“I consider myself a cheerful servant of God and take courageous action when God lays a need at my feet” It is a quote from German pastor and entrepreneur Friedrich von Bodelschwingh. This motto fuels the Business As Mission (BAM) work of 33-year-old Noah*. He recently started volunteering for World Partners Germany. We asked him some questions to get to know him better.
Can you tell us something about your background?
I studied economics with a specialization in finance in Europe and America. I ended up in ‘investment banking’. For years I have evaluated companies and gained experience in innovation advice. God gave me the skills and experience to use for His Kingdom and glory.
Together with my wife Emilia*, I live in the south of Germany. I play the violin and enjoy playing volleyball and football. As a diver, I admire God’s fascinating creation underwater.
How did you come into contact with World Partners?
Step-by-step. God knocked on my door and ‘put need at my feet’. In 2021 I visited a Stan-Land** and met Jan van Dalen*. The Dutchman has years of experience in missionary entrepreneurship and has been involved with World Partners for years. We got to know each other so well that he and some business partners attended our wedding as guests of honor.
Three years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where I am today. Nor did I predict the fascinating Christians I would meet all over the world. Sometimes it seems like a rafting trip: It is of utmost importance to listen to the voice and instructions of the group leader: when should we paddle forward or backward, or quickly get into the boat because of approaching rapids? In the dynamic BAM environment we are also dependent on God for carrying out His will.
Jesus is our Captain and we want to abide in Him in everything we do.
How was the start-up World Partners Germany?
It started with an informal network when we visited projects. We wanted to build a BAM network in Germany and connect many individual entrepreneurs. We wanted them to experience the synergie of cooperation. Besides entrepreneurs, we also work with Christian investors. World Partners’ vision is the story of Elia and Elisa: Mutual empowerment, leading other people in their calling. We ask God for spiritual power and expect great things from Him, because He is still working miracles today. We are allowed to take risks because our Father is the King of the universe.
Which Bible text helps you in your work?
May our Heavenly Father’s blessings flow to the ends of the earth. As stewards, we want to use everything He gives us – whether it be knowledge, money, skills, businesses, leadership positions – for God’s kingdom, so that people encounter Jesus in and through business. Especially in places where there are few Christians or where they are persecuted. Psalm 67:6-8 is an encouragement and a motivation for me:
The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
For me, it’s about people encountering Jesus. I want them to experience holistic salvation, and worshiping and honoring God. We do this by passing on God’s blessing through business. Sustainable development through locally empowered businesses that create spiritual, economic, social and environmental value for local communities.
What do you find valuable about the organization’s mission?
Jesus is central. The mission is not an appendage, but our reason for existing. We want those least reached by the gospel to know and worship Jesus. The instrument is companies that create jobs, spread hope and enable transformation.
Furthermore, missional entrepreneurship integrates our creation mandate, the Great Commission, and the Greatest Commandment. We bridge the great gap between secular and spiritual, between a full-time church worker and a factory worker. God works through everything and everything belongs to Him. Jesus is also ruler of the economic world.
My desire is to support and help our oppressed and persecuted Christian family worldwide so that the Gospel can be heard in hard-to-reach countries. Entrepreneurship allows Christians to rise from the poorest class and gain a credible identity and voice that other locals listen to. They can become self-sufficient through business and be a blessing to their community. This often causes shut doors to open.
What is important in working together?
Is see collaboration as an opportunity to accomplish our mission together with more impact than would be achieved alone. It’s also an opportunity to build a great community. To do this we need a common understanding of our vision, values and mission. We need to trust each other to open up, share information, strengthen each other and take responsibility. We can create a stimulating, positive work energy through acts of love, not despite but because of our differences. A recent meeting between World Partners Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland encouraged us all.
Any closing thoughts?
- He doesn’t insult the plants.
- He does not blame the plant for growing too slowly.
- Plants are not pulled up before they have had a chance to grow.
- Plants are selected based on soil conditions.
- Watering and fertilizing are necessary.
- Weeds must be removed.
- Remember that there will be good and bad seasons. You can’t control the weather, but you can prepare for it.
* Fictive names **Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan etc. | Photo: Pexels.com