A Specific Kind of BAM (Business as Mission)
For many within the church world, the idea of BAM (Business as Mission) has come to mean “Christians doing business.” We agree all business run and operated by faith-driven individuals is missional and should be celebrated and stewarded as such. However, within this broader conversation of BAM there have always been those who have a narrower, more specific idea in mind. For this group the context of the business has always been a key determining factor. For them it is about business in the context of poverty and/or among populations with limited or little access to the gospel. Secondly, it focuses on business creation that extends livable wages to marginalized or otherwise hard to employ people. And finally, its primary focus is on wealth creation for indigenous people and their communities requiring a “patient capital” and shared ownership approach from outside investors and entrepreneurs.
The premise is that when faith-driven people create genuine businesses in difficult contexts that employ marginalized people and make wealth creation possible for the local community we help create the conditions by which people can lift themselves out of poverty. Furthermore, our willingness to genuinely and sacrificially invest in these contexts allows the gospel a chance to advance in ways that are authentic, dignity giving and self-sustaining.
We are among those who have adopted this narrower focus within the larger BAM narrative. We use the acronym SaT (which stands for “Sustainable and Transformative”) in reference to all the charitable work the church would do and especially with regards to business creation. By working with faith-driven individuals, businesses, churches and other organizations it is our intention to champion, support and help resource a type of company within the BAM movement called SaT Corporations (SaTCorps) that choose to organize their business around these ideals. We believe this is one of the most effective and life-giving means by which the church might serve the poor and advance the gospel.