1 Corinthians, chapter 12 talks about the many talents and abilities of Christians in the Church. Obviously, the Church needs preachers, teachers, and youth pastors. Not so obvious, are the secretaries, accountants, and other professionals who do important work in the Church as well.
I put myself in the “not so obvious” group and am living proof that God can use any talent or gift on the mission field. Thankfully, my business skills, sales and marketing training, and entrepreneurial spirit are a perfect fit for serving in business as missions within One Mission Society in Hungary.
Business as missions, also known as social entrepreneurship, is the practice of developing creative business ideas into actual business ventures that focus on three things:
- Building relationships through the workplace with employees, customers, and the community.
- Providing goods and services that benefit and add of value to the community
- Operating a healthy business that is sustainable, profitable, and willing to invest in and improve the community.
The First element of business as missions is to build relationships. People spend most of their day at work and are heavily influenced by the culture of their workplace. Most people in the world are employed by privately-owned small businesses. Christian business people have the unique opportunity to create a work environment based on Christian principles that models them in every aspect of management. In addition, they have the ability to build relationships with employees and customers outside of church related ministries. The workplace is an important environment for today’s mission organizations to make an impact in a community.
The second element to business as missions is to provide resources that benefit and add value to the local community. The best business people understand the marketplace and the material needs of their customers. They create products or services that are in demand and make them available for purchase. In Business as Missions, businesses not only understand people’s material needs, but also their spiritual needs. Businesses have the ability to use their resources to create initiatives to help people in need.
Last, it is important for any business to be well managed and profitable. For a business to be successful, it has to provide a better product than its competition. Christian Businesses should be Christ-like in dealing with customers and competitors. They should stand out among the competition in a positive way. Well-managed businesses that provide quality products make money. In business as missions, profitability is directly associated with good stewardship. Everything belongs to God and must be used for his kingdom at its full potential. Profit is invested back into into the community via ministry. More profit equals more resources for local ministry and less reliance on donations and fund raising.
Our team will use our business experience in Christian education to open an English speaking Christian preschool in Budapest Hungary. The business will cater to middle class Hungarian parents and help meet the demand for quality preschool in the city. In Hungary, preschool for three and four year olds is mandatory, and parents are drawn to centers that teach English. The preschool project is a great example of business as missions because it will directly minister to children, families, and employees, provide value to the community, and generate profit to be invested in other ministry within OMS.
I am excited to serve the Lord in Business as missions in Hungary. It is truly a blessing to have this opportunity to build a new business and ministry model for the organization. This preschool is a great way to build relationships in the community and will impact people’s lives with the Gospel. It is also a profitable business venture that will help other important ministries in the city. My prayer is that God will use our team’s talents and abilities in business to support the work that he is doing in Budapest and beyond.
– By Aaron DePue, Future OMS Hungary Team Member