Summary Report: Business Professional Network
Dear AD2-Announce Reader:
As the AD2000 & Beyond Movement moves towards its final closure date
of early 2001, all of the movement's Tracks / Resource Networks and
Task Forces have been requested to provide an overview summary of
their specific realm of experience over the 5 - 10 years of their
operational existence. These reports have been prepared for
compilation of a "lasting record" of this movement and for all to see,
as they are interested!
Please see the attached revised report on the Business Professional
Network prepared by its International Director, John Warton. This
Network was envisioned in 1995, had strong representation at GCOWE
'97 in South Africa and formed as a result of the Declaration made at
that conference. During that time and since the Lord has blessed
mightily! Many thanks and praises to God for the current leadership
of John Warton, his great efforts and those of the significant others
These reports will all be included along with other historical reports
and data of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, including the AD2000
website, and much more on a CD-ROM being produced for distribution at
Celebrate Messiah 2000. Further distribution of this CD-ROM will also
be made after the conference. Please email email@example.com if you<>
are interested in purchasing one of these CD-ROMs.
NOTE: Celebrate Messiah 2000 will be held in Jerusalem and Bethlehem
27 December 2000 - 2 January 2001. Registration invitation is still
open to those so interested. Please contact Lauri Dennis, Registrar,
at Lauri@ad2000.org for more information.<>
The AD2000 International Office will be closing early in 2001. Click here for more information.
Thank you for your interest in the AD2000 & Beyond Movement and its
spiritual and catalytic outworkings into the 21st century. Please
continue to pray for the movement until our closing day! Thank you!
That all may hear!
AD2000 & Beyond Movement
1) Brief historical involvement overview of the Business Professional
The Business Professional Network was envisioned during the 1995
Global Congress on World Evangelization in Seoul, Korea, when Thomas
Wang and Luis Bush asked some of the distinguished observers -
businessmen attending a missionary congress - if they could devise a
way that Christians with business gifts and callings could participate
in fulfilling the Great Commission. J.Gunnar Olson of Sweden, Juerg
Opprecht of Switzerland, Graham Binet of Australia, and John B.
Thompson of the U.S. took up the challenge. A Business Executives
Consultation was an official part of GCOWE '97 in Pretoria, South
Africa, where more than 400 business people and 4000 delegates gave
wholehearted consent to a Declaration* calling for business to
participate actively in missions.
The BPN was formed as a result of that Declaration. Gunnar Olson
became chairman of the board and Juerg Opprecht, took on the duties of
International Director, operating from an office in Switzerland where
he lived. John Warton was elected to the Board in 1998 and succeeded
Mr. Opprecht as International Director in 1999, relocating the
International Office to Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Since 1997 the BPN
has connected with believers, companies, ministries, and agencies
active on every continent, in over 70 countries, under every kind of
socio-political and economic regime.
For copies of that Declaration, contact the BPN International Office
2) How did God use you and the Network?
- God has raised up the Network to expound, legitimate, and
demonstrate several important concepts of missions. One is the
concept that business can be ministry itself. This stands in contrast
to a view widely held in much of the world that business is
fundamentally corrupt, exploitive, or mere profiteering. In fact
business is the primary means that God has ordained to provide all
those things He knows we have need of (Matt 6:32).
Another important concept is that God intends business to be the
natural means of redemptive relationships. Through the witness of
Christian character in business relationships and personal testimony,
business people have the opportunity to evangelize, to counsel, and to
serve. In months, business people can establish working relationships
with deep human connection that formal missionaries may not achieve in
years of trying.
Another concept is a methodology for responding to the condition of
the poor. An intermediate as well as long-term approach of creating
jobs has become a prime opportunity for the Church to go virtually
anywhere in the developing world. The cry of the poor is the call to
Church; relief is certainly needed, but self-supporting work offers
essential solutions and long-term hope. Underlying this concept is a
theology that recognizes work not just as a necessity or even
desirable activity, but as an essential expression of the image of
Another is the call to serve. An evangelist must serve by preaching,
but a businessperson can serve by creating and managing businesses.
To do this for someone else and engage in it for something greater
than oneself is a true expression of Christian service.
- The Network has also been used to connect a wide range of business
ventures that have been operating independently and without the
benefit of any beneficial cooperation. Some of those involved had
doubts that what they were doing was even Biblical; many have been
criticized by leaders they expected to be encouraging and helpful.
3) What specific goals did the Network accomplish?
- The BPN was allowed by God to be the agency to bring together the
top leaders of the world's member-based marketplace ministries. The
first meeting in Switzerland in 1999 was a holy and historic occasion.
The second meeting in New York in 2000 revealed the genuine desire of
those leaders to honor and support each other and each other's
ministry. Even with clear records of significant spiritual fruit,
each one could see far, far greater impact was possible if God would
pour out His blessing on united efforts as He directed. For that we
are praying and planning.
- Pilot projects were established in developing countries to provide
training in management, capital for expansion, and encouragement for
Christian entrepreneurs. The most successful was in Central Asia,
where favorable business conditions, a proven regimen for business
development, and good field leadership all came together. Some pilot
projects have not come to fruition, others are in progress.
- The BPN initiated the North American Symposium on Doing Missions
through Business in 1999. Participants included international
leaders in economic development and practitioners engaged with
national entrepreneurs in a wide range of businesses and countries.
Symposia such as this facilitate the sharing of experience, theory,
and theology underlying this approach to mission.
- Leaders of the BPN have participated in regional consultations of
the partnerships that have been organized throughout the 1040 Window.
This has been a response to the appeals from the field for help with
the problems of rampant unemployment and an impoverished church, and
an opportunity to explain the methods and conditions of free
enterprise business to the field personnel.
4) What were the lessons learned?
- Benefits of cooperation - incredible leverage, creativity, strength.
- Necessity of prayer.
- The high level of motivation, Biblical understanding, and
capability among Christians in business and the professions who desire
to participate in fulfilling the Great Commission, not just fund it.
- The readiness of many governments to welcome business initiatives
that will provide goods and services and jobs (and taxes). This is
true even in some "hostile" environments if Christians will be
discreet in their witness.
5) What would you have done differently?
6) What recommendations for a new movement would you have?
- The mission of the Business Professional Network is just beginning
to be accomplished. Efforts will continue into the new century to
accomplish the original objectives with the same vision. A new
movement should expect to find the same compelling evidence of God's
call to the business community to take an active, and critical role in
accomplishing the Great Commission.
- The effects of globalization in the modern period will continue to
drive apart the 1st world and all others. The differences will become
greater, the plight of the poor and oppressed will become more dire,
and the likely indifference and isolation of those among the "have's"
will increase too. New global movements that follow will do well to
seize upon the great opportunity of the church in the West to touch
the world in need. Jesus said, "The poor you will always have with
you, and you may do good to them whenever you wish." (Mark 14:7) Now
is the best time in history for the business world to help the church
be self-sufficient, not just to give them a daily ration.
- Biblical teaching at every level must address the prevailing
paradigm that "church work" is the only real ministry and that
business' primary calling is to pay for others to do it. The witness
and ministry of business itself is still not widely understood. The
potential for the Church to bless the nations, both materially and
spiritually, through honest business has not been seen. The
opportunity to do missions through legitimate businesses is yet to be
Business Professional Network
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