India (MNN) — The unmarked envelope swelling with cash, passed across desks and secretly slipped into briefcases, often means a one-way ticket to a business license in India.
Bribes are often a way of life for Indian businesspeople. It can be difficult to get around red tape hassles without them.
NPR reports that starting a business in the United States takes an average of 6 days, but in India it takes around 30 days, according to a U.S. study.
How do Christians in India build a successful business while maintaining integrity?
The Global Advance Marketplace Missions Conference paves the path for Christian businesspeople in India by providing quality business training to advance a missional business vision.
David Shibley with Global Advance says they teach “that you can raise a standard of integrity in the marketplace and honor the Lord in every way in the business arena. I think it’s going to be a catalytic time for these young men and women who are…just now getting some of the real bumps and bruises in the business arena to be encouraged to keep their eyes on the prize and help recreate a new India.”
The conference is this weekend, June 14-18, in partnership with One Hope. The Global Advance Marketplace Missions track is just one branch of the conference. The main portion will be in eastern India with a smaller, more intimate portion in southern India.
“These are going to be hundreds of some of India’s finest young men and women who are very committed to being lights for Christ in the business arena and also raising up these Great Commission companies that can help fund the purposes of Christ within their nation and beyond,” says Shibley.
Shibley states that India is a pivotal focus for missional business training. “India is going to be—and already is—an economic powerhouse, but that’s going to increase in the days ahead, and they will be one of the major economic players of the 21st century. So for Christians to thrive in a culture that has often blacklisted Christians in the marketplace is very important.”
It’s no secret that India can be a difficult place for Christians to live. But despite persecution in pockets on India, the Church is growing. “That means there is going to need to be far more funding of the church and for the purposes of Christ in that nation,” says Shibley.
Business as Missions can support the Church and reach others who would never set foot in a sanctuary. Integrity in business is odd enough in India, so for people to notice a difference in how a Christian does business can open conversation about their transformation in Christ.
Please pray for those at the conference this weekend. Pray for Christian businesspeople to maintain integrity that their work might be a platform for excellence and the Gospel in India.
$50 sends one person to Global Advance Marketplace Missions Conference. Click here to give a businessperson in India the gift of training.