This report explores the historical and current effect of wealth creation through business on poverty. It provides examples and suggestions for wealth creators to intentionally contribute to holistic transformation.
In defining wealth creation, this report holds true wealth is the ability to fully embrace our Creator’s world complete with relationships, helping others to create wealth and having a sustainable and scalable wealth creation model. Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds us that it is our God who gives us the capacity to create wealth. God intends material blessing for us, but we must remember him in the midst of all our creating.
We explored the Industrial Revolution and the recent globalization of business and its impact on poverty statistics. The decrease in poverty followed the Industrial Revolution. As productivity increased, the factory system grew. While the countries at the forefront of industrialization prospered, the countries from which the raw materials were gathered—the Global South or the Far East—did not always find it a positive force to bring them out of poverty. It took actually making and selling the goods to do that.
As a country study we looked at Albania as communism fell and the country opened to the gospel. Religious freedom and the growth of the church did not bring Albania out of poverty. Foreign Aid also did not bring Albania out of poverty. Perhaps it could be said that while aid is helpful, when it does not focus on economic development, people remain in poverty. Yes, poverty has gone down about 10 percent, but even that is based on only USD 1.25 per day: clearly inadequate.
Looking at past successful moves to bring the gospel and wealth creation, we reviewed the historical spread of the gospel along the trade routes. For instance the Nestorians traveled the Silk Road reaching China with the gospel by the sixth century. They utilized the same word for evangelist as businessperson. We also looked at the exemplary business principles of the Quakers, Moravians, and Basel mission.
Asking how we might examine businesses today, we developed a grid to measure businesses on strategic and intentional biblical wealth creation. To make the grid practical we provided examples of three businesses.
Finally, we also suggested forming an organization to provide young business leaders experience and mentoring by experienced wealth creators.
We believe that creating real wealth is what God desires from us: wealth that blesses families, communities, and countries. That blessing includes sharing faith and love, providing jobs that are meaningful and reflect the creativeness of our God. Building business for the long haul: sustainable and scalable. . . . We trust that these examples will spark the church and business community to consider how they might affirm, align and release wealth creators to the ministry of the gospel.
[Quotes in italics are excerpts from the report, unless otherwise stated.]