MDE describes themselves like this:
At our core, we are a service organization. We provide services to believers seeking to make money and make disciples in the marketplaces of unreached communities around the world.
We connect Christ-followers to resources that help them build authentic, caring relationships with people who need to experience the love and hear the message of Jesus.
We deliver those support services on three fronts—business, missional, and personal.
Check out their agency profile here–and get ready to think about missions as you’ve never thought of it before.
By Mark Canada
what do I need as a marketplace missions entrepreneur?
At a very basic level, we’ve found 4 keys to success for someone looking to launch a new business. (There are other ways to do BAM without being an entrepreneur! But we’ll focus on the new business element here.)
Sure. You’ll often need other ingredients. But if any of these are missing? Chances of your business and its mission succeeding become a lot more remote.
It’s uncanny how often this is overlooked. But if an entrepreneur doesn’t have a product (either a good or a service or both) that people will pay for at a price that will sustain the venture and the entrepreneur, there is no business, and the effort to create one will fail.
We’ve come alongside some great people, with incredible gifts and great hearts, who didn’t have a product. They therefore were never able to create a sustainable business.
There’s a lot you can do and steps you can take to determine if you have a viable product (check out a few ideas here–and MDE is eager to help, if you’d like to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s essential to figure out product viability as soon as possible. Without a great product, your business–and then your ministry–could bite it.
It’s easy to fall into the line of thinking, As long as I’m passionate about ministry, I could be happy selling clothespins.
I’m passionate for Jesus! Who cares if I’m passionate about the business itself?
But if you don’t value the product you’re selling? Don’t value delivering that product to the community with excellence? Your business will reflect that level of interest. (Or lack thereof.)
This key is often missing when a BAM-er feels strongly about presently the gospel effectively to as many as possible, but doesn’t have a passion to deliver a great product effectively to as many as possible.
When it comes down to a struggle, the business end will likely fail…but since that’s your avenue, the ministry will swirl down the drain as well.
So a strong commitment to both is essential. As the struggles come (and they will!), only a strong commitment to, and belief in, the value of the business and its product will get the entrepreneur through them.
The other key to getting through those struggles? Pure grit.
Being able to grind through hardships, to persist in moving the business forward despite opposition, to continually seek a way to improve and grow and learn, to keep getting up after getting knocked down, is critical.
Some would argue this is the only key ingredient; that ingredients 1 and 2 follow from this one. They have valid point.
God is sovereign and can do what he wants with your business. But usually, he allows us to experience weeds in our garden.
He allows trials to come our way. He tells us we are to consider it pure joy when this happens and to persevere through the testing of our faith.
It’s not easy, but being tenacious in our trust and in our obedience to do what God calls us to do–both in life and especially in launching a business.
At some point the entrepreneur needs to quit dreaming and go to work. Do you have what it takes to go beyond planning, and execute your launch plan?
The planning, the refining–they don’t stop here. But you’ll have to like to get the job done.
Wondering if you have what it takes?
We’ve created an assessment to help you figure it out. Ready to think out of the box about missions?
Don’t miss our other recent posts about marketplace missions!
- Why marketplace missions? 4.13 billion reasons
- Marketplace Missions Myth #1: “Missions” is for missionaries
- Marketplace Missions Myth #2: BAM takes away from “ministry”
- Marketplace Missions Myth #3: Reaching the Unreached=Alone and Scary
- Your Career, Globally: What Could I Do with a Business Degree in Overseas Missions?