A question for readers

I am in the process of assembling a business and mission primer for publication in the coming weeks (approximately 45-50 pages). My intent is to first publish it as an ebook but am curious to know what questions folk would like to have addressed. Also, is there any interest in a print version? Some material in this primer is adapted from my book, Eden’s Bridge: The Marketplace in Creation and Mission, but obviously in much less detail and at a much lower price. The aim is to make foundational information more accessible to foster more discussion on the role marketplace Christians have to play in God’s movement in and through the business world.

Let me know your thoughts.


Filed under Announcements, Faith in the Marketplace

3 responses to “A question for readers

  1. First, Dave, I find your writing and propositions excellent. With little time to do so, I’ve often dipped into your posts. Kudos.

    Seems I carry the journal pages and the title of a pioneer in what is still sometimes called tentmaking (co-founding Frontiers, field director, then Strategic Ventures Network…stuff like that). I fought long to counter those who suggested TM and BAM as mostly a means to ease the burden of the church in sending missionaries. Then there were those of us who first used the “tent” concept as a prime piece in our entry strategy in restricted access nations despite it more often than not lacked integrity. Eventually it morphed into a committment to the pivotal issue: the crucial primacy of “for profit” as the cornerstone of the goal which is establishing a believable platform for the Gospel.

    I’ve been surprised, frankly, that much of what seems to be labled “tentmaking” today is growing in the intra-cultural movement of business as a platform for witness in the American setting. I argue that few enterprises are established with the primary watermark as a witness tool. That’s fine and commendable. The rest is living out the Gospel of Grace in the marketplace as the natural consequence of salt and light in a darkening world. Nothing extraordinary or even “spiritual” about the platform itself. It’s just going to work and asserting Christ as the One True Purpose in life.

    Now to your question. With the popularity of e-readers in simple and inexpensive forms, I like the idea of pegging the essentials of what a calling is, facing the challenge of relevance and using by all means possible. That’s a big piece of work (which you seem capable of in time and skill). Then follow it with a book.

    One observation, very probably a faulty one. I don’t recall seeing much connection in Eden’s Bridge with the large and growing body of marketplace Christians and missionary types using business as a legit platform to execute their calling. If you are not familiar with the OPEN network and of guys like Patrick Lai wrote an excellent missionary volume as pasted below. If my sense is true, you may find that reinventing the wheel does diservice to the field and your own gifts.

    Amazon.com/books (Five stars)
    Amazon.com: Tentmaking: The Life and Work of Business as …
    (3 Reviews) ” Patrick and his wife are two of the most experienced and effective tentmakers today. This long-awaited book is the clearest and most comprehensive treatment of the …

    • Thank you for your kind words. They are very encouraging.

      I agree that “living out the Gospel of Grace in the marketplace” is the appropriate approach to business as an evangelistic endeavor. As you say, it is not the platform itself that makes the enterprise a spiritual undertaking.

      You said: I like the idea of pegging the essentials of what a calling is, facing the challenge of relevance and using by all means possible.” The only sense in which I discussed calling in my book was under the heading “Misguided Calling,” which was about those equipped in one area (such as pastoral care or church planting) trying to branch into disciplines (economic development) where they have no experience, training, or developed expertise. This section addresses the need for humility by missions practitioners to “share” their ministry with those appropriately equipped. All that said, your interest in seeing something on calling has inspired me and I will be working on a first draft today.

      I do address the area of marketplace ministries (models and such) in the book as well. I have been familiar with Patrick Lai for some time and have some articles of his in my files though I have not read his book. It is one I need to add to my Amazon wish list, even if only to have it available to me as a reference.

      Thank you, also, for chiming in. Your comments are very valuable to me and the material I develop on calling will be included in the ebook. Please stay engaged with me. Your experience and insights are very important to be shared as the Church continues to engage the marketplace as a witnessing venue.

      Dave Doty

  2. A print version is always my first choice! and Hey I would love to see some of your stuff in a book. Maybe we will both make it there, yea? We will!!!

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