BAM Think Tank China Regional Group Report
Executive Summary (© BAM Think Tank 2013)
China’s economic growth of eight to ten percent annually for the last twenty years, creates an ideal commercial environment for business as mission (BAM) within China. There are many opportunities for doing business and large amounts of foreign investment available.
At the same time, as one BAM practitioner in China has noted, “China has one of the largest unreached populations in the world, business is a significant channel for Christians to effectively impact countless people and help set them free from sin.” Business brings relationships and connections that are a natural context for showing love and sharing the message of the gospel. Business people have many opportunities to share the gospel and establish close relationships and friendships with people from different walks of life including owners of large businesses and government officials. These opportunities are available to them because of their business involvement.
The business as mission companies profiled in this report tell the stories of many decisions for Christ, the discipleship of new believers, Bible study groups formed, church leaders trained and local churches added to or planted. These businesses in China have also had an influence through job creation, improved working conditions and benefits, improved standards of living, training up the workforce, imparting biblical values for work and family and challenging corruption, among other things.
At the same time, as the Church in China grows exponentially, the desire to do mission from China is also growing. As a Chinese contributor observes, “First, we must be involved in the Great Commission; second, we must grow into maturity through giving; third, the Chinese Christians will bring a new dynamic into world missions, both to the international Christian community and the unreached people groups.”
With a conservative estimate of 70 million Christians in China, the potential impact of their mission involvement can be far-reaching as they grow stronger and become better equipped. However, the Chinese mission movement is still growing into maturity and experience of business as mission is very new. The Chinese church both inside mainland China and overseas has a long way to go to fully understand and embrace the strategy of business as mission. They must learn from their own difficult experiences and also connect with the wider BAM movement in order to be more effective for the future.
In this report the opportunities and challenges of doing business as mission both in and from China are shared. These observations from surveys, case studies and a SWOT analysis confirm great potential for BAM in and from China. It is a desirable approach to mission and Kingdom transformation as both the missional and commercial aspects show continued strength and abundant opportunity. Fruitful strategies, recommendations and action plans, plus available resources and networks are also shared in the hope that they will contribute to a multiplication of effective BAM practices in and from China.
This report is written for those interested in knowing about BAM in or from China, Chinese BAM practitioners, BAM practitioners in China, and organizations or churches facilitating BAM in or from China.