Brandon Weidman | February 3, 2016
Have you ever felt marginalized in the ministry world because your skills and passions are in business? Well, you don't have to.
As part of integrated community transformation (ICT), businesses can provide opportunities for gaining access to hard-to-reach places, create employment in poverty-entrenched economies, empower women in oppressive cultures, and/or serve as a funding mechanism to sustain a project or ministry.
There’s no doubt business has a powerful place in the realm of kingdom work. Even when there isn’t such an obvious connection to ministry, businesses can have transformational impact.
A business that strategically fills a void or unmet need in its own community can play a powerful role in ICT.
A business that provides a neutral meeting place for its community’s members serves a vital purpose in bringing people together. A business whose owner intentionally disciples his/her customers and/or employees creates opportunities for ministry.
In 2013, we launched a small coffee shop called Beto’s in an unlikely place called Masatepe, Nicaragua. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, and there are certainly some unfair obstacles to doing business there. In only two years we’ve been able to grow a small coffee shop with just a few employees to a thriving business with over 15 employees.
Several factors have contributed to its success.
The business has empowered Nicaraguan workers who previously struggled to provide for their families while pursuing God’s calling on their lives. God has used this business to bring people together to help the oppressed in this community, and this has proven to those of us around it that a business can indeed be a vehicle for God’s transformative work.
In 2016, we plan to continue the growth of the business to further its impact here in our community. We’re expanding to online sales of our coffee and coffee-related products. To that end, we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign that will help fund the transition into this next phase of our business. Learn more about our Kickstarter campaign.