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Business As Mission Part 1 | Missional Marketplace Podcast S1E10

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Resources

When we stop thinking of everyday work as a “secular” endeavor, when we refuse to equate the marketplace with greed and materialism, when we embrace acts of commerce as an opportunity to honor God and love our neighbor, business truly becomes a Great Commission opportunity.

In episode 10, we pivot into a two week discussion on Business as Mission (or BAM). All over the world, missionaries are embracing the marketplace as an opportunity to embody and proclaim the Gospel in some of the hardest to reach places. We unpack the strategy and why we think it has so much Kingdom potential.

We also talk to our dear friend Dick Brogden, the global leader of LiveDead and missionary to Saudi Arabia for this week’s missional moment. Dick and his wife Jenn are on the front lines of the Great Commission in more ways than one. You do not want to miss Dick’s challenge to take up this Great Commission calling. It will encourage and discomfort you in all the right ways.

You can learn more about the incredible work LiveDead is doing in the hardest to reach places around the world by visiting https://livedead.org.

Please share, follow, and rate this show (we prefer all the stars if you don’t mind) on your podcast platform of choice. It goes a long way to help establish us as a new podcast. You can also find more information about Missional Marketplace and The Stone Table here:

The Stone Table: https://TheStoneTable.org

https://www.facebook.com/thestonetable

https://www.instagram.com/thestonetab…

https://www.linkedin.com/company/1367…

Transcription:

Speaker 1 [00:00:00] See, we don’t just honor God and love our neighbor through acts of charity. Everybody understands how we honor God. Love our neighbor through acts of charity.

Speaker 2 [00:00:06] Yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:00:07] I would say we we can. We can. We don’t always but we can. We can honor God and love our neighbor through acts of commerce as well. And that’s not just for this little, you know, this this this country over on the Indian Ocean.

Speaker 2 [00:00:22] Right? Right.

Speaker 1 [00:00:23] That’s right. In your own neighborhood, your own backyard, where you can honor God and love your neighbor through acts of commerce, just like you can love God and love your neighbor through oxygen.

Speaker 2 [00:00:41] We are back for another episode of the Missional Marketplace podcasts, Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace.

Speaker 1 [00:00:51] That’s it.

Speaker 2 [00:00:51] Like we say, that’s what we’re about. That’s what this podcast is for, and that’s what we hope to encourage people in that their work matters.

Speaker 1 [00:00:59] That’s right. To encourage believers in the marketplace that who you are and how God made you as part of God’s kingdom mission and plan for this world. Marketplace believers are not B-team believers. They are a key component and and a sacred component of what God is up to in this world.

Speaker 2 [00:01:20] I love it. You’ve been called up to the A-Team.

Speaker 1 [00:01:22] That’s right. The A-Team. Oh, who are you? Are you Hannibal or B.A. or. I, I don’t know. I, I’m dating myself. Probably all. All the millennials listen to this are going like what and what is?

Speaker 2 [00:01:33] What’s A-Team and why are we here? But yeah. Anyway, if you’ve. If you’ve just joined us here. My name’s Darren Cooper. I’m here with my brother, Eric Cooper.

Speaker 1 [00:01:42] That’s right.

Speaker 2 [00:01:42] Glad to be co-hosting this podcast and making this this conversation happen. And it’s just been an awesome journey. We are in episode ten now. It’s correct. It’s it’s moving along. It’s the season one is flying by.

Speaker 1 [00:01:57] Flying by just a few more episodes this.

Speaker 2 [00:01:59] Season. More and more. Yeah, absolutely. And we’ve been going through Missional Marketplace, the book that you’ve written, kind of using that as our outline of our discussion to really bring these conversations forward. And last week on the episode, we really moved into this great commission part of this conversation as we land the plane on this season one, it’s all taking us out here on the Great Commission and it’s been been awesome. And last week, as you kind of frame some of that up for those that might be listening for the first time, let’s hit some bullet points from from that discussion and just kind of frame this conversation for us moving forward. Yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:02:40] And I think that’s important because we talk a lot about faith and work here. And really the first two segments, you know, the first two major segments of the podcast, end of the book are kind of focused on that more faith and work and the role of the marketplace in the kingdom. But ultimately, the stone table is a mission that global missions organization, and we’re just coming at it from a marketplace seat on the bus. And that’s why when we stepped into this last week there and I went back and listen to what we recorded and I get a little animated, I hope I didn’t. I hope I didn’t overstated. But we’re really getting into the crux and the heart of why Stone Table exists. Right. So last week was passion.

Speaker 2 [00:03:18] The passion button was hit and you said, let’s go.

Speaker 1 [00:03:21] That’s right. It’s totally so I mean, just just real quick, I want to hit some bullet points from last week again, because I think they are so important. They deserve to be repeated. Right. We really focused in on the Great Commission. Matthew 2819 Jesus last words to His Disciples Before He ascends into heaven. Go and make disciples of all nations. Or, you know, the original Greek is all ethno or are people groups is how we translate that right? Not nation states, but people groups. And there are in 3.2 billion unreached people around the world, depending on how you count. Again, upwards of 7000 people groups are footnotes that are not reached with the gospel. We would define that as less than 2% Christian. About 1500 of these people groups have literally no access at all to the gospel, no churches, no pastors, no missionaries, nothing. Right. And we believe here at the stone table that this is the greatest injustice in the world today, that really all other injustices flow out of. Right, for sure. So this is this is not and this is what’s important. It goes back to that 18 beat mentality that’s I think so often we have as marketplace believers. But this isn’t just a calling for professional Christians and pastors and missionaries. Right. Jesus said, go. And this is the responsibility of every Christ follower. We are heralds or ambassadors. We are we are declaring we’re the ones that are sent to declare the new life, the new creation, and the new kingdom of Jesus Christ that came into this world through his death and resurrection. And so, you know, how are each of us embracing this great commission, calling even those of us with normal, everyday marketplace jobs and skills? That’s the question I really want everybody to wrestle with.

Speaker 2 [00:05:17] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that there really brings forward this idea of business as mission. Right. We say that often around here, we get this idea of Bam, you might hear us bam, say Absolutely, bam.

Speaker 1 [00:05:31] Get it right. I hope the compressors are working right.

Speaker 2 [00:05:34] Yeah, I’m sure they are. I’m sure they are. But yeah. So we talk often about business as. Mission and kind of what that is. And it’s a it’s an idea that I think is new to some folks. Right. Like, it might be a challenge even in our own thing. I know it’s been for me. So I think, as I often say, stories are some of the best ways that we can we can give this an understanding. So as we talk about businesses mission, as we talk about it in light of what we’re we’re seeing with the Great Commission, give us a story. Hit us with something that that you’ve seen in in in your your circle, in your influence.

Speaker 1 [00:06:13] Yeah. I think this story may help us kind of shape some of the deeper dialog that we want to have about businesses mission and its its strategy. Yeah. Yeah. And I’ll tell you, Darren, one of my frustrations working with unreached people, groups and missionary friends who are working among some rich people groups is we can’t we can’t tell a lot of their stories because so many of them work and sensitive places. They work in places that and you know, we’re not just being paranoid here. There are scenarios where, you know, not necessarily the Western missionaries as much, but the local indigenous believers that have come to faith. We can actually endanger their lives if we’re not careful. And so there are so many stories that I wish I could just blab all over the Internet. Right. So so you’ll forgive us today. I’m going to bring some of the highlights out, but I really can’t talk specifics today about, you know, locations and such. But there is there’s a a place in the Indian Ocean. This is a country that is 99.9% Muslim. And until recently, until recently, there was no known indigenous believers. Right. So there might be, you know, expats or national foreign nationals that live on the island that are believers. Right. So, sure. But there is no known believers among this people group or these people groups that are on this island and traditional missionary methodologies. They don’t work here. There’s no Bible schools to teach in. There’s there’s no mesh. They don’t offer missionary visas. You can’t go, Hey, I’m a missionary. I want to come help people here in your country about Jesus. You know, they’re antagonistic towards evangelism. So this is a place that we have to be very, very strategic. But. But. Tourism. Tourism is a huge industry. It’s a huge economic industry in this part of the world. And learning basic business, English for the locals is a huge economic opportunity. They can learn basic business, English. I mean, they can really move up the socioeconomic ladder. Yeah. So a group of business minded missionaries started a business English school in this part of the world. And again, 99.9% Muslim. They started this English school to serve and add value to the locals. And I’ll tell you, this wasn’t only allowed, it was actually welcomed into the community.

Speaker 2 [00:08:41] I like.

Speaker 1 [00:08:41] That. Now, I want to tell you, this is not a front. I think sometimes Bam gets a bad rap because of the kind of dishonest ways. We’re going to talk about that more in the next episode. But because of the dishonest ways that it can sometimes be utilized, but this is not a front they are actually teaching, serving, building relationships, bettering the lives of the local community through this business English school. And what I love about it, Darren, is it’s a it’s a financially viable model. I mean, it economically works like a business would work. And they’re using the school and the language education as a tool to build relationships and ultimately preach the gospel and start a church of local indigenous believers among this unreached people group. They’re doing this by adding real economic business value to the local people that live there, which, as we’ve talked about in previous episodes, we know that business is it’s not about taking something from you. It’s about adding value to your life through skills and abilities that I have. And we both come together with less and we leave with more, right? So this is the beauty of good Christ centered, healthy, holistic business. Right? Right. So I’ve had the opportunity to visit the school there a handful of times, and of course they do normal classroom study. But one of the things they do is they they have a discussion times where they’ll, they’ll get in groups and they’ll practice their English as they’re learning.

Speaker 2 [00:10:15] Yeah. The way they work.

Speaker 1 [00:10:16] And one of the reasons the school is so viable is they love talking with native speakers. So it’s one thing for you and I, if we were learning Spanish to try to talk Spanish to each other, might be another thing for us to talk, you know, with an indigenous Spanish speaker. Yeah. So they love talking to Americans. And so I got to join some of these discussion groups and it was just a blast. But they, they, they want to know about your life. They want to know about who you are and your experience. And you get that. You get to learn about them. But but the the missionary workers that are there, the Bam workers, have gotten very good at throwing discussion questions in the group that lead to fascinating spiritual conversations. Spiritual and typically in the Muslim world, everybody thinks, you know, it’s so antagonistic towards the gospel. Most Muslims, they don’t want you converting people to Jesus, but they love having spiritual conversations. Everybody’s having spiritual conversations in the Muslim world, right? Yeah. And so when we were there quite a few years ago now, a handful, it was kind of a tragic story. But in this part of the world, they still use very public and very dramatic punishment for certain crimes. Wow. And so some some boys had been caught stealing in the local market.

Speaker 2 [00:11:35] Oh, man.

Speaker 1 [00:11:36] And they they still to this day, they public in the public square, they cut their hands off. So too, it was the talk of the community, these two boys who had had one of their hands removed.

Speaker 2 [00:11:48] Yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:11:49] Because of theft. I mean, think about that.

Speaker 2 [00:11:51] That’s.

Speaker 1 [00:11:51] Wow, that’s hard core, right?

Speaker 2 [00:11:53] That is very hard core.

Speaker 1 [00:11:54] But everyone in the community was talking about this. Right. And so we use that as a discussion point. And one of the questions that was asked was, hey, if that was your son. Mm. Would you be willing to take his place? Hmm. And while it was funny that the conversation was thrown out. And this is. This is a shame, an honor culture. It’s a it’s a law based culture. I mean, if you screw up like you pay for your penalties, right?

Speaker 2 [00:12:27] Yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:12:28] And so watching even in some of the mothers that were there, you know, some of the fathers that were there watching their their brains start to turn around that question and and that I’ll never forget. One woman said Now. Hmm. She said, No, I would not, because we pay for the sins that that we commit. And so then there was this this opening for this conversation about, well, what about even God himself through Christ, who said, no, I will I will sacrifice so that you don’t have to pay the penalty for your own good. Right.

Speaker 2 [00:13:01] That’s good.

Speaker 1 [00:13:02] So even through again, teaching English and discussing English, they open up relational, real life relational conversations with local people about things that lead to gospel conversations. And it’s been fascinating to watch that man.

Speaker 2 [00:13:17] That is that is so good. And you can see the journey, right? You can see how this step in in meeting the need in the community. Right. Yeah. And and yes, it is a is a business that has finances and things work in that way. But also this beautiful conversation, even the probably the relationships that happen to oh, in those those groups. Right. To be able to have that, that relational conversation, you know, getting to know each other through learning, learning English together, and then all of a sudden there’s all these rich and awesome questions that are thrown out like that, man. I can see how that is beautiful in that in that place.

Speaker 1 [00:13:59] But, you know, think about how businesses open that up right and in there and this you know, I’ll tell you, man, I mean, this is kind of an aside, but, you know, when you sit across the table, I think so so many times here in our Western culture and context, it’s kind of us versus them. And we tend even within our own country, it’s like, what’s wrong with the world? It’s those people.

Speaker 2 [00:14:20] Yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:14:21] And if those people would just be different, right then when you sit across the table from someone who has had a completely different religious experience, a completely different cultural upbringing, and you realize the humanity and the shared imago day that we all carry, right? Yeah. Something powerful begins to happen in that moment. And we know the gospel moves in relationship. We’re going to talk about that in the last episode, the currency of the kingdom being the relationships and how business in the marketplace foster those things.

Speaker 2 [00:14:51] Yeah, yeah. Well, I think that’s my next question to you as well was why is business is mission work? Right. But I think that story gives such a it opens up that reality. Like even as you’re telling me, I’m going, oh, man, I see why it works, right? I can see why. And you alluded to this isn’t a front for the missionaries. Like they’re literally there. And I think it’s easy for us because, you know, we talked about greed and kind of bad business a few a few episodes ago, and it can be easily looked that way to like, oh, it’s just you’re just doing that so that you can get in and, you know, propaganda or something. Right. Right. But it really is. No, we’re here to serve and we’re here to build relationships. And when you take that approach, beautiful things happen, including good business and including really good spiritual conversations so we can see why Bam works.

Speaker 1 [00:15:47] It’s huge there. And you know, and you know, I guess we again, we have already alluded to this, but it really goes back to the first two pillars of this podcast. In the first two pillars of the book. Right? It works because the marketplace is part of God’s redemption. It’s a sacred thing, right? When we embrace it the way God designed it. Right. Again, we’ve seen the brokenness. We’ve seen the greed and power struggles and the way all those things can manifest in the marketplace. But that’s not that’s not even good business. Right? Right. So this works because good business is not just economic, it’s a holistic culture impacting it’s mutual service, it’s value add. Yeah. And gospel wholeness doesn’t equal economic vitality, but but where the redeeming and renewing aspects of the gospel are at work, economic vitality is usually blossoming as well. Right. And so so that’s why, you know, I want people to think we’re getting into prosperity gospel here, right? Like just come to Jesus and all of a sudden you’ll be wealthy and everything will go right for you. I mean, that nothing could be further from the truth, but. But economic vitality. That’s why these people welcome this into their community. And if we go there with that, with the objective to serve them. Yeah. And to make a difference in their life. Just like compassion relief, disaster relief. You know, when we serve and add value to a community through business, it creates a platform for gospel proclamation, the planting of the church, and the wholeness and renewal or shalom. If we want to use a Jewish term, that’s the reality of the gospel can come to life. And I would say this and this may be a little controversial, but I’ll throw it out there. See, we don’t just honor God and love our neighbor through acts of charity. Everybody understands how we honor God and love our neighbor through acts of charity.

Speaker 2 [00:17:39] Yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:17:39] I would say we we can, we can. We don’t always but we can. We can honor God and love our neighbor through acts of commerce as well. And that’s not just for this little you know, this this is country over on the Indian Ocean.

Speaker 2 [00:17:55] Right? Right.

Speaker 1 [00:17:56] That’s right. In your own neighborhood, your own backyard, where you can honor God and love your neighbor through acts of commerce, just like you can love God and love your neighbor through acts of charity.

Speaker 2 [00:18:05] Well, win when you shape it this way, right? It I think we all understand the idea of like, you know, okay, Jesus came. He he washed the feet of his disciples. He served them well. He loved them well. You go, okay, if I’m following after Christ, this is what this looks like for me. Well, how do I do that, right? Well, it does. You can see it now. When you frame it this way, you can see how business is a service to those around you. And it really is following, following in the footsteps of Jesus that way. Right. Like we can serve through the, the, the work that we do, through the gifts and the skill set when we approach it that way. Yeah. And that’s why we do talk about there is bad business and there are people that do it for wrong reasons or there might even be missionaries that go and do this right and the wrong reasons there too. Right. But when we, when we start from this place of servant hood, business as mission can can change everything. Yeah. And that man, that’s that’s really, really beautiful. Yeah. And so as we continue this conversation, then we talk about business as mission and we have some stories about business as mission. We kind of understand. But maybe give us some some definitions, if you will, of what that really looks like in a practical way.

Speaker 1 [00:19:25] Yeah, because I think one of the problems we have is when when I say bam or when I say business mission, you know, ten different people might hear that and define it a different way. Right? So I do want to take some time on this podcast to define it the way we would define it here at this table.

Speaker 2 [00:19:38] This is what we mean.

Speaker 1 [00:19:39] When we say when I say business mission. This is what I’m talking about. You’ve you’ve heard it through a story, but I’ll tell you maybe just a little more black and white. I mean, the missions agency, we work most closely with Assemblies of God World missions. They actually spun off a business as mission office a few years back. That because they saw just how important this was for the need. Yeah, our friends at the Bam office, they work with over a hundred different BAMS across the world, assisting with, you know, business plans, legal work, banking help, etc. and this is how they define it. And we’ve kind of adopted their definition because I just think it it’s clear, clean and concise and concise. This is how we define Bam. It’s the intent. Bam is the intentional integration of business and ministry to create a sustainable presence of the Kingdom of God in a particular community. The intentional integration of business and ministry to create a sustainable presence of the Kingdom of God in a particular community. Right. This isn’t just business for economic sake, right? You know, although we believe that loving our neighbor has economic outflows. Sure. Okay. This is integrating business with missional aims. So I would say and our missions partners would often say if we build a great profitable business in a yuppie area that’s helping people economically but is not ultimately leading to conversations about Jesus and ultimately the planting of the church, we wouldn’t consider this a successful Bam. Now, some people may argue with me, happy to have arguments with them. Sure, but that’s that’s important to us. Right. We believe in great business. We believe in the economic vitality that comes through the marketplace. I hope you’ve heard that over the first nine episodes of this podcast. But if we’re not using Bam to lead to conversations about Jesus and ultimately the planting of the church, then, you know, this is not a successful band for us and we’re not talking about bait and switch. We’re not talking about faking business just so we can proselytize and sell Jesus like Amway. Right? Right. We are talking about an evangelism and church planting strategy that uses genuine business as its mechanism.

Speaker 2 [00:21:55] That’s huge. That’s the big part there. And I think that’s what what we’ll continue to reiterate in this is that that when you do step into it from a servant’s mentality, all of those other things kind of fall away. And I love that. Definition because it’s it’s almost like you’re going into this community and you’re not just going to suck all the resources out of it, get what you can and then leave. It’s no, it is. We are here. We are here to serve it. My businesses might shift and change and look different all the time, but we’re invested in the community and being and invested in the community. That’s what the Bam is all about. And then leading into those conversations, that has to be yeah, it has to be done.

Speaker 1 [00:22:37] Absolutely. A sustainable presence and the kingdom of God in a particular community. That’s good. That’s that’s what the marketplace lets us do.

Speaker 2 [00:22:45] That’s good. That’s good. Well, I know you’ve told me a story before about this island that we’ve we’ve talked about, but let’s revisit that. Yeah. And as we land the plane here on on this episode. Yeah. Once you finished with this story, is it just such a beautiful story?

Speaker 1 [00:23:02] Yeah. I mean, let’s go back to that to that place on the Indian Ocean, this this business English school. And I’ll just tell you there and like many Muslim countries, the workers there, they they toil and they they scratch on dry ground for a long, long time. I mean, we talk about upgrade work or unreached people group work a lot like the pharmaceutical industry. My brother in law, David, utilized this analogy in his book, which I thought was was awesome. You know, the first pill that you get cost literally costs a couple of cents to make, right? Like some cancer breakthrough or, you know, some new vaccine or whatever. But it doesn’t literally cost a few cents. It cost billions of dollars. Right. That led up to the creation of that first pill. That’s a lot like the work that we do with a lot of our band missionaries. Right. That so so a lot of these guys a lot of these bands, a lot of these teams will spend years toiling on dry ground. That is the reality of unreached people group work. But we’ve we’ve had some breakthroughs in this location through this business single school. And I wish I could share all of the minutia with you. I got to see some of it with my own eyes. But for four years they were there serving in the ways we talked about. And then one day one of the locals came to Christ and. I was actually lucky enough to be there for his baptism. In fact, back here on the wall behind me. I have that picture. I don’t think you can see it off camera.

Speaker 2 [00:24:46] It is off camera. But yeah.

Speaker 1 [00:24:48] It might have been one of the most moving moments of my entire life to watch this local. And he was at that time, he was the first known. Now, we don’t understand the sovereignty of God. Right. But he was the first known indigenous believer of this unreached people group. And I got to watch him be baptized. And then a few months later, there was two than three. Right now there’s seven or eight followers of Jesus from this unreached people group, and they are dealing there and with massive persecution. And we’re talking about Book of Acts kind of stuff. We’re talking about miraculous stories that you would not believe the way God manifests himself. But God is planting the church among an unreached people group. One of those unreached people groups we talked about, he’s planting the church among an unreached people group through a business. And that is what I want to leave us with today.

Speaker 2 [00:25:45] Yeah. Yeah. And I love that because it’s it is what we’re talking about. And you can see and hear the stories of them just year after year, staying faithful, year after year staying faithful, one happens, and all of a sudden, three, five, you know, it moves forward. And that’s just that’s part, part of it. And that’s beautiful. And I do think there’s there’s something really cool in that to see that, yes, it takes a long time to to work and to have those conversations and see maybe no fruit from those conversations. But what’s beautiful is over time you are planted more and more in the community, you’re invested more and more in the community. And you can show people know, I’ve been here for a long time and I’ve invested a lot. Right. And there’s something beautiful, beautiful in that. There is. And so yeah. And that’s that great stories. And again, I love when you tell those stories, even the little bits that you can write, right? Because it just gives us that idea that business is mission works, the work of our hand is important, you know and know. And I love that. And, and so as we as we pivot from here into our missional moment, we have we have a good friend of yours. Good friend of ours. Right, Dick Brogden, that we’re going to be talking to today, who is just he’s one of those special guys. Right? You meet him, you talk to him. It’s just like, man, I just wanna hang out with you and hear more stories. But yeah, he’s going to be sharing some good stuff.

Speaker 1 [00:27:19] Yeah. I mean, Dick is on the front lines of Wpg work. He is the global is co-founder global leader of the Live Dead Movement, Dead Dawg, which is working with you guys in countries all over the world. But Dick is Dick is a special guy and he’s a special friend to us. And so much of our missy ology here at the stone table has been shaped by by Dick’s work. So I don’t want to get in the way of some of the things he has to share. Sure. But this is a special one for us today.

Speaker 2 [00:27:54] Yeah. Yeah. So let’s let’s just get into it. Enjoy this week’s Missional Moment.

Speaker 1 [00:28:01] What’s the day we are in? For a treat, we get the opportunity to talk to my good friend, Dick Brogdon. Dick is the global leader of Live Dead. He is a missionary to Saudi Arabia and really is one of the foremost missions minds in the world today. And so I asked Dick when we spoke recently, why is a heart for global missions such a vital and important thing for Christians and the church? Today?

Speaker 3 [00:28:35] When we talk about missions, it’s not a 2020 thing. Unreached people groups is not a last three decades thing. This hope for God to have people who worship him from every tribe, tongue, people in nation is from Genesis to Revelation. It’s all through the book. So David and Goliath, right. Why does David charge against the giant? Well, he gives us the answer so that all the earth will know there is a God in Israel. Solomon dedicates the temple so that all the nations with honor and majesty give majesty to the Lord. You know, Old Testament. New Testament doesn’t matter. All peoples will worship Jesus. Therefore, the operating question is who doesn’t do that yet? Because that’s how it starts from Genesis. That’s how it ends in Revelation. This is the whole passion for God. So loved the world, you know, the cosmos, the created order, preach the gospel to every creature, make disciples of all nations, and on and on the scriptures go. So we have to be if we’re the people of God, we have.

Speaker 1 [00:29:35] Missions are one of my greatest concerns for Christians today and for the church today, especially here in the United States and in the West, is that we’re losing our passion and our focus for global missions. We have all kinds of sideways energy being focused on culture, wars and politics. And I fear that we are losing the great commission as our central focus. And I wanted to talk to Dick about this and get his perspective.

Speaker 3 [00:30:02] I think that the enemy is so clever at confusing the narrative. So now what is termed as hate and bigotry is what the Bible describes as love. If we really are concerned about someone’s eternal future, not just focused on the now, we want them to live forever, enjoy justice, peace, truth. But what our modern times have done have told us, well, that’s hateful. That’s bigoted. To have an exclusionary view of how you have eternal life and live forever. Don’t share that because you’re just hating on people. And it’s so bizarre because it’s absolutely the opposite. If we really love people, we will tell them how sins can be forgiven and how heaven can be game. So in my spirit, I do agitate against that and say, Wow, the enemy is really good at what he does. So therefore, let’s not get upset at that. Let’s just be really good at what we do. So vibrant in our joyful proclamation of the Gospel. Let’s be so enthusiastic in our love for the Lord. Let’s be so studious in our crossing of cultures and languages and barriers and gaps that we’re very winsome. So I don’t think the time is, you know, for a hand rubbing and sticking our head in the sand. Let’s just be really good at doing what God told us to do.

Speaker 1 [00:31:21] Why is business as mission so important? As a missionary working in one of the hardest places around the globe? Dick has some very interesting perspective.

Speaker 3 [00:31:31] So the pragmatic view, well, you can’t get into these countries or access these communities unless you have a credible platform. That’s true. That’s legitimate. So we do business and we do it well so that we can get businesses and get into communities. But it goes beyond pragmatic to fruitful. What I mean by that is the normal person, if he had no job and no business, he might, you know, share the gospel with his neighbor or the guy who buys fruit from his landlord but is not actually built to generate new relationships all day long so that he can keep sharing the gospel so more people can get saved. So what happens if you’re that dude? You share the gospel with the guy that owns your flat and you buy fruit from they reject it. Now what? Right. Most people can’t just generate new relational contexts out of thin air. They need a gym. They need a coffeehouse. They need a language center. They need a tourist company. They need a consulting corporation. They need something that propels them into life, on life, face to face conversation with people. And you can’t just sit in a coffee shop all day long and think people are going to drop in your lap and say, what must they do to be saved? You need a credible offering to get out in community that is renewable. That renewable content is really important. Why? Because so many people hear the gospel and reject it. So if you just don’t have a way to meet new people, you’re not going to see a lot of people saved. That’s why business is not just pragmatic, but powerful, because it’s continually propelling us into new conversations, relationships, opportunities where we can proclaim Christ and find those who are interested and then drill down in discipleship with them.

Speaker 1 [00:33:10] One of the most powerful aspects of business, says mission, is how even governments and authorities who are traditionally opposed to missionary efforts in their communities and cultures, will open their arms wide to entrepreneurial and economic development efforts.

Speaker 3 [00:33:28] So we live in Jeddah, which is on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, which is the port city for Mecca. Or 45 minutes from Mecca and Jeddah as a bit of an international city, because through the centuries and decades, Arabs, Indians, Asians, Africans have come on pilgrimage and stayed. So Jeddah is a very friendly city. On top of that, Saudi Arabia through the last couple of years has really changed. It has been an economy that has been dependent on oil. And so the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, realized this, along with King Salman, his father, that the country has to diversify if they’re only oil dependent and they don’t have multiple streams of revenue. The country with its exploding populations and a lot of trouble. Therefore, they’re taking concrete steps to open up the country. They’re opening it up for tourism, which gives us a great opportunity because as people who want to do legitimate business, we can also come to the government and say, You know what? We get it. You need a diversified economy. You want it open up for the tourism sector. We have access to a demographic of tourists that nobody else does. We’re connected to thousands of churches and university groups that are Christian. You have a perspective. Mount Sinai right here. Moses was here. Paul was here. Why not let us help you open up your country where a bunch of your vendors, whether in camping or restaurants or hotels. Can transport, can make money. We’ll bring in Christian tourists. We’ll bring in Christian University students. We’ll bring in churches. We can have a positive cultural experience. They’ll learn about Islam. We’ll take them to Mount Sinai. They’ll see the split rock of Moses twinkle their toes in the Red Sea where they came across. You know, we can bless the country. We can bring in revenue, we can create jobs, and we can create gospel exposure awareness. And our big heart on this is, you know, the Lord would just move on, men and women to give their life to come join us and to make disciples among Saudis, Arabs, those from the Gulf, the Arab world, the unreached world and beyond.

Speaker 1 [00:35:31] If you’re interested in live debt and how you might be able to get involved, you can visit live dead dot org. Huge thanks to my friend Dick Brogdon for his time today and his wisdom today. And I just want to encourage you this this interview was so good. We’re going to extend it into next episode as well. So make sure you come back for episode 11 and catch part two of our missional moment with Dick Brogdon.

Speaker 2 [00:35:59] We told you that you were going to enjoy that conversation and it was a good one, man, Dick Brogdon. Always, always bring in truth, always bring in inspiration.

Speaker 1 [00:36:10] When I’m with Dick, I feel challenged more than than I’ve ever been challenged in my life. It’s like drinking from a fire.

Speaker 2 [00:36:15] Yes. That’s a good that’s a good way of putting it. Good way of putting it. So we hope that you enjoy that missional moment. And as always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this podcast, to download, to, to like, to share with your friends and your family and maybe even your enemies. It’s fine. Just send it over there to anyone. It’ll be great. It’ll be great. But yeah, just one thing we always want to encourage you to do. If you could rate and review this podcast, that is huge for us. It just helps spread the word kind of establishes this podcast as is something that’s new and upcoming. And so please take a minute to do that right now. That would be awesome.

Speaker 1 [00:36:55] On whatever platform you listen to, your podcast is over. I go and rate it, right? Right. Reviews, right comments. If this is inspired or ministered to you in some way, it’s just a huge help to us. And yeah, of course, I always feel somewhat self-promoting here, Darren, but you know, Mr. Market Place is available. You can get that on Amazon, you can get it at our website, the stone table dot org. You can go right to Amazon. There is there’s a paperback, there is a Kindle version and there’s even an audiobook version. And you know, I’d be happy to read this to you. Put your kids to bed at night, you know, whatever whatever it takes to get your kids to fall asleep. Or you can find that also at Eric Cooper. Eric with a k eric cooper dot m e you know, with dick Brogdon as well. Live dead, dawg. Encourage you to go check that out at the lord’s working on you. If the Lord is stirring you, if you have a missional pull in your life in any way, shape or form, just really would encourage you to connect with with our friends that live there. They’re doing some incredible work, hard work, hard work. But if we want to see the Great Commission fulfilled in our lifetime, it’s going to take people who are willing to give themselves in those kinds of environments. And then, you know, next week, Darren, I think this business mission discussion is such it’s the crux of who we are and what we’re doing. Right. And we’re going to actually continue this next week. We’re going to talk more about Bam and business mission next week. So we hope you’ll come back and join us for sure.

Speaker 2 [00:38:25] For sure, yeah. So join us next week for another edition of Marketplace podcast. Until then, go out and accelerate the great commission through the marketplace. Do it, do it and work your hand because it is important. And we will see you next week and bless.

The Stone Table

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