Mission to the World held a Business as Mission (BAM) conference in Athens, Greece in late April. While the focus of the speakers was BAM -- a lot of the attendees were interested in vocational ministry. What's the difference?
Business as Mission has been more narrowly defined in recent years as entrepreneurial business start-up or entrepreneurial business start-up training in countries where BAM can be used to start local businesses with Christian values. Vocational ministry has been used as a term more lately to describe one's living out one's Christian values in the workplace -- whether or not a new business is developed though entrepreneurial efforts.
Both can be seen as a kind of tent-making activity -- but that too has come to be more narrowly defined as some one who engages in some secular work in order to support their full-time, non-secular ministry (think of the difference between the Apostle Paul who engaged in "tent-making" to enhance his ministry and Aquila and Priscilla who made tents for a living -- which in fact became their ministry.)
Kelsey Wiggs video on vocational ministry was reviewed by attendees (see the post on the Kelsey Wiggs Facebook video on this site). David Veldhorst, an MTW recruiter, reported that over the last three months he has seen more and more interest by professionals regarding opportunities to use their vocational skills in multinational or national corporations, companies and agencies globally.
Jud gave a report on creating a new ministry deployment platform -- The 18.26 Network -- as a way to deploy men and women in ministry overseas where their primary source of income is their "secular" work. A great deal of discussion followed Jud's report, centering around how we can better create services that would support the ministry of these professional men and women.
The next step for the 18.26 Network would be to create a field advisory council for the development of these services and a plan for integrating vocational ministry into church-planting and team strategies.
Jud and Jan Lamos have been in global ministry for over 40 years -- not combined years -- but 40 sequential years together. They have lived in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas and now travel extensively to globalize Mission to the World's vision, values and goals. These blogs add special insight into their lives of service.