Five Books About Business As Mission

By Doug Priest

Tentmaking: Business as Missions
By Patrick Lai
Authentic Media, 2005

Interviews with more than 450 people serving in countries that can be accessed only through creative strategies form the backbone to this introductory yet comprehensive book on tentmaking. Seminary-trained Patrick Lai has used business to serve overseas for more than 20 years. In both a “how-to” and an “everything-you-need-to-know” book, the author provides workable alternatives to conventional missionary life. Lai helps the reader to understand the business as mission strategy.

Where There Are No Jobs
By David Befus
Latin America Mission, 2005

People are expected to earn their daily bread, but in a world of increasing levels of unemployment, it is hard to find work. David Befus’s book presents ways to respond to this need. Microenterprise has proven to be an important means to confront world poverty and move people beyond dependency. Educated in business and management, Befus worked with World Vision and World Relief before becoming president of Latin American Mission. His book is a practical guide, demonstrating that productive economic activity is an important tool for holistic social transformation.

God Is at Work
By Ken Eldred
Regal Books, 2005

The flyleaf of this book states, “Global business has the potential to bring cultural values, greater economic prosperity, and blessings to the nations of the world.” Ken Eldred chronicles his own journey and spiritual walk in the exciting business as mission movement, one that is becoming a key mission strategy for the 21st century. Eldred demonstrates that kingdom entrepreneurs—those in the church with a background in business—can be legitimately involved in missions in ways that use their unique gifts.

Great Commission Companies: The Emerging Role of Business in Missions
By Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen
InterVarsity Press, 2003

Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen provide conclusive evidence that globalization presents many opportunities for kingdom advancement. Great Commission companies can be formed to create business in strategic locations. Opportunities for witnessing abound, those without work can be employed, and profits can be generated for ministry. These companies are legitimate and profit-driven. They are not fronts, but follow a sound business and ministry plan.

On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies
Edited by Tetsunao Yamamori and Kenneth Eldred
Crossway Books, 2003

The first Consultation for Holistic Entrepreneurs was convened October 3-5, 2002. Yamamori and Eldred have collected and published papers presented at the consultation in this significant volume of case studies and essays. In 24 chapters the authors highlight lessons learned, best practices, sound theology, and suggestions for the future. On Kingdom Business demonstrates that ministry is taking place in Israel, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Kyrgyzstan—areas closed to conventional missionary approaches.

Doug Priest is executive director of Christian Missionary Fellowship.

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