Serve Blog — June 2024

Business Assisting Missions: An Introduction

We all know the famous story of Nate Saint and his companions who flew a small plane into the Ecuador jungle to try to share the Gospel. Their vehicle of choice, the humble prop plane, has been used for generations to reach into far flung corners of the globe.

In recent years, though, there are several fields of Gospel labor where a new vehicle is needed. Whereas Creative Access Nations used to be counted on one hand, more and more nations are difficult to enter long-term with an explicitly religious purpose. What vehicle can get us into some of those fields?

The vehicle many are now using is business. Let’s look further into what this vehicle is and how it can benefit the spread of the Gospel.

The term business as missions (BAM) describes intentionally using the tool of business for furthering the work of the Gospel in a particular field. Without going into all the ways it has been adapted and broadened by some, let us agree on this point: Business ≠ missions. So it is not business as missions. Rather what we are describing is business assisting missions.*

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How can business assist missions?

Integrating business into a disciple-making strategy for a particular field or people group focus can provide several benefits.


Many countries who restrict access for religious purposes welcome people coming to invest in and build up their nation and its economy. Thus, business provides a Gospel worker with a neutral reason for gaining visa access and standing in a country, often referred to as a “visa platform.” Even within a country, many communities and regions are difficult for outsiders to penetrate. They are the ‘deepest darkest jungles’ of our modern eras, where millions of souls are perishing, and the “prop plane” that gets us there nowadays, is often business.


A business platform can help in answering the “Who are you and why are you here?” questions in a way that does not immediately shut down the conversation. Instead, we can speak of our connection to Christ (“I’m a follower of Jesus.”), our submission to God’s will (“I’m here because I asked God what to do with my life and I believe He wants me here.”), and our desire to do genuine good (“I’m working with X business, and want to see it be used by God for this area to flourish.”), rather than leading with the unnecessarily distracting term “missionary.” That only leads to confusion and being canceled because of its connotations.

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Business ventures provide many opportunities for meeting and building relationships with lost people: suppliers, customers, employees and their families, competitors, and so on. Imagine being the first true disciple of Christ many will ever have worked around, under, or beside. Your honesty, work ethic, compassion, and ambitions all preach Christ to those observing you before you even have a chance to open your mouth. But open it you must. The “prop plane” of business got you there, but you must get beyond the runway and bear witness in the jungle.

Business is one vehicle to get us there, one tool in the toolbox, but it never replaces the biblically mandated means of our Gospel work: the Holy Spirit, personal holiness, dedicated prayer, and bold proclamation. Next month we’ll look at some special considerations necessary for navigating this vehicle ethically.

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This month’s Serve is written by one of BMM’s Creative Access workers. The July edition will be part two of this two-part series on Business Assisting Missions

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