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The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Wealth creation is both a godly gift and command, and there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created. But all too often the issue of wealth creation is misunderstood, neglected, or even rejected. The same thing applies to wealth creators.

The Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation aimed at addressing that. During the Consultation process 2016 – 2017 we discussed various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, Biblical foundation, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video.

The Manifesto enclosed below conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation.

After the Manifesto below there is a short introduction to three other global consultations that also have dealt with issues related to wealth creation. There are excerpts from their respective Manifesto, Declaration and Statement, as well as links.

 

Wealth Creation Manifesto

Background

The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global 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. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation.

Affirmations

  1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
  2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.
  3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
  4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
  5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
  10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
  11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

Appeal

We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.

  • We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
  • We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
  • We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God

PS. Click here for pdf file of  Wealth Creation Manifesto in English, here for Korean, and here for Russian, here for Chinese traditional script, here for Chinese simplified script, here for Arabic, here for German, here for French, here for Bahasa, here for Spanish, here for Portuguese, here for Farsi, here for Japanese, here for Turkish.

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Let me refer to three other global consultations I have also been a part of, and which also have dealt with similar issues. They were held 2004, 2009, and 2014.

The Lausanne BAM Issue Group

The first BAM Global Think Tank was held under the auspices of Lausanne. The Business as Mission Issue Group worked for a year, addressing issues relating to God’s purposes for work and business, the role of business people in church and missions, the needs of the world and the potential response of business. It summarized its findings in the BAM Manifesto 2004. But please allow me to share a few excerpts, to illustrate a growing consensus among leaders that wealth creators are called by God to serve in business.

“We believe that God has created all men & women in His image with the ability to be creative, creating good things for themselves and for others – this includes business.

We believe in following in the footsteps of Jesus, who constantly and consistently met the needs of the people he encountered, thus demonstrating the love of God and the rule of His kingdom.

We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers all members of the Body of Christ to serve, to meet the real spiritual and physical needs of others, demonstrating the kingdom of God.

We believe that God has called and equipped business people to make a Kingdom difference in and through their businesses.

We believe that the Gospel has the power to transform individuals, communities and societies. Christians in business should therefore be a part of this holistic transformation through business.

We recognise the fact that poverty and unemployment are often rampant in areas where the name of Jesus is rarely heard and understood.

We recognise that there is a need for job creation and for multiplication of businesses all over the world, aiming at the quadruple bottom line: spiritual, economical, social and environmental transformation.

We recognise the fact that the church has a huge and largely untapped resource in the Christian business community to meet needs of the world – in and through business – and bring glory to God in the market place and beyond.”

See also BAM Manifesto

 

Wheaton Consultation

A global consultation on Business as Integral Calling was held in Wheaton, Illinois in October 2009. It brought together leaders from the realms of business, non-profit organizations, and Christian ministry with theologians and academic leaders in business, economics, and missions. Excerpts from the Declaration:

“Lamentations

We lament that the church and business itself have undervalued business as a vehicle for living out Christ’s calling, and have relied excessively on non-profit approaches that have resulted in dependence, waste, and an unnecessary loss of human dignity.

Celebration of Faith and Hope

We celebrate the growing movement of people seeking to be used by God and to deploy business economic activity for God’s Kingdom. 

Business can create value, provide the dignity of work, and transform communities by improving livelihoods.

Business can be an integral calling to proclaim and demonstrate the Kingdom of God by honoring God, loving people, and serving the world.

Business can also provide a powerful opportunity for the transformation of individuals to achieve their full potential for creativity and productivity and to flourish and experience a life of abundance as envisioned by the Kingdom of God.

Business can be used to help restore God’s creation from its degraded state.

It is our deep conviction that businesses that function in alignment with the core values of the Kingdom of God are playing and increasingly should play an important role in holistic transformation of individuals, communities and societies.”

See also Wheaton Declaration

 

Atibaia Consultation

Wealth creation and distribution were discussed as part of the Lausanne Global Consultation on Prosperity Theology, Poverty and the Gospel held in Atibaia, Brazil in 2014. The consultation affirmed that sharing wealth is good and Biblical, but wealth distribution is too often our main response to meeting peoples’ needs. It was identified the need to increasingly seek to understand how businesses can bring solutions to global issues, including poverty and human trafficking. The notion of simplicity as a universal value was also challenged, and certainly needs to be addressed further.

The Atibaia Statement is quite long, but here are a few excerpts related to wealth creation, business and the poor.

Christians are called not only to give and share generously, but to work for the alleviation of poverty. This should include offering alternative, ethical ways, for the creation of wealth and the maintenance of socially-responsible businesses that empower the poor and provide material benefit, and individual and communal dignity. This must always be done with the understanding that all wealth and all creation belong first and foremost to God.

We acknowledge that, in the global market economy, one of the most effective tools for the elimination of poverty is economic development, and yet evangelicals have often failed to promote value-driven business solutions to poverty.

How can we more effectively work for the establishment of creative, ethical, and sustainable business endeavors in the fight against poverty?”

See also Atibaia Statement

5 Responses to “Wealth Creation Manifesto”

  1. […] Source: Wealth Creation Manifesto | Mats Tunehag […]

  2. AIME says:

    Thank you Mats for this manifesto to which I adhere too.

    I have served banking industry for 12 years and currently involved in coaching young entrepreneurs at the Business Development Center, Rwanda Chapter, a Regent University based center, dedicated to support entrepreneurship in Rwanda through World Class training/mentorship that applies Christian principles.

    I follow with much interest the concept of Business as Mission, and will do my best to integrate tought principles in my coaching sessions you SMEs.

    God bless you.

    Thanks

  3. Satyavir Chakrapani says:

    I am BAM practitioner and engaged in BAM promotion in India. I just enjoyed reading this piece.

  4. Andrew Shinn says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m very interested in using this resource in a Social Enterprise Academy I’m creating, courses that I teach, with people I mentor, etc. Do you have a longer version? Links to Bible study materials based on this? Links to the videos that go along with it? Information about the book based on this material? A list of people involved in creating it?
    Again, thank you!

    • Mats Tunehag says:

      Hi Andrew and sorry for late reply! The seven papers looking at various aspects of Wealth Creation, will be published from mid-August to mid-December. The educational video should hopefully be out in September and the two books next year. The Manifesto in now available in 8 languages, and translations into Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish are underway. See http://matstunehag.com/wealth-creation/
      Warmly,
      Mats

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