I had an opportunity to attend training on Christian Entrepreneurship Development conducted by North East Christian University (NECU) and International Ministries of American Baptist Churches in USA (IM-ABCUSA) from January to June, 2022.
I had a very vague understanding of business. I thought business was selling and buying only. A general feeling is that business people always seek profit by cheating the customers. And so Christians, especially Christian ministers, should not engage in business. It is often considered as worldly activity. I also had a similar view. I am sure many Christians would consider business enterprise negatively because of other-worldly/soul-winning theology. Nevertheless, economic progress is crucial for all humanity. If we do not engage in economic enterprise, how can we progress? Our people are poor because we are not engaged in business. This trend needs to be changed.
The facilitators of the training introduced “Faith-based Social Entrepreneurship,” a new concept for me. Many Christians in the villages, especially Christian ministers, are poor because we do not teach our people to involve in faith-based social entrepreneurship. It was an eye opener when our facilitators said, “faith-based business is not only for personal gain but for the transformation of the whole community of God.” As followers of Christ and faithful servants of God, we have to engage in community transformation. We can alleviate poverty by creating different jobs and enhancing the quality of marginalized communities. I am fully convinced that the Kingdom of God, which our Lord Jesus proclaimed, is not just soul-winning but social development. I now understand that to involve in social entrepreneurship is biblical, and we all must do something to enhance the quality of people.
Serving God involves giving hope to someone who does not have hope in their lives. Faith-based social entrepreneurship has a lot of potentials to give marginalized people hope. It is integral to the Christian mission/ministry. This opens up many opportunities for God’s work in all spheres of life. We need a business that enhances the quality of the community, especially the poor and marginalized, not just the wealthy capitalist and cooperates. Cheating, adulteration, and manipulative business are against Christian principles, and we denounce them. But a business enterprise that transforms the whole community is what the bible teaches us. Let us reaffirm the dignity of labour, tape the resources, and use them judiciously for the development of our people. Let us serve our people by promoting varieties of enterprise development.