Thursday, March 23, 2006

Business As Mission Reading List

Below is a reading list (most with a short review) I've compiled over the last few years surrounding the topic of using business as mission. I hope you will find it useful if you are interested in this topic. Have you read any of these books? If so, which one did you like best and what did you like or dislike about it?

God is At Work: Transforming People and Nations Through Business by Ken Eldred

This book is the most recent (2005) encouraging the movement of Business as Mission. It lays out a good biblical basis and history for this movement and discusses the prime opportunities for using business as mission in the world today.

Business As Mission: Occasional Paper No. 59 (2005)

This extensive paper was produced by an Issue Group for this topic at the 2004 Forum for global evangelization hosted by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. This group identified Business As Mission as one of the primary issues / topics to discuss and emphasize in evangelizing today’s world.

On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies Tetsunao Yamamori (Editor)

This book is what inspired me to write up a case study of the work my team and I did in Jinja, Uganda (that I shared at the workshop) The book proposes a new model for using business in missions: kingdom entrepreneurship. Kingdom entrepreneurs are "job-makers," starting for-profit businesses of all sizes--real businesses that meet real needs. This book provides a conceptual foundation for kingdom entrepreneurship and explores its contemporary development using case studies of kingdom businesses and reflecting on the lessons kingdom entrepreneurs have already learned. Yamamori has other good books on this topic as well.

Kingdom Business: The Ministry of Promoting Economic Activity by David Befus

Befus has a lot of Latin American economic development ministry experience and shares it well in this book

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider

This book gives a great Biblical basis for why Christians should be concerned for the poor in the world. He provides lots of great stats to emphasize the disparity and lack of justice throughout the world. Sider has been highly criticized as an economist though.

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen

Won Nobel Prize for this material. Approaches development from the perspective that we should strive to give access to appropriate “freedoms” to the poor of the world. Political freedom, freedom from hunger, lack of healthcare, etc.

Walking With the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development by Bryant L. Myers

Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster

Great book that encourages Christians to strive for the spiritual discipline of simplicity and to ensure our comfort is based on God and not material things. This is important both in the developed and developing worlds.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman

Friedman contrasts the world as it existed in the days of the Cold War to that of the phenomenon of today’s globalization.

When Corporations Rule the World by David Korten

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits by C.K. Prahalad

Great book! For those interested in more of the “how to do business in the developing world” aspect of this topic, this is a great start to that field. It discusses the vast opportunities available but how businesses will have to completely rethink business models to be successful in the developing world. And by doing so, it not only benefits the business but those in poverty as well.

Economic Development: Theory and Practice for a Divided World by Stuart R. Lynn, 2003. Introductory textbook for multicultural economic development field that I've used teaching Harding on-line MBA classes.

The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else by Hernando DeSoto

DeSoto raises the idea that one of the key differences between the developed and developing capitalistic countries is that the developed countries have access to capital through a formal legal property system and developing countries do not.

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey Sachs

Sachs is world renowned for his global work advising world leaders and economies in crisis. After 25 years in the field he has put together this vision for the keys to economic success and his steps necessary to achieve that success.

Additional Websites / Organizations Bono of U2’s organization. Bono spent a couple of months at an orphanage in Ethiopia that inspired his work of today. Specific info on debt in developing countries More on debt relief Recent U.S. Government enactment for responsible international development This is my former mission team’s website that has been reconstructed recently with lots of good new information. It has a few articles I wrote from my involvement in Christian economic development initiatives there. Missions’ websites and newsletters from developing countries are generally a great resource to learn more about the daily struggles of those in developing countries – a more micro level look at poverty. You can find several good Missions links at

Team Expansion is a Christian Church based missions organization focusing on unevangelized countries and not afraid to use business as part of their missions approach.

Christian Missionary Fellowship, International is also a Christian Church based missions organization with a great and successful history. It encourages and looks for opportunities for business, medical, or any lay Christians to do what they are good at on the mission field.


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