Lausanne Global Classroom: Wealth Creation
The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global (Business As Mission) organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions, and academia.
They've subsequently published some short videos and papers to explain wealth creation, to highlight the importance of wealth creation for global Christianity and the church, and to inspire young leaders, established leaders, churches, organizations, and individuals so they understand the importance of wealth creation in their context.
As a taster, here are some reflections by different speakers on Wealth Creation and Societal Transformation:
Wealth creation for holistic transformation of people and societies is the motive. We want to see people's lives transformed, and God glorified, people coming to know Christ, being lifted out of poverty, people being set free out of human trafficking,
It's clear in the Bible that we create wealth for the sake of being a blessing to the poor, to meet the needs of the poor, the widow, the orphan, and so that's part of the purpose for which we create wealth, is to be able to meet the needs of the poor, but in terms of the poor themselves, they too can be wealth creators.
NGOs and social institutions have poured a lot of money into countries, and years later, billions of dollars have probably globally gone into different aid avenues, but there hasn't really been a transformation. Business is the only tool that can really create wealth, in contrast to other organisations that move wealth from A to B, or move it from another country to a developing country.
Jobs themselves are an agent of transformation; they help to restore dignity, work not only gives people an opportunity to earn money and be productive, but provides an overall sense of purpose and value, jobs offer hope, and a future - providing for one’s own needs, family, and even contributing to community wellbeing lays the foundation for a new life—the essence of (re)integration.
and some reflections by different speakers on Wealth Creation and Justice and the Poor:
There's some extreme teaching in the church, all the way from social gospel to liberation theology, and then prosperity gospel. All of these different extreme views have come out in response to poverty in local contexts. In the case of South America or Latin America they looked at poverty and they said, "We've got to have more justice in the system," and they came up with liberation theology as a response. In some other parts of the world there was social gospel. In some parts of the world it was, "If wealth creation happens only because of God's blessing, then if you are poor that means you're not being favoured by God." That means there is sin in your life and therefore you're not really following Jesus. Then that led to prosperity teaching. Therefore it's really important to have a balanced view of what all the scripture says otherwise we end up with some extreme views.
The root cause of human trafficking is unemployment. Unemployment makes people vulnerable to human traffickers. We thus need to create jobs for prevention to stop human trafficking. If we're going to help these people out of this injustice situation bring back freedom and human dignity. We need to be able to answer the following question. Out of trafficking and into what? If we can't answer that question we need to go back to the drawing board. Part of that answer needs to be a job with dignity. Who are creating jobs? Business people. Business people are usually the most underutilised resource in the fight of human trafficking. We need to encourage business people to think through how can I as a business person be a part of fighting human trafficking, and I can do that by doing business.
Sometimes when I talk to business people I'm surprised when I hear them say that micro enterprises and really one person businesses are not well creators. I beg to differ on that. They are certainly creating wealth if they're creating a job even just for themselves, able to feed their family, then they are creating wealth, but also creating wealth in the sense that they're creating with other micro enterprises and maybe with other larger businesses. There again, they are creating wealth.
They have created 13 very short videos as follows:
Video 1: God’s Abundance. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
Video 2: Co-Creators with God. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.
Video 3: Role of the Church. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
Video 4: Calling. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
Video 5: Hoarding and Sharing. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
Video 6: Generosity, Simplicity, and Contentment. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
Video 7: Societal Transformation. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
Video 8: Kinds of Wealth Creation. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
Video 9: Lift Out of Poverty. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
Video 10: Justice and the Poor. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
Video 11: Creation Care. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.
Conclusion and Appeals. We present these affirmations to the church worldwide, and especially to leaders in businesses, churches, government, and academia.
Also some reports including theological background.
Read more here - Lausanne Global Classroom: Wealth Creation
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Geoff Knott, 13/06/2018