A Tex-Mex restaurant in Romania, a medical supply company in a Muslim country, and an Indian outsourcing firm are just some of the ways in which Christians are ministering through business. Besides doing away with the need to raise support through donations, Christian businesses are able to meet needs and go places that traditional missionaries can't.

The New York Times this week covered a new trend in missions: kingdom business. Christians have been publishing on the phenomenon for a few years now, and the movement seems to be growing.

"One businessman from California, Jeri Little, visited Romania in 1988 on a church trip and was moved by the desperate conditions there," The Times reports. "But Mr. Little, a financial planner who now lives in Romania, wanted to do something beyond a quick fix. 'I realized that we needed to not just send them money and create another banana republic dependent on our aid,' he said. 'We needed people to create business.'"

So Little opened up a Tex-Mex restaurant, capitalizing on the then-popular American television show Dallas. "Some of the restaurant's profit this year will be put back into expanding the business, but the rest will go to local aid and ministry projects, Mr. Little said. These [projects] have included opening a kindergarten and day-care center in one of Iasi's poorest neighborhoods."

"The real power of the movement is that it's not donor-funded, it's basically globally funded," one Christian business owner told the Times. "There's no restraint in the capacity of this system, because you avert the donor and plug into globalization."

"The future generation of missionary will be the rank-and-file businessman," Steve Rundle, coauthor of Great Commission Companies, told the Times. "The ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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