J.S.’s JOURNEY: DISCOVERING ‘BUSINESS AS MISSION’
Have you ever had a moment in life that makes you stop in your tracks? I had one some years ago while backpacking in Southeast Asia. After a long day of walking, I found myself in a village and discovered I was the first Christian to stop there. No one had met a Christian before, and not one person had seen a Bible. I was their first messenger for Christ. In this moment, I knew God wanted me to take His teachings into places like this around the world and spread His message.
My moment of recognition for our full mission was all the more poignant because I was a newer follower of Jesus. I didn’t become a Christian until I was in my 20s. While I was stationed overseas for the Air Force, I backpacked through the mountains of Southeast Asia, and it was during one of these trips I heard a call from God. I didn’t sleep the entire night. I was flooded with scriptures about God’s love being everything. I learned His ultimate vision is sharing His message with those hardest reached.
After that, I became more educated about the Bible’s teachings. I finished college and met a wonderful woman (now my wife) who also wanted to share the message of God in places that had never heard it. Our mission took us to places where nobody had heard of Jesus. It wasn’t always easy, but in the most challenging times, we turned to God.
We came to see that people who didn’t know God had difficulty understanding why we were coming to them, so we began working business principles into our teaching. Working in an economic identity made our mission relatable to people and gave us a reason to be there that they could understand.
Eventually, I realized I love business and the power it has to transcend cultures and borders. I came back to the United States and got an MBA. Later, I returned overseas to establish more missions. Although I didn’t see it right away, now I saw what was there all along: Business As Mission. iBAM.