Monday, July 17, 2017

Wealth Creation Manifesto

The idea of "wealth creation" has been a difficult one for Christians to get behind if we define that as our goal in the work of business development.  "Poverty alleviation" is a much more palatable term.  That is in part because we equate wealth with Jesus' words that it is "more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle."  We forget that the very next words from the disciples is "who then can be saved?" and Jesus replies that with man it is impossible - none of us can do it on our own.  Or sometimes we have been taught that "money is the root of all evil" instead of "the love of money."

Wealth creation is not the same as making people rich.  Helping people have access to opportunities that will allow them to be creative and productive, and to provide for their families and children, can often only take place through wealth creation, which never comes from handouts.  One of my favorite lines from the Poverty Cure is this, "I have never heard of a third world nation becoming a first world nation because of aid.  That track is wrong and it leads nowhere."

I was happy to see the Lausanne Movement and BAM Global come out recently with a wealth creation manifesto.  I think they have done a very nice job of putting this together.  I have pasted it below and would love to hear thoughts on this.

As the DML team has just completed three different trainings in Nigeria (Abuja, Jos, and Lagos) that apparently went very well.  Close to three hundred pastors and church leaders were trained in Discipling Marketplace Leaders!  I will include some pictures from those trainings at the end of this post.

Wealth Creation Manifesto


The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation. 


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.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam - For the greater glory of God

Version 4.0: 23 April 2017

Dr. Walker, Barbie Odom, and the leaders from Lagos

200+ pastors in Lagos, very excited to be together.

After a long and tiring trip, Dr. Walker still teaching with passion.