Last fall, a group of businessmen from Oak Mountain Church in Birmingham, Ala., embarked on a unique short-term missions trip to South Asia with Mission to the World (MTW). They didn’t go to teach children, befriend college students, or pour concrete. Instead, these men went to mentor South Asian entrepreneurs as a part of MTW’s Business as Mission (BAM) ministry.

This inaugural trip followed several years of groundwork by MTW’s Business as Mission director, John Tubbesing. “MTW had a handful of businesses, and some of our missionaries were interested in doing more for a number of reasons. I also started hearing from businesspeople in churches in the U.S. that they’d like to use their business skills for missions,” Tubbesing said. “That led to a workshop where we met with leaders involved with business as mission and decided to launch a formal ministry.”

As part of the Business as Mission initiative, an MTW church plant in South Asia recently opened a new center for business development to meet a need in the community by helping local entrepreneurs launch and grow new businesses. The church was looking for “visiting executives” to serve as mentors as part of a business course at the center. The need fit perfectly with one of the goals MTW was hoping to accomplish—providing an avenue for American businesspeople to use their skills and expertise  on the mission field.

MTW considers Business as Mission a win-win. Business initiatives help provide jobs in the community, which not only benefits local families, but also helps churches become more self-sustaining as believers are able to give financially. BAM initiatives also provide access to places where more traditional missionaries cannot openly serve because of political and cultural opposition to the gospel. This presents an opportunity for businesspeople to play a vital role in fulfilling the Great Commission.

“Business is ministry,” Tubbesing says. “Doing your job with a kingdom mindset is ministry in and of itself. We’re taking that principle and applying it to global missions.”

For more information on MTW’s Business as Mission ministry visit mtw.org/BAM.