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My business, my ministry - Part 2

Monday, March 28, 2016


Last week I shared the story of Michelle, a student in a course I taught last year at a graduate school in western Canada. She was transformed by the understanding of a theology of work and the concept that her work was her ministry. She had written me after the course saying that she had turned the keys of her company over to the new CEO, Jesus. Skip back to Part 1 if you didn't have a chance to read it or see the video IBEC produced with her story.

Such life transformation was in and of itself rewarding with its potential Kingdom implications in Canada. Michelle owned a large company with offices in several major cities in western Canada. The impact within the context of her employees, clients, vendors and the wider business community could be gigantic.

I could not have imagined the rest of the story!

I returned again this year to teach the "Strategies for Business as Mission" course. On the first morning with my new class, Michelle’s daughter came bouncing into the room to greet me (she is a student in the same college) and exclaimed, “Guess what!” I knew I couldn’t.

Here's the rest of the story.

Jana started with the current “story” first and then brought me up to speed. “We are moving to another country”, she exclaimed. As it turns out, the entire family had been to an impoverished Central American country four times in the last year. Their vision – to bring the poorest of the poor, many living off the garbage dumps of the capital city, into viable jobs and a relationship with Jesus. Jana, explained, "Dr. Sharp – we 'got' what you were saying and we have been acting on it in Canada and now we are going to act on it overseas. Jesus loved us and gave us life. We knew we wanted to create jobs as a way to love the people and live like Jesus and make disciples."

An involvement like that would have been enough for me, but she continued, “People all over the place in my mom’s company are learning to live and love like Jesus.”She went on to say, “My mom’s business is up for sale and our whole family, including me, are moving to Central America – it is what Jesus would do!”

Business as Mission is for all of us. It is for all professions. In the marketplace of life we can live out the Kingdom of God – we can love and live like Jesus. Bill Job explains it simply. It is “walking with God at work.”


Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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My business, my ministry - Part 1

Sunday, March 20, 2016


“Last night I gave the keys to my company over to its new CEO, Jesus Christ.” These were the words of Michelle, the co-founder and managing partner of a large recruitment firm in a Canadian capital city.

Michelle had lived in several countries, travelled widely and owned several companies. Recently she was a nominee for one of the “Top Women of Business” in her province. She is one of Canada’s top career development coaches and she has managed Fortune 500 companies and Deloitte Best Managed companies. Yet something was missing.

I met Michelle, in February 2015 while teaching a graduate level course at a Christian college in her Canadian city. Even though super busy as a corporate executive she registered for the course, entitled “Strategies for Business as Mission”, which began with the reading of Dale Losch’s book,A Better Way – Making Disciples Wherever Life Happens. Says Michelle, “…I could not ignore the quiet, still voice that was prompting me to join the BAM module week” (with its 35 hours of classroom interaction).

At the end of the course she wrote, “What a transformative week for me! In the 5 ½ years I have owned my company, and several others prior to this business, it never occurred to me that my business was my ministry. I have always separated full-time ministry from business.”

Michelle knew she had a passion for business and she even had an early desire, as a follower of Jesus, to “full-time ministry”, but she thought she had missed God’s best by not becoming a full-time minister or missionary so she settled for what in her mind was “second best”. She knew she had “a unique ability to spot opportunities, to understand threats , look around corners and grow strong teams” and she even knew it was a gift from God, but always wondered why God would bless her that way – what was His end game?

Her business success was clear, and she even spent time in East Africa and Central America asking how she could help those in poverty and without Jesus. Up to now it just seemed like the “odd charity stint” but it never thoroughly integrated with who she was in a holistic way.

One of the last assignments of the class was for each student to write a paper telling how things are going to be different in the marketplace of life, as a result of the class. One week after the class, Michelle wrote me, “Last night I gave the keys of my company over to its new CEO, Jesus Christ…what a wonderful relief to have Jesus take the reins.” Michelle now understood the intent of A Better Way: that she is empowered to engage with the discipleship mandate by imparting God’s truth in word and deed – through living out the gospel in authentic relationships where life happens for her. She is well on her way.

IBEC recently produced this 2-minute video in which I share Michelle's story. Take a look and share this with others who need to hear this message: My business is my ministry.

My business is my ministry from IBEC Ventures on Vimeo.



Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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Sneak peek: 8 new IBEC BAM video vignettes - Part 3

Monday, March 14, 2016

 

Masterful. That's my one-word description of these last three videos from the newly released IBEC Business As Mission (BAM) video vignettes series.  In less than three minutes each reveals the reality of God's heart for working in and through ordinary people, doing ordinary things with a supernatural difference. They inspire me to operate on a higher level today and every day. See if you don't agree!

Bill Job: Wisdom, listen, execute

Bill Job is the founder of Meixa Company in China and a world-spokesperson for various elements of the BAM enterprise.  In both of these clips he underlines the importance of business in demonstrating the principle of “walking with God at work”. Conversations with God are very real for Bill and he talks about asking for wisdom, listening well and executing what God tells us. Key themes: God as the owner of our businesses. God as the source of wisdom and provision.

Wisdom, listen, execute – Bill Job from IBEC Ventures.

Bill Job: Conversations with God

Want to hear from a guy who walks with God at work? Bill Job really lives like that and encourages us to bring God into the conversation and the problems and a relationship that is real. This "Good morning, God" video could change your life. Key themes: Bringing God into our lives. Having an actual relationship with God. Engaging God in every area of our lives.

Conversations with God – Bill Job from IBEC Ventures.

Larry Sharp: My business is my ministry

Larry Sharp is the founder of IBEC Ventures and current Director of Training and primary contributor to this weekly blog. His clip tells the story of Michelle, a business owner who was transformed by the understanding that her business was really her ministry. Key themes:Business is an ability given by God. Business is part of God's mission in this world. Work, our profession, as worship.

My business is my ministry – Larry Sharp from IBEC Ventures.

These videos are the result of funds generously granted to IBEC for the production of 21 BAM focused videos: these eight "heart of BAM" snippets plus thirteen in-depth training sessions for BAM professionals. In case you missed seeing the other vignettes, take a look at Sneak Peek - Part 1 and Sneak Peek - Part 2 for more background or just click through to the videos:

  1. Employment Crisis – John Warton
  2. Do business until I come – John Warton
  3. Business like Bach – Mats Tunehag 
  4. BAM Street – Mats Tunehag
  5. Freedom business – Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about using these videos in your presentations, social media and websites. We're here to help others to catch the vision and move forward in building Kingdom businesses for the glory of God!


Carolyne Hart, Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing, IBEC Ventures

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Sneak peek: 8 new IBEC BAM video vignettes - Part 2

Monday, March 07, 2016


This week we're previewing three new power packed Business As Mission (BAM) video vignettes featuring one of the most visible couples in the BAM movement: Mats Tunehag and Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag. Mats Tunehag is probably the world’s most prolific speaker and writer about BAM. He is currently Co-Chair of BAM Global (formerly the BAM Think Tank) and Lausanne Senior Associate for BAM. Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag is the founder of the European Freedom Network and co-founder of the Freedom Business Alliance in North America.  Her passion is in various themes related to the rescue of human trafficked victims of injustice.  Her expertise is evident as she appeals to business people to help provide jobs as a vital component of rescuing these victims.

Mats Tunehag: Business like Bach

This very short and poignant video makes the cogent point that just as Bach put years of hard work and practice into developing the extraordinary musical gifts given to him by God, some of us are given the gift of business as a way to bring glory to God. We should not see business as a distraction but rather as an instrument worthy of our time, energy and for the greater glory of God. Key themes: Business is a gift with greater purpose, given by God.

Business like Bach – Mats Tunehag from IBEC Ventures.

Mats Tunegag: BAM Street

Mats' second video is an interesting comparison between Wall Street and BAM Street – listen carefully to hear the difference. Key themes: BAM versus traditional business. BAM capital (spiritual, social and intellectual) as well as financial.

BAM Street – Mats Tunehag from IBEC Ventures.

Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag: Freedom business

Jennifer Tunehag is a worldwide spokesperson for using business to help people escape from the sex trade and human trafficking. Freedom businesses, both in the U.S. and overseas, help to provide living wages, training and opportunities to people who might otherwise be exploited. She eloquently challenges us as business people to build businesses in the places where the need is greatest, in our communities and around the world. “Business people, God needs you. Your businesses can play an important role in the fight against slavery and exploitation.” Key themes: Freedom business. Using our businesses to help vulnerable and exploited people, locally and globally.
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Freedom business – Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag from IBEC Ventures.

These videos are the result of funds generously granted to IBEC for the production of 21 BAM focused videos: these eight "heart of BAM" snippets plus thirteen in-depth training sessions for BAM professionals. In case you missed seeing the other vignettes, take a look at Sneak Peek - Part 1 for more background or just click through to the videos from Part 1:

  1. Employment Crisis – John Warton
  2. Do business until I come – John Warton
Check back next week for Sneak Peek - Part 3 featuring the final  videos in this series:

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about using these videos in your presentations, social media and websites. We're here to help others to catch the vision and move forward in building Kingdom businesses for the glory of God!


Carolyne Hart, Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing, IBEC Ventures

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IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission