A group of top business leaders from six continents concluded last week that business leaders must see themselves as ministers who may usher in a badly needed spiritual revival. They also concluded that political corruption is the No. 1 issue Christian businessmen face worldwide. Most of the leaders signed a pledge to be “unashamedly ethical” as part of a movement started in South Africa that is going worldwide.
During round-table discussions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the group identified that corruption in government is one of the most difficult problems Christian businessmen face. Graham Power from South Africa is heading an initiative he calls “Unashamedly Ethical,” and most of the attendees signed a pledge not to give or accept bribes or other forms of corruption.
Power also read a list of the countries with the most and least corruption. New Zealand is rated least corrupt, and Singapore second. Somalia is considered most corrupt—No. 182, just behind North Korea. (Where is the United States on the list? It's rated the 24th least corrupt nation, with a score of 7.1 out of 10.)
There were stories—especially from developing countries—that told how many of these very wealthy businesspeople see business as a ministry rather than the dichotomy between the two we see in the West, where professional clergy do “ministry” while businesspeople do business and are merely seen as donors by ministry leaders.
The group heard reports on many world problems: the rise of Islam, the increasing persecution of Christians, the onslaught of gay marriage and the declining influence of the church in the West.
Charisma Publisher Steve Strang was one of the participants. Click here to read his personal e-newsletter report.
Strang wrote, “I was encouraged as I heard the stories and learned of ministries and outreaches in countries where I had little idea of what is happening. Even in the Muslim nations, there were very good reports. It proves once again that the body of Christ is alive and well on planet Earth.”
Before the group ended, reports were given regarding next steps on what the church needs to do. The steps included:
- Be more unified.
- Encourage the church to address social issues.
- Try to change perceptions of Christians in culture as loving rather than being judgmental or hating.
- Forming Christian "cartels" to work together to accomplish Christian goals.
- Have better branding for the Christian message and better PR in worldwide media.
- Focus on restoring families worldwide.
- Usher in a revival through businesses and businessmen.
- Work to improve education and ease poverty in developing nations.
- Encourage Christians to boldly proclaim their faith rather than retreat from the public square.
The 100 business leaders were part of Global Kingdom Partners Network, which is the vision of Elias Dantas, a Brazilian who is now a part of Nyack College in New York. The informal group that met for its second year last week began several years ago as an almost secretive meeting of megachurch pastors from around the world (including some from Muslim nations) to see how they could collaborate in spreading the gospel and encourage each other.
The marketplace initiative that convened in Malaysia last week is a spinoff of the pastor's group and is less secretive because what these businessmen do to fund the gospel and witness doesn't get the same persecution from governments who may be hostile to Christians.