Among the 560 million Christians worldwide, Africa leads with 41% of its population professing the faith, a figure projected to reach 53% by 2050. One might conclude from these statistics that Christianity is taking deep roots in Africa, and that the African church is strong. But realities on the ground present a very different and disturbing picture.
In 1994, Christian leaders and lay people in Rwanda were involved in the massacre of their neighbors only a few days after celebrating Easter. Close to a million Tutsis were killed by the majority Hutus in a country where nearly 90% of both groups identified themselves as Christians. Something’s wrong.
85% of Kenyans claim to be Christian, but Kenya is one of the 30 most corrupt countries in the
world. With 40% unemployment, it is home to Africa’s largest slums. Most Kenyans know about
Jesus and can quote Scripture, but life on Sunday and on Monday do not connect. The country lacks leaders who reflect Christ in the marketplace and in the government. Something’s wrong.
It is said that Christianity in Africa is “a mile wide and an inch deep”, that “people are in the church, but the church is not in people”. To make disciples of the nations means not just the spiritual conversion of individuals, but impact on society that can better the life of a nation.
Unemployment lies at the root of many social evils. Good BAM can help tackle poverty and
teach believers about responsibility, work ethics, and social values. Business can equip members of the faith community, who in turn work to transform their own culture, society and nation.
The Church needs a paradigm shift to recognize business as a strategic partner for the advancement of the Gospel. Business people in churches need to be affirmed, commissioned, and deployed into the community and the mission field. Churches, missions agencies and businesses should work together to make disciples of nations in Africa and around the world.