‘Business as Missions’ gives Christians access to the inaccessible

By June 26, 2006

USA (MNN) — Business is providing not only the door to a country, but also the financial stability to keep ministry sustained once established. That’s the concept behind the Evangelical Free Church of America’s ‘Business as Missions’ program.

EFCA’s Kelly Schwedland says, “There’s a lot of the world where people can’t walk in and say, ‘Hey, we’re missionaries.’ We call those creative or restrictive access countries. One of the things we’ve been working on is creating a business platform that is real business that the missionaries can be a part of, but at the same time allow them an opportunity to share what they believe.”

According to Schwedland, as missionaries are successful, nationals turn to Christ. He says, “They’re not well received once they make a decision for Christ. And so, often times, we need to help them by helping them create their own businesses.”

They also help national believers develop businesses that can support the church and outreach efforts.

Schwedland says this isn’t a front to access a country. “What I don’t really care for is to say, ‘Well, we’re a business. We going into a country, put out a shingle, but we don’t actually do business.’ It seems to me a little bit fraudulent. I’ve been a big proponent of saying, ‘If we’ve got a place that says it’s a business, let’s go in and make it a real business.'”

EFCA is helping in computers, micro-enterprise lending, agriculture and other business endeavors. Schwedland says they need experts in the field to help. “What we’re looking for is the business folks in the church to be involve with missions — to step to the plate and spend a week or two weeks in x,y or z country and train some people how to do business.”

While the end goal is to see people come to Christ, it’s more than that. “That, that church is self-sustaining. That church can then support a pastor, who can in addition share the Gospel to the indigenous peoples and we can see the Gospel spread.”

Click on the link below to get connected with the EFCA.

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