SfK Ministries

SfK Ministries

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Newsletter - April 2017

SfK Newsletter Vol. 2017-04
April 12, 2017
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"God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in numbers: fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
(Genesis 1:28)

A Reflection on Profitability and Productivity
By Jeffrey J. Lee, CEO of SfK Ministries

We tend to review and interpret God's Word spiritually. Rightfully so. But if the interpretation of the Scripture is confined only to the spiritual realm, we may miss the implication and message of certain concepts that are applicable to business as a high and holy calling for serving the needs of humanity. 
Although business is a secular entity, it can be a means of service or worship to God.  However good our intentions, it is prone to temptations for misuse or abuse.  To further illustrate this point, we use water as an example of something that is good in essence and necessary for life.  However, when there is too much, it causes devastating floods.  Too little water causes drought.  Waterborne diseases and can harm humans or other living things.  In the same way, when businesses fall to being misused it can bring harm to people in many forms.  So, how can we mitigate these negative aspects/outcomes with the benefits that we see in the world?  Christians have been called to being the ambassadors of Christ on reconciling the world, all things in it, to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).  We must have a view of business as a means of worship, to serve those that God intends for us to serve.

Before sin entered humanity, God's perfect world, the Garden of Eden, was functioning with the principles of productivity and profitability.  Profitability and productivity are two concepts that are frequently used in the business world. Some extremists tend to view profitability and even productivity as something inherently bad because they are associated with business. But even these critics benefit from businesses and the products and services that businesses provide.

In Genesis 1:28, as cited above, God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful (productive and profitable) and subdue the earth. The word 'Subdue' means to create benefits for themselves or be profitable. In other words, these 'business' concepts existed even before humanity polluted themselves and the world with sin. The concepts are inherently good in God's eyes. But sin contaminated them and human greed fell into temptation to make these inherently good concepts have the perception of being something that is generally bad.

We Christians who are on the call and pathway for reconciling the world and everything in it to God have a mandate to restore these crooked and twisted concepts to God's originally intended meanings.

We are on the journey to restore and reconcile everything that has turned bad due to sin, including business concepts, such as profitability and productivity, This mandate is not just for missional entrepreneurs or business people, but also for all Christians. Obedience is what is expected of us.

In this issue, we share the Foreword written by Dr. Tony Merida, Teaching Pastor, Temple Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The link is below.  http://sfkministries.blogspot.com/2017/04/foreward-by-dr-tony-merida-on-missional.html 
The Missional Entrepreneur:

Mark Russell is a businessman, a scholar and a seminary trainer minister. His passion is in bringing values to people and His Kingdom through business as mission. He put his passion into a book, titled "The Missional Entrepreneur: Principles and Practices for Business as Mission." It is a book that is a must-read for anyone who is interested in serving the Lord and His Kingdom through business as mission. SfK Newsletter is going to share some excerpts from his book going forward. Mark serves as a member of the board of directors at SfK Life Corporation. 

  • Lausanne Consultation on Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation (March 7-11, 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand).  After several months of pre-consultation meetings, a group of 30 people from 16 nations gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand to present the papers in 7 sub-groups and provided feedbacks for each other. The Consultation adopted the draft of Wealth Creation Manifesto and will publish 7 articles that will eventually turn into a book. It was an exciting gathering to bring knowledge, wisdom, and insights on wealth creation into writings. Click HERE to see pictures and read more about this gathering.   
  • Special Dedication Service for SfK Korea and SfK BAM Fund I (March 16, 2017, Seoul, Korea).  Almost 100 people gathered to dedicate SfK Korea and SfK BAM Fund I to the Lord. Almost every Korean who is involved in BAM participated in this special celebration. Those who desire to make an impact investment in the Kingdom of God through missional business, please contact Dr. William Son at wson@sfklife.org. Click HERE to read the story and see the photos of this special event. 
  • SfK Ministries Korean Webpage is now up and running. Coinciding with the launch of SfK Korea, the Korean webpage of SfK Ministries is now up and running. Please browse www.sfkministries.org
  • Skybay Thailand held the second anniversary celebration in Bangkok (March 23, 2017). Skybay Thailand is the implementing member of SfK Ministries in Thailand. This company and its sister foundation, Thai Miracle Community or TMC, celebrated their second anniversary with an unusual ensemble concert of classical music and Christian hip hop dancing. This event was carried at a Thai Cultural Center in Bangkok and several other ministries or organizations jointly participated in the celebration. Approximately 300 people attended the event.
  • SfK MBA Seminar in Bangkok (March 27, 28, 2017) A handful of missional entrepreneurs received an intensive education seminar on effective management of BAM. It is a journey to become an effective missional entrepreneur. Learning should never be stopped because life never stops teaching.
  • 6. SfK MBA Training in Kigali, Rwanda. (April 3-7, 2017, Kigali, Rwanda) SfK Ministries held its first training session in Kigali, Rwanda. Seven missional entrepreneurs in Kigali and two from Arusha, Tanzania attended this intensive course and received their certificates of completion. Seven missional entrepreneurs are in the process of establishing a medical center and an 18-room guest house. The buildings are currently under construction and they plan to begin the operations on January 1st, 2018. There will be a follow up training session in October.  To view more story and photos from the training, click HERE.  

  1. BAM Class at World Mission University (May 8-19, 2017, Los Angeles, California) World Mission University and SfK Ministries will jointly offer a BAM Class that will be offered to the students for a grade as well as to the general public. Anyone who is interested in attending this evening class (6-10pm for 10 days) should register with the office of World Mission University. Jeffrey Lee will be the primary lecturer but a handful of guest speakers will also teach, such as Mark Russell and Tom Phillips. Please pray that this class will produce lasting impact in many people to bring honor and glory to God. 
  2. SfK Breakfast in Los Angeles (May 2-19, 2017, Los Angeles and its vicinity) While Jeffrey Lee will be in Los Angeles, there will be numerous breakfasts to be sponsored and held at various locations. During this time, short presentations will be made to the participants about BAM and SfK Ministries. Please pray that God will mobilize many people to be interested in hosting and participating in the events that will be fruitful.
  3. International Business (BAM) Alliance (IBA) Forum, Sorak, Korea, (June 19-21, 2017) This forum provides a fertile ground for scholars and practitioners to come together to share their insights about various aspects of BAM. All the presentations will be collected into a book for others to benefit from. Jeffrey Lee will participate as one of keynote speakers and a contributor in writing. Please pray that this forum will be insightful and productive so that the outcome will benefit many BAMers and potential missional entrepreneurs. 
  4. IBA Nemo House (Neo Moravian House) in Seoul, Korea (July 3-28, 2017) IBA is the de facto platform on BAM for mission agencies and churches in Korea. IBA will hold its second year BAM training course for commissioned missionaries or BAM practitioners. If you are interested, please register at the IBA.  Please pray that many effective BAM practitioners will be produced out of this training program.
  5. There is strong probability of SfK MBA Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand in September and in Kigali, Rwanda in October. Details need to be ironed out, but if and when they materialize, the September training may become an annual program and the October training would be the first training program held in cooperation with a church denomination. Please pray that these events will gain God's favor and materialize into reality.
Until we get back in contact with you, may God's peace be with you!
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SfK MBA Training Kigali April 2017...

I made a 12-day trip back to Kigali, Rwanda after I stopped over in Bangkok for a few days. The primary purpose of the trip was to provide a 5-day or 30-hour training on BAM for Nanuri community people. This program is called SfK Missional Business Academy (MBA) Training. It could be provided in different length and 30-hour program is a short one. Naturally I had to cut out many hands-on practices.

They have the Nanuri Medical Center and Nanuri Guest House under construction and expect to begin the commercial operation in January 2018. So the training was timely in getting them prepared for the operations. The attendees were Sang Hoon Lee, Song Hee Lee, Jun Bum Park, Jieyeon Baek, Kihyun Kim, Ji Man Park and Hee Ju Lee, altogether forming the Nanuri Community. Nanuri means "Share" in Korean.

Sang Hoon Lee, Managing Director and Song Hee Lee, Director for Guest House

Nanuri Medical Center

Dr. Jiyeon Baek, Pediatrician, and Dr. Jun Bum Park, Physician 

A couple from Arusha, Tanzania also attended the training: Sung Soo Kim and Youngsoon Kim. They are advising the leadership team of E3Empower Africa that provides energy, education and entrepreneurship for Tanzania and beyond in Africa.

When I arrived in Kigali, I was still coughing and the cold that I caught in Seoul turned into a bad allergy. It turned out to be an excellent idea that I went to see Dr. Tommy for diagnosis and medicine. After taking the medicine that he prescribed for me, I became a lot better. Even after five days of speaking for six hours a day, I was still able to speak without failure. Thanks to God's grace!

All participated in the training sincerely and eagerly. We spent two days to cover the Biblical framework for business, BAM's significance in the world missions, Global trends in world missions, Glorifying God through business, Essential values for a BAM, Essential components for missional entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship principles and processes etc. Once we get into studying technical aspects of business management, all began to excel. Within two hours, two groups were able to produce pro forma income statement for the first twelve months. Also, both groups were able to analyze the SWOTs of their intended businesses and also actions to take.

At the end, all received the Certificate of Completion and promised to apply what they learned to their daily business practices. I look forward to hearing more about the progress they will make.

The Nanuri Community showed great hospitality with dinner arrangement for each night. I had to decline the offer but one dinner from each family. Mr. and Mrs. Kim and I reciprocated their hospitality by inviting their family members to dinner also. I appreciated their hospitality.

Dan Mutiganda, lawyer and my former colleague at UOB also came to talk about New Labor Law in Rwanda as part of Human Resources Management training. He is a great man of God and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him again.

Pastor Innocent of the Kigali Diocese of Anglican Church in Rwanda participated in a few afternoon sessions at the advice of the Bishop Louis Muvuni, the bishop for the Kigali Diocese. We discussed about holding a two-week training on BAM for up to 15 people in October 2017. It is my hope and prayer that we can develop 3-5 trainers who can train Rwandans in Kinyarwanda later on. We will see what the Lord has in mind.

I stayed at the Happy House, a guest house run by Kristin's friend. The facility was somewhat old and the bathroom was not functioning properly, but the breakfast that she prepared for us was fantastic and the view of the Kigali city was stunning. The sunset view was also fantastic. Kigali has a beautiful weather.

Kristin and I lived in Kigali for almost eight (8) years and the city has become one of our second homes. I will surely miss the city and the country. - Jeffrey

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Foreward by Dr. Tony Merida on The Missional Entrepreneur by Mark Russell

Mark Russell is a businessman, a scholar and a seminary trainer minister. His passion is for bringing values to people and His Kingdom through business as mission. He put his passion into a book, titled "The Missional Entrepreneur: Principles and Practices for Business as Mission." It is a book that is a  must-read for anyone who is interested in serving the Lord and His Kingdom through business as mission. Thus, SfK Newsletter is going to share some excerpts from his book going forward. 

In this issue, we share the Foreword written by Dr. Tony Merida, Teaching Pastor, Temple Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Contemporary culture has become enamored with the “life coach.” Many want (or are told they need) a therapist, counselor, mentor, philosopher, or leader to give them advice on particular matters. Sadly, many times these sources of advice do not dispense very good, much less Christian, counsel. It is rarely Bible-driven, God-centered, and Christ-exalting “coaching.”

That is why I am happy to recommend Mark L. Russell's The Missional Entrepreneur. Russell serves as a reliable instructor for Christian men and women in the business world who wish to use their career and influence for God's glory and the advancement of Jesus's mission. Indeed, there are few books that address the everyday issue of how to make much of Christ in one's vocation.

One of the blessings of the Protestant Reformation was a renewed emphasis on this concept—living out one's vocatio (vocation) to the glory of God. For the reformers, there was no separation between the secular world and the spiritual world. They believed that one's vocation was his or her special calling. Thus, one could be called to do a variety of things, but each person was to have the great aim of glorifying God in those respected fields of service. Following the line of the reformers, Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper much later stated, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!'”1 And so, as Christ is Lord over all things, it is definitely worth our time to carefully meditate on how to glorify God in the area of work to which He has called us.

Russell writes with the analytical mind of a researcher, the business acumen of a professional, the heart of a pastor, and the zeal of a missionary. His background, education, life experiences, and passions enable him to write authoritatively on this subject. He writes in chapter 2:
  • Recently I conducted a research survey at a large church in the southeastern US. The results showed that 74 percent of the respondents saw little to no connection between their faith and their job. Of those who saw a connection, 64 percent were employees of a religious institution. Only 11 percent of respondents with a job in a nonreligious organization saw a connection between their faith and their employment. Furthermore, even those 11 percent reported a lack of confidence and fulfillment in their ability to integrate their faith at work.
Based upon this research, Russell goes on to assert, “It seems that church leaders are not teaching their congregations how to integrate their faith and their job.” As a pastor, I do not take offense to this. Instead, I rejoice that someone is writing about it, because it seems to be so true. While I have preached more than once on “a biblical perspective of work,” I have longed for a book to put in the hands of our businessmen and women in order to help them use their “tentmaking” job for the good of the kingdom. Thanks for your ever-so-needed resource, Mark. May God continue to stir up the hearts of His people to live missional lives for His glory and the good of the lost world.