Business entrepreneurs and Christian missionaries are similarly wired. I like to say they have a lot of overlapping DNA. Both have great vision. Both have a higher tolerance for risk than others. Both understand the importance of team. Both recognize the value of creativity and innovation. Both have leadership skills that can be used to pursue a vision, a dream, a “big-hairy-audacious-goal,” or “BHAG,” in the terminology of Jim Collins.
There are also dissimilarities between the classic business entrepreneur and the classic missionary. Usually, the best missionaries, while they are visionary doers, they also have superb people skills; they are terrific at building relationships. Usually the best entrepreneurs are effective in working with people — but they’re even more effective at pulling things together and getting things done. Perhaps we can say that the excellent missionary puts relationship ahead of task, whereas the entrepreneur will usually put task ahead of relationship.
The Bible has a huge visionary goal for followers of Christ. The Lord Jesus tells his followers in Matthew 28:18–20 to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.” His Word (“All authority is given me in heaven and on earth”) — and his death-defying presence (“I will never leave you or forsake you”) — are the foundation for this audacious command to bring the transforming love of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. This command is called “The Great Commission” for good reason. There could be no greater goal, no more ambitious vision.
How interesting that Christ’s command reflects a perfect balance. On the one hand, there’s a huge vision which requires an almost infinite array of tasks; on the other hand, it is a command focused on building relationships (“making disciples of all nations”) which is made possible by a relationship with the One who gave the command.
Christian entrepreneurs have many of the skills that are essential for Christian global mission. The Beauty of Partnership learning journey builds on that, and equips them with additional knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential for success in serving a cross-cultural partnership ministry.