The BCBP is a community of like-minded Christian businessmen and professionals who have consciously decided to band together to bring about the transformation of the marketplace. To accomplish this vision, we aim to bring into our community men and women of significant influence in business and in the professions who together will be the instruments of Christ in the business milieu. This requires from every BCBP member an on-going personal conversion together with a commitment to the practice of Christian values in the workplace. Thus, to win the marketplace for Christ means the radical change in the value system of business to one that is based on genuine and sustainable Christ-centric business tenets of steward leadership, justice and integrity, and professional excellence.
The BCBP Way of Life is a transformative way of life, encompassing the practice of moral integrity and Christian values not only in the business milieu, but also in each member’s family life, as well as in the life of the BCBP Community.
The BCBP Vision and Mission Explained
Having a goal in life, having a vision and mission, is most important to our fulfillment as human beings. What is true of individuals is also true of groups, communities, and nations.A person without a goal in life drifts and will ultimately find life meaningless. If this state continues, it may lead to mental illness and despair. Proverbs tells us that a people without a vision perish.
James Callaghan a former prime minister of the United Kingdom said the following: “In my judgment, a leader should have a core philosophy and belief against which he can judge the important issues as they arise.” He goes on to say that, if a person lacks that he or she won’t be able to survive the storms that blow up in life and the reason is, because that person lacks a secure anchor that can keep him steady in a time of confusion or darkness.
The BCBP, too, has a goal, a vision and mission that every member of the BCBP makes his or her own and that he lives for and works for. What makes our BCBP vision and mission so exciting is that we believe the Lord Jesus called us together to be the BCBP and he himself gave us our vision and mission, i.e. our marching orders. With this in mind we want to take a close look at our vision and mission.
About Our Vision
Our Vision consists of two equally important parts: (1) Bringing Christ into the marketplace and (2) winning the marketplace for Christ. Let us consider our vision in greater detail.
1. Bringing Christ into the Marketplace
Christ cannot be brought into the marketplace by putting him in an attaché case, carrying him to our office, and taking him along to our various business appointments. The only way Christ can be brought into the marketplace is through businessmen, who have made Christ their Lord, have enthroned him in their hearts, who are witnesses to the Lord to such a degree that they have become “alter Christus” (another Christ).
Thus the first part of our vision focuses on the work of evangelization of persons through whom Jesus Christ can enter the world of business and the professions. From this it follows that the BCBP is committed to evangelizing business people and professionals. We evangelize through our businessmen’s breakfasts, our BCLP, and our basic formation program. We also evangelize through our witnessing in the marketplace. People are convinced and evangelized not by mere words but more powerfully by the actions we make consistently with integrity.
We need to remember what Pope Paul VI taught in Evangelii Nuntiandi. Evangelization is not complete when we get a person to recommit his life to Jesus Christ and pray with him for Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Evangelization reaches its completion when that person is integrated into a Christian community, has been formed in the basics of Christian life and equipped to share in the mission of the Church through his community, which is in our case the BCBP. Thus only when people make their full commitment to the BCBP does their process of evangelization reach completion.
The second part of our vision spells out the target group for our evangelization and that is not just people who work in an office. We will explain who we are called to evangelize in more detail after we understand the second part of our vision.
2. Winning the Marketplace for Christ
The second part of our vision focuses on the environment, the culture, the value system of the business and professions community. What we are dealing with is a culture, a total design for manufacturing and selling, trading, providing services, etc. This culture is expressed through the philosophy of capitalism, free enterprise, profit above all else, production at the lowest possible cost mostly at the expense of the ordinary employees. With respect to customers it is expressed in “caveat emptor” let the buyer beware.
The Lord wants us to so impact the culture of the business world and that of the professions that the very value system will change to one of genuine and sustainable development for all, sharing the benefits of business with all the stakeholders including the little people. Making sure we do not make money by under-paying our staff or by hiring people and firing them before the six-month temporary employment is up then to hire new ones in order to keep labor costs low.
To accomplish this part of our vision needs men and women with decision-making authority in their places of work. It needs men and women of character, who combine trustworthiness, courage and concern for all stakeholders, but who are willing to be unpopular, to put their own advancement at risk in order to uphold the values of justice, righteousness, and strive for excellence in products and services in the marketplace.
Thus to go back to an earlier point, the BCBP’s target group for evangelization is not rank-and-file people. The target group of the BCBP are those men and women now involved in business and the professions who occupy positions of responsibility of such a type that they can bring about changes in the culture of their own company and field of expertise.
The target group of the BCBP is not retired businessmen and professionals. This does not mean such people aren’t loved by Christ or that they cannot make a contribution to Christ’s work, but they are not the target group of the BCBP. A time will come when our members retire from active involvement in the business world and the professions. That fact changes nothing in their membership. It is our prayer that the BCBP can profit from their wisdom and expertise as long as the Lord gives them good health. They will always be loved and honored in the BCBP communities where they are, whether they can contribute actively or not.
The people we want to win for Christ in line with our vision and mission are men and women who are at this time in some kind of position of responsibility and are on their way up in their companies or professions. That is we are looking for young executives of about 30 to 40 years of age. When we say this, we do not want to imply that we must not or should not win slightly older men for Christ or slightly younger men for Christ.
Summary of the BCBP Vision
To pull what was said above together. Our vision has two parts, the first part focuses on evangelization. This part of our vision we try to accomplish by evangelizing businessmen and women and professionals, who are young and are on the way up, but who already occupy positions of responsibility in their companies. We evangelize through our breakfasts, the BCLP, and our basic formation program, which includes providing for new people competent and generous Action Group Leaders.
About Our Mission
Our mission focuses first on who we are, namely a community whose membership is drawn from the world of business and the professions. We, i.e. our members see and understand themselves as change agents in the market place. The mission statement goes on to spell out more clearly in what precise way we are change agents in the marketplace. In this section we want to comment on the following important points of the mission of the BCBP.
1. Community of business people and professionals
2. Committed to Christian values
3. Change agents in the marketplace
a. On-going personal conversion
b. Professional excellence
c. Community and nation building
d. Practice of justice and integrity
e. Responsible care for what is entrusted to us
Community of Business People and Professionals
The focus here is on community. This is an essential part of how the Lord has called us. Our vision and also our mission is a communal one. We do our mission not as individual operators, but as men and women committed to the Lord and to one another. We are brothers and sisters of one another. We share a common way of life and a common mission. Community is crucial because it means that we will have the support of brothers and sisters. We will receive encouragement or correction when needed. We will receive teaching. We will be able to make all our talents and resources bear on our mission objective. We don’t have to do it alone.
Committed to Christian Values
This applies both to individual members of the BCBP and to the BCBP community. As members we have committed our life to Christ. He is our Lord. His values, his mission, the work entrusted to him by the Father, are our mission. In this we are supported by the BCBP community, which community is committed to the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ. This, of course, is a great support and encouragement for each individual member of the community where Christ is openly proclaimed, honored, and followed.
Change Agents in the Marketplace
We have not joined the BCBP to have an easy life or to be protected from the harshness of the business world. The BCBP community has not been created as an oasis or a refuge for tired souls. The BCBP is an apostolic body and its members are apostles who want to win the marketplace for Christ. In other words, members who want to make such a difference that we can truly apply the words of the song to the BCBP: The business world and the world of the professions has become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ.
Corporately and individually we want to bring about a change and that is why we call ourselves change agents in our mission. Becoming an agent for change has to begin with us. The change we want to bring about in others needs to be visible in us. Leadership does not consist in pointing out the way for others, but to lead others by walking ahead of them. Thus we commit ourselves to the following:
• Ongoing personal conversion
We know that taking off the old man or the old woman and putting on the new man in Christ is not a one-time act, but a life-long process. This is the reason why we say we will turn to the Lord in an ongoing way. As his faithful followers we pray for the grace to take up our cross daily and walk in the way of the Lord. In other words, we don’t consider ourselves graduates after we finish the BCLP or the BCMR or any one of the other formation weekends of the BCBP.
• Professional Excellence
If we lack competence or if we are slipshod comptrollers, managers, or supervisors, we lack witness power. Others will not take our testimony seriously. That is the reason why membership in the BCBP demands ongoing learning and development in our chosen profession. We need to be recognized as people who know what they are doing. Laziness and unprofessionalism really has no place in the BCBP, because it makes us ineffective in our task of winning the marketplace for Christ.
• Good Managers
The two major character qualities we strive to grow in are trustworthiness and competence. The reason for this is not only that God wants us to use our talents and to conduct ourselves worthily in the workplace. The reason is based on our Vision. We are to evangelize the marketplace and win the marketplace for Christ. Our greatest witnessing power comes from being examples of good stewards, who administer what is entrusted to them honestly and competently, i.e. with integrity.
• Justice and Integrity
This brings us to the next point in our mission. We want to bring the values of the Kingdom into the marketplace. Faith and justice go together. We cannot be disciples of Christ and at the same time act unjustly. It would be the height of hypocrisy to arrange CLPs for our workers so that they won’t create trouble for management and allow us to take advantage of them. In other words, it does not work to give others Christ and at the same time take advantage of them or worse, in order to take advantage of them. Integrity in short refers to us walking our talk.
• Community and Nation Building
Finally, the goal of our evangelization is not just to win individuals for Christ, but to help the evangelized businessmen and professionals become part of a community of committed Christians so that their walk with the Lord can be supported and they have an environment where they can grow and develop as disciples and servants of the Lord. Of course, we want to bring those we evangelize to join us in our BCBP community.
This is the reason why we begin outreaches and help those groups in learning the BCBP way of life and training them for the BCBP mission. Our goal is to raise up chapters, i.e. communities of committed and trained businessmen and women and professionals, for the work that the Lord has entrusted to us. It is here where we and our new brothers and sisters learn to live for the Lord, to love as he has loved us and serve him in the mission given to us.
As this process of evangelization continues and committed BCBP members impact their respective marketplaces, not only is the community being built but our nation is also being transformed. As more and more businesses, businessmen, women, and professionals operate honestly and with Christian integrity, as the evangelization of the marketplaces expands and widens the Christian horizon, then our nation will become a better and stronger country to do business in. We all benefit…as individual BCBP members, as the BCBP Community, as evangelists in the marketplace, and as a nation peopled with honest, committed, and practicing Christians of integrity. And this will see our marketplace further expand to impact globally.
Summary of the BCBP Mission
The Lord has given us a specific way of life and mission. Our mission determines the structure of our community, the formation new members receive, and the way we live for the Lord and one another. Our mission to bring Christ into the marketplace and to win the marketplace for Christ also determines the type of people we want to win for Christ, namely those who can together with us transform the marketplace and the professions into an environment where Christ’s values flourish and where all stakeholders benefit. We are called to reach out to up-and-coming business executives, who are still young and energetic, still open to be formed and not so set in their ways, leaders with young families, men and women who can take on the mind of Christ, make the vision and mission of the BCBP their own and stand shoulder to shoulder with us as we do the work the Lord has called us to.
Bringing Christ into the marketplace and winning the marketplace for Christ … as Individuals … in the BCBP community … into the marketplace … and the nation … and onwards. This is the Vision and Mission of the BCBP.