Earlier this year two evangelical groups, the Lausanne Movement and BAM Global, met in Thailand to “discuss various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, Biblical foundation, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church.” During the meeting 30 people from 20 nations, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia, put together the Wealth Creation Manifesto:
1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.
3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.
• We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.
• We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
• We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
• We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God – given gifts to serve God and people.
Since the meeting the group has also issued several papers related to wealth creation (Wealth Creation and the Poor, Role of the Church in Wealth Creation, Wealth Creation within Global Cultural Perspectives, Wealth Creation: Biblical Views & Perspectives) which we’ll consider in more detail in future posts.