Developing People and Businesses in Southern Africa

Navigators firmly believe that God uses men and women in the workplace to advance the Gospel. Businesses operated by entrepreneurs who are also skilled in developing followers of Christ increasingly play an important role in overcoming political and financial obstacles to missions. 

 
However, it takes a strong support network to uphold and equip “missional entrepreneurs.” Just the job of sustaining a profitable business is an arduous undertaking, especially in countries ravaged by economic instability and political unrest. Add to that the challenge of life-on-life discipleship and you have a job description for a stout-hearted few.
 
But many are discovering how to integrate investment in business with investment in people. More than 50 men and women from the southern part of Africa met in Lusaka, Zambia between April 3 and 6 to gain a deeper understanding of how to build and sustain “missional enterprises.” The conference included Navigators from Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, and a few from the U.S. and Sweden. 
 
Craig Chongwe, who organized the event, is a strong example of a missional entrepreneur. He owns and operates a profitable tire and auto repair shop in Lusaka, which is also a natural platform for him to invest in the lives of his employees and clients. Craig leads optional Bible studies with his staff. He also invests in the professional development of each employee. He has seen God transform his company’s workplace relationships. Walk in to the shop and you immediately sense joy and peace.
 
Craig’s business has generated jobs, which in turn helps keep a few more Zambians out of poverty. Craig also runs his business with integrity, which increases his clients’ trust in him and makes them more eager to return. Honest dealings help him to authentically share his faith when God opens the door. 
 
Having integrated his faith with his business, Craig served as a good model for the participants who attended the conference. Other speakers cast the vision for the “missional enterprise” approach. Participants worked through case studies of actual companies in the Navigator network, learned about business ethics and life coaching, and discussed the biblical worldview for work and commerce. 
 
Zambia’s country leader for The Navigators, Nelson Musipa said that he believes God will do amazing things through these men and women all over the region. Existing and new businesses, he said, will continue to be used by God to reach the lost. 
 
“As God blesses us and helps these companies grow, we will not forget that it is God who gives the increase,” Nelson said. 
 
African leaders in the southern region are planning a follow-up conference next year, as well as an upcoming missional enterprise conference in the western region later this year. 
 

Comments
Johan du Randt
Well done to Craig for realizing that your employees are the biggest asset in your business and investing in their lives means that you make a difference in their lives for the good. I hope that Craig's business is still generating jobs for his fellow countrymen.
10/14/2015 7:14:49 AM

Esther Waruiru
Great conference and great story from Craig and Chongwe.
5/20/2014 11:11:25 AM

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