A Platform for Advancing the Gospel

Part One of an M3 Journey

This edition of M3 Weekly is the latest installment in our series called M3 Journeys, highlighting the experiences of various missional enterprise practitioners. This week, we feature our interview with the husband-wife team, Michael and Lisa.1

 They have decades of experience living overseas and leading a manufacturing company as a missional enterprise.

The first half of our interview is included below, describing how Michael and Lisa began their missional enterprise journey and the blessings they have experienced using that approach. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

M3 Weekly: How did you first get involved in running a missional enterprise?

Michael and Lisa: When we moved overseas, we felt led by God to use our talents, background, and training in a way that would benefit the community economically. Leading a business enabled us to do something to benefit the community we lived in.

We also wanted to be able to live authentically and model a lifestyle for the people we were trying to help. As genuine business leaders, we didn’t have to act like somebody else. We didn’t have to be a fraud. And as workers and leaders of a business, we have had to deal with the same issues that our local friends have to deal with.

M3W: What else have you seen to be the blessings of the missional enterprise approach?

M&L: If you are going to another culture for any length of time, you need to have a way to relate to others. For us, leading a manufacturing business lined up with our previous training and backgrounds. Instead of having to find a way to create community, we have developed natural community connections through the business.

Our friends can see how we are living our lives, and we can pass on the principles of integrity and a biblical perspective on business. Leading a business has given us opportunities to influence the people in our community in open ways. How could we teach and model good work culture and the value of work if we couldn’t model it in front of our friends? How could we teach that God will bless and use you in whatever occupation he leads you to unless we modeled it?

M3W: What are some ways you have seen that happen in your lives and work overseas?

M&L: One time we were at a banquet [where excessive drinking is the norm], and the customer asked some of our workers why I [Michael] wasn’t drinking like the rest of them. Now these workers were not believers in Jesus, but they explained very clearly to the customer what I believed and shared the kind of difference that it made in my life. The way you live your life makes a difference. If you live it in front of people they will ask questions and the doors will open to share.

You need to see your work as more than a distraction. Lots of people go overseas for missions saying that they are going to do business, but they still think of the business as a distraction. You need to see it as a platform for modeling, and for building natural relationships for advancing the gospel.

Verse(s) of the Week:

nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9 ESV

Let’s thank God for the opportunity our missional enterprises give us to model for others and ask God for grace to be good examples to imitate.

1 Not their real names.


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