The B4T Expo the past 3 days was a solid success. Several who have been to previous Expos commented, “This was the best ever!” The following an email from Kevin, a businessman who last attended a B4T Expo in 2010.

Thank you and your team for a great B4T OPEN EXPO

A few points you made in your final talk really struck a chord: (not quoting, so forgive my paraphrasing)

Don’t think of B4T as missions. It’s not. Don’t expect people to get it; it’s a new thing, doing new things in new ways, not the old things, the old way. It’s ministry 24/7, not the old paradigm, where ministry segregated from our normal, daily activities. B4T is no something we “go out to do”, but it’s living a seamless, integrated life.

That is sinking in: B4T IS NOT MISSIONS. (In looks, feel, smell….)

I understood years ago the essence of BAM and B4T, although I continue to grow in my understanding and vision, I realize I still have much to learn. Old practices, old paradigms, old habits, old thoughts, are hard to change.

What I want to share with you is that I was sitting there in the audience realizing more clearly than ever, maybe for the first time, why it seems like I feel like I rarely ‘connect with’ the ‘Missions Community’, missions’ leaders, missionaries, agencies, missions funders/donors, even the most innovative, creative, and open-minded of them. The B4T Expo clarified why it feels like such a misfit when I try share about BAM and even more so when I share about B4T – we are truly trying to swim upstream. After all, there’s hundreds of years of history, where the church has keep religion out of the workplace.

B4T semantically is NOT ‘Missions’ in the normal sense and accepted use of the word. WOW! Still, as you showed so clearly, it is biblical. THANK YOU for spelling this out.

And yet, there we were, in a room full of ‘Missions Types’. The ambiguity and disconnection, and yet very real continuity of purpose – mission – struck me.

There’s almost an inherent ambiguity, perhaps even contradiction and conflict, in the movement, historically, linguistically, even ethically, both in ethos and operating principles.

Most of the experienced (older) B4T practitioners entered into B4T from a missions background, and adopted it as a means (a tactic, not even a strategy) to achieve the end of entry and residency. Some grow out of mere ‘platform’ thinking, and see BAM as an actual strategy, but still with the emphasis on the M in BAM, and only giving a begrudging obligation to the B.

Only a very few seem to see clear, in that they see beyond BAM to see B4T. Even fewer seem to see clearly the inherent, intrinsic values of B4T, the seamless, integrated vision the OPEN leaders have articulated.

Quite likely, we need to develop a new lexicon, a fresh, unambiguous vocabulary for discussing this new paradigm.

Thank you! And keep up the good work of leading the charge.

In Christ, for the unreached nations,

Kevin

 

 

OPEN USA supports workers in the 10/40 Window, who are doing Business for Transformation. One of the ways we support them is to host annual a B4T Expo. To learn more about OPEN USA and B4T, visit Find Yourself in B4T or b4texpo.com