Obviously the important bottom line in any business is whether it is making a profit or losing money. But over the last 50 years, environmentalists and social justice advocates have pushed for a broader definition of the bottom line in business, extending the conventional bottom line that only measures fiscal performance by adding to it both social and environmental impact. This Triple Bottom Line is commonly called the three P’s: People, Planet and Profit.
BAM has a fourth bottom line: God’s Purpose. Hence the Quadruple Bottom Line. How should
God’s people run businesses in a way that serves God’s purpose to bless others economically, socially, environmentally and spiritually?
BAM is not just about making money to give to the church, to missions, or to charity. BAM cares about the things God cares about, and exemplifies them.
BAM is about justice because God cares about justice. Prophets in the Old Testament cried out
against injustice in the marketplace when people cheated, bribed and exploited others. BAM is about human dignity, creating jobs so people can provide for their families and lead productive lives because God made man in His own image with a mandate to work. Business is about taking care of God’s creation, being responsible caretakers of the good earth.
Finally, BAM is about the Great Commission when Christians in business showcase the Good News in their relationships with supervisors, colleagues, subordinates, customers, vendors, investors, creditors, government, and even competitors. And it is true worship as defined in James 1:27 when businesses fight social evils like human trafficking by employing and caring for widows and orphans.
In sum, the Quadruple Bottom Line or 4 P’s asks that missional businesses make every effort to
- Serve People
- Align with God’s Purposes
- Steward the Planet, and
- Make a Profit