culture quickly.
Praise God, SIM mission workers in business ministries are serving least reached communities in 9 countries around Asia. Looking to the future of business ministries in this region, the Global Ministry Point Person for SIM’s Business Ministries, JP Gradone, said, “Business Ministries opens up an opportunity for people who have always had a desire to serve God oversees, but only saw the possibility in the context of the traditional mission model. Business Ministries allows them to align their vocational skill set with the calling of God to the unreached in a holistic manner.”
Stephen and Lucy* – two SIM Australia workers serving in Asia – joined an existing BAM English teaching business through which they have been able to genuinely be part of the community and stand shoulder to shoulder with the local people.
With only a few weeks to position themselves as English teachers in their community before their first COVID lockdown happened, they pivoted to YouTube video tutorials and running online classes. “It was two years of hard work, but we learned a lot,” they said. Since then, after things opened up again, business opportunities have changed and they are now running in-person classes in newly rented classrooms and corporate classes at various workplaces. The couple have enjoyed being able to build connections with professionals who are eager to learn English and open to discussing their faith. They look forward to building up the business team, employing more staff and building deeper connections with those they encounter.
Reflecting on what they have learnt about serving in business ministries, Stephen shared:
“We currently have the privilege of participating in a course about the theology of business. It’s been such a blessing for us to reorient our hearts toward a God-focused perspective on money and business. The leader has been encouraging us to realise that business is just a tool that God has given us as a means to help lift burdens off people. The aim of a business isn’t profit (though we must steward our resources towards profit so our businesses can continue to run and bless people). However, the aim is to seek to provide help and blessing to as many people as possible. And so, as we make some steps forward in our business, there is a real joy in thinking about how God might use these steps to bring more people blessing and to let them see something of Him.”
• For Stephen and Lucy as they continue to learn and serve.
• For the Business Ministries model to have increasing success in reaching people with the gospel.
• That God would lead more people with workplace skills to use them in sharing the love of Christ with those who don't yet know Him.
*Names changed for privacy