Business as Mission - Lesson 3

Ministry Aspects

When you think kingdom, you think about rescuing people. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. The opportunity to be involved in rescue as we ourselves have been rescued, "helicoptered" out of the kingdom of darkness...why wouldn't we want to be part of that?

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Business as Mission
Lesson 3
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Ministry Aspects

Ministry Aspects

A. Transformation

B. Investing for the Kingdom

C. Relationships with Government

D. Servants vs. Heroes


  • Bill Job founded a company in China in 1988 as a Foreign Invested Enterprise. Meixia International produces Tiffany and fine glass for export. His vision is to transform people and communities through profitable business. Hundreds of Meixia employees have become believers in Jesus Christ, churches have been planted and compassionate ministries have started, including a program to hire the disabled.

    Bill Mcleod is founder and executive director of Mission ConneXion Northwest.

    Establishing a profitable business is one way to gain entrance and have influence in countries that are otherwise closed and/or hostile to the Gospel. It's important to depend on Christ and have an attitude of stewardship as you make decisions for the direction of the business.


  • God wanted my business to be done well. He doesn't do anything sloppily. He wants to own it, direct it, as one of the systems he has established for the universe by which the kingdom of God enters into our experience on a day to day basis.

  • When you think kingdom, you think about rescuing people. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. The opportunity to be involved in rescue as we ourselves have been rescued, "helicoptered" out of the kingdom of darkness...why wouldn't we want to be part of that?

In this three-session course, Bill MacLeod, founder of Mission ConneXion Northwest, interviews Bill Job, founder and president of Meixia International, a thriving business in China. With the core conviction that eternal things are more important than temporal things, Bill describes how through his business programs hundreds of Meixia’s employees have become believers in Jesus Christ, churches have been planted and compassionate ministries have started, including a program to hire disabled workers from the local community. Approximately 1.5 hours.

Business as Mission

Bill MacLeod & Bill Job


Ministry Aspects

Lesson Transcript


Bill MacLeod:  We've come to this third area, the ministry side of doing businesses missions. And you know, what are some things they're talking about?


Bill Job:  I had a real shift into Kingdom metrics. I had earlier only been able to kind of measure church metrics. And one of the local pastors one day said, Bill, we're really glad that you're bringing these beggars into your company because we can't do that. And at first I was a little bit flattered, but then I realized. Wait a minute, something is wrong with it. Yeah. How are we as a factory able to do something that the church really should be doing? But I simply think they fell into what almost everybody does, and that is that the metric for church success is church growth. When you bring people in off the street who are smelly and disabled, the church growth has a possibility of reducing itself. People maybe leave. And so it kind of works against the goal. But when you think kingdom, what you think about is rescuing people. I've come to seek to save what was lost any time you have a chance to be a part of that process with a kingdom orientation it's a no brainer. Yeah, really. And so seeing people who are disabled or working with orphanage or working with, you know, just anybody, if it's a rescue operation, just like we've been rescued, we've been transferred in the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved son. We've been helicoptered out of that. Yeah. And any time you see that going on, it's just like, yeah, why wouldn't we want to be a part of that?


Bill MacLeod:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then they'll talk to me about the. You've got a whole group of street people. Mm hmm. And they in their own division, you've got them throughout the company.


Bill Job:  Yeah, well, what happened was I came in to work one day, parked my car, got out, and there was this. I don't want to use the word. Yeah, it was a shorter guy. And he had some muscular, you know, abnormalities. And he was maybe about four feet tall, four and a half feet tall or something. He had a speech impediment. Just his thinking wasn't clear. I got out of the car and he said, Hey, boss, how you doing? And I said, Hey, who are you? And I'm not your boss. Yeah. And he said, Well, you're going to be. I said, What are you talking about? He said, Well, I've been looking for you for six months. I heard about you when I was in jail for begging, and I've been coming here. I want to get a job. And I said, Well, do you have an ID? He goes, No. I said, We can't hire anybody who doesn't have an ID. So we gave him some money to go home to his hometown and get an ID card produced and verify his identity. Took him three months to get all that stuff worked out. He shows back up and he wants a job. And so we give him a job. And these guys don't have any culture of working, so you got to really help them. And, you know, we put him in a home with a believer who actually teach. We would have to teach him how to wash his clothes and keep clean and all that kind of stuff, all personal hygiene. So we're kind of like supporting him on that side. And then at work, I would walk through the workshop and he would want to quit what he's doing and just talk. Here it is. Leave his job and walk over and just like we're good friends, I go I said, You can't do that, man. You got to go back, go to work while like, you know, kind of wander around doing the things I do not care. Would you like this? You have got to be productive. Are you out of here? Then he said, Well, I just do. I really like doing different things. I don't care. Go back are your God. And so he became a follower of Jesus about a week or two after that. And then he came back later and he said, I've still got that desire, but I got an idea. I want to run by you. So what's the idea? And he said, Well, we have like five teams of workers. They do different stuff every team has some things they don't want to do, some tedious, little troublesome jobs. On Monday, why don't you let me go to team number one and do the stuff they don't want to do? And on Tuesday, I'll go to team number two and do the stuff they don't want to do.


Bill MacLeod:  That keeps them moving. Get them.


Bill Job:  That's what he said on the job. Yeah, he said, That's where I get to move around I'm thinking, But you're also serving people. You're doing stuff they don't want to do. And so we gave it a try. And immediately on Tuesday there was a problem because he didn't go to team number one and they went team number two. And the number one lady said, Hey, where's that little guy? Usually, Oh, I'm sorry, you don't get it. Now he's over here helping these guys. You know, there's a I like them now is that was good. And so it grew into a division that served the regular teams. And so when we had other people come in who, like, we had one guy who had really no strength in his legs at all, no weight in his legs. And he was trying to stop lampshades he's sitting on a stool holding a lampshade and he pulled it just like ball over. He didn't have the weight in a weight him down. So yeah. So there are jobs you couldn't give to these guys because of the physical challenges. And so we developed him into a little department and what they did was sort of the pickup work that the other guys didn't really want to do. So the whole group served the regular line, which gained them respect. Because it help the regular guys make more money because if they didn't have take time to do it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, fixing wires. Yeah. Then they could produce more. They got paid for what they produced. So that's how it kind of got started.


Bill MacLeod:  And then all of a sudden he is, you know, he's a he's an item that everybody wants. Yeah. That part of their . .


Bill Job:  Well, he got voted like either the most improved or the best employee in the company. Six months after that, his speech impediment went away. His mental unclarity resolved.


Bill MacLeod:  He's studying the Bible.


Bill Job:  Yeah, well, yeah, I timed him in a 15 minute conversation, wanted more dialog, more monologue. From his he quoted scripture like 14 times in 15 minutes. But he wasn't quoting scripture. He just talking. Yeah. Just the way he had already gotten into it. I heard an older believer say, I love being in Bible studies with that guy. He's so smart. I said, Oh, you're kidding me. You know, so. Transforming individuals and communities through profitable business. But we were not programing it. We've had five guys come out into what we would call full time pastoral positions. Yeah, they're off in other cities and they're running churches. They're leading churches. But we had no training program, no.


Bill MacLeod:  Praise God, that's my word. You just listen to Jesus.


Bill Job:  We got two people in there often doing what we would call missionary work there in unreached people groups within the nation.


Bill MacLeod:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. Talk to me a little bit about how you started to reach out. Was there a case where you had some money and you were trying to do some things in terms of outreach or.


Bill Job:  Right, my finance guy was really smart and he didn't let me know how much profit we had actually accumulated over a couple of year period.


Bill MacLeod:  And so he had no.


Bill Job:  I Knew year by year he.


Bill MacLeod:  Had or he had.


Bill Job:  He had not let me know that we had a growing he would say, well this year we made, you know, $200,000. And that was pretty common for several years. And pretty soon we had four of those years in a row. And he knew that if I knew he had $800,000, I'd go do something with it. I'd spend that, ah, you know these up there. But I just kind of like lost track of it, you know? We're doing.


Bill MacLeod:  Which is kind of neat . .


Bill Job:  Yeah, The Lord was like keeping my mind up.


Bill MacLeod:  Right, right, right.


Bill Job:  So but we said, let's take 10% of that and invested in the kingdom $80,000. And so we made the commitment and we thought really highly of ourselves for a couple of months. And then I realize we're thinking highly of ourselves, but the money still in the bank, you know. Actually wasn't even in his bag. It was just folded in the general account. I said, okay, create a new account, pull the money out. Yep. And let's make it available. Another month or two goes by and it's still sitting in the bank is okay, that's it. We're we're, we're playing with this idea. I want that money spent in the next 30 days. Go find some way to invest it in the kingdom. We did some really fun things like we gave maybe 100, 150 bucks to maybe a dozen of our leaders and we just said, go invest this in the kingdom.


Bill MacLeod:  This is like a TV program. There's a TV program out there about, you know, these millionaires that go out and they act like they're ordinary people, but they're really looking for the right situation that they can give because they see people doing something that they want to play. So, I mean, that's what it reminds me of.


Bill Job:  It's sort of like that because we say, go, go do this. Go invest in whatever you want to for the game to come back and tell us what you did. And if it seems good, we can do it again, you know, that kind of thing. One girl. She's like my hero. She got a fifth grade education. And she became the best effective production manager in the history of the company. In my mind, we had six guys try that. We tried to trade for that one production line. They all washed out because they refused to go simple. They wanted to keep things complex. And she's okay with going simple. It kind of reminds me of Jesus. Say, Father, I thank you that you hid this from the learned. Yeah. And you revealed it to children. There is a part of the person now to God we've got to keep an eye on. He loves those kids. He loves the guys who come, which are like they, you know, willing to trust. They don't think of risk the same way that mature people. Yeah. Anyway, so she's kind of like that became really good. We gave her a thousand wise, about 150 bucks or something and she said, I found out later on she said, I heard I remember hearing that there was a lady in our building. Their buildings are like big dorms. Really? Yeah, for transit workers, right. That there was a lady who was sick and so. She went and found her. You know, knocked on all these doors until, you know, she found out, Yeah, there's a 60 year old mom, 60 year old woman who's sick in bed and didn't know what it was. So she goes and introduces herself. And so I'd like to meet this lady. And they say, well, she's in the room. And everybody else was like in the living room. So she goes in the bedroom, opens the door just goes to the bed kneels down and just grabs the lady's hand and introduces herself and just say, Is there anything I can do for you? I just like to try to be helpful. And so the lady saying, Well, I'm really sick with cancer, they say I should have an oxygen tank, but I can't afford it. So she gets up and goes in gets an oxygen tank within the hour, comes back, slips it around, you know, the little cannula thing subsidized and just says, can I come back tomorrow and talk to you? You know, she said, Sure. So she comes back the next day and just tells her story. And in the telling of a story, the lady says, I want that. Accepts Christ. She goes back the third day. She's already gone. She died that night. There's just all these little stories that just. Just do it. Just invest.


Bill MacLeod:  It. So you're giving the money to some of the bigger people that work for you and the stock.


Bill Job:  So that's a set of it. But then we also had a lot more money to get rid of. And we found out that there were orphanages nearby who didn't have necessarily the funding to be able to handle all of the operations that really were needed by the kids. Right. And so we began to support some of those operations. You know, $3,000 for a heart repair operation and they were not all successful. Remember one little girl that needed an operation and she lived with just a delightful family from the states that was here to support for about three months before the operation. That little girl would cling to Amber. Just she got so much love. That she did not live through the operation. There's a 20% chance she wouldn't and she didn't. So you think, well, gosh, that didn't work so good. Or you think the last three months of that life, that kid was loved? Yeah, I knew it. Yeah. Would we do it again? Absolutely.


Bill MacLeod:  The risk. Yeah, The risk. Yeah.


Bill Job:  You're not going to follow Jesus, find a safe place or a risk. It'll be a very safe but it won't be risk free.


Bill MacLeod:  Well, Jesus is going to come back and is going to commend you for taking the, you know, the ten months and doing something where even if the girl died. Yeah, you know, you're committed. But if you said, Oh, we don't want to hurt her life, We don't want to. Yeah, you know, but you took the risk, and sometimes it works just like this. And sometimes it doesn’t. Yeah.


Bill Job:  It doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision.


Bill MacLeod:  What about the lady with the hand?


Bill Job:  As is the another. It sounds like I go to a lot of restaurants, I guess. But I was coming out of a restaurant again and a lady was asking for money on the street and I noticed that she had an open sore on her hand. And so I said, Well, you know, again, we don't give money because we don't think it helps. But if you're interested, I'll come back tomorrow and pick you up here at 2:00 and take you to a hospital, and we will get that hand taken care of. And so the next day at noontime, I'm actually having a Bible study with some of these other, we call them BOB, our Band of Beggars. So they were, you know, kind of in off the street. We're doing some stuff at lunch. And I said, Does anybody have some free time this afternoon? I need to go and take this lady to the hospital and be kind of helpful to have somebody come along that might understand, you know, where she's coming from. And they soon they turned on me. They said, Boss, what are you talking about? Was she asking for money or was she back on the street? Well, yeah. You cannot trust those people. You know, they they're going to take a lie to you. They're going to do it for me. They just cannot be trusted. They were not at all identifies as, you know, exactly what everybody told me about. You said it's such a big problem. They just laughed. They laugh about it. So then I got I took two of these guys to come; a short friend and then another guy with two crutches. And he had two bad leg problems. So she gets in the car and her eyes go real big because she's not expecting to see other people from the street in the car. Then we drive over to the hospital. And I let them off at the front door. Then I go looking for a parking place. So they scramble out and they take her into the doctor's. See, I'm still looking for a parking place. By the time I get out, I found out they took her to the doctors, they got her examined, they went, spent their money on the medicine, took her back to the doctor to make sure she knew how to put the medicine on and then brought her back to me. So we get to the car, go back, drop her off at the same street corner and go back to work. And I said. Hey, guys, what do you think about that? How did that make you feel? Boss this is good. We can do this stuff and we can really help these people. They are not going to put anything over us. We know all the tricks. We are street people we know all the tricks, you know. But on the other hand, it was good to help her. So I said, Well. So you guys are like available within the city. If we have other people kind of pop up with problems like that? Yeah. So about a month later, I met a guy on the other side of town who, as an eight year old, had been run over by a railroad train and everything six inches below his belt was just gone. But he lived. Wow. And now he's in his thirties. He's making a living, selling gambling stuff and pornography and that kind of stuff. It's sort of a little skateboard kind of deal that he puts himself on and gets around. And so I went over to meet him, talk to him, get to know him, got his name and kind of got his story. And so I went to work and I told these other guys, Hey, there's a guy with a kind of interesting story. You may want to go meet him. Yeah. Yeah. So Friday after work, we'll we'll meet at 530 down by the car and we'll go over. And so I got all these guys up and there's a wheelchair like for crutches, and that is the we get to the parking lot and then they unload and they start hunting him. You know, they didn't exactly know where he was. And there's a little kid and they're like flying across the parking lot. They finally zero in on him and they're going after him, you know, and starts to freak him out. And the world is cool as they get around him. It's such an unusual sight. Couple of people seem to gather, just make a big crowd, you know, So it's not going to be easy to talk. And I ended up just kind of getting him away, getting this one guy to follow us over to the grassy area so they could talk. And so for a couple hours, they spilled out their stories. I think they probably gave 10 hours of information in about 30 minutes. It was like whatever out of it. I remember one guy said, you know, you really need to come work with us. You know, you'll really like it. Is that how much money I make? And he said, Well, what difference does that make? Well, it makes a lot of difference. And I'm doing this for money. Certainly not, am I not right. Every single morning you got nothing. Because every single night you drink it away whatever you make during the day. And he said, Well. Yeah, how'd you know I was exactly. What I was like? Yeah. He said, I took an 80% pay cut to come work in this company. This guy could make 5000 a month as a beggar, and he was getting paid 1000 a month as my employee. Hmm. And so this other guy says, Why. Do you do that? Just cause I got a family. I got life. I got life. Yeah, They take care of me. Yeah.


Bill MacLeod:  Talk about the, you know, some of the transformations that, you know, you've seen with some of these folks. You know, like, you mean you run a business and you had someone, you went to Hong Kong and you had an employee jumped up and said, we're going to start another company?


Bill Job:  Yeah, that was early on. We had one customer. We were doing stained glass business for the European market. They had about 150 employees and those were in the days that I was super naive. And, uh, it's okay to be naive if God's on your side, because he'll. He will protect us. By the way, that's one of the really important reasons to give I mean, to come to grips with the reality that you were a steward in the company is absolutely. He will protect his company in a way. He will not protect my name. Then he doesn't. Actually trust me. And that's pretty good. That's okay. But he trusts himself. And if I'm asking him to build his company, he's much more interested in that. Yeah, it's. He'll bring the right staffing and he'll. He'll protect. We've never had a corruption issue that I know of. Wow. And I think it's because it was his company from the earlier day, man. And he just kept it away. It just didn't happen. You know, we had a couple of cases where it could, but we just stepped in and it didn't happen. So in this case, the one customer we had was trying to put us out of business. He had a meeting while I was in Hong Kong, out of the country for the weekend, and at the meeting he got all my people together and he said, Bill has one customer, me, and I'm leaving. I'm going to go down the street about a half a block and start my own company, and I would like to have all of you come to work for me. But you got to make the decision this weekend. If you come now, you can get a job with me. If you don't come now, you won't have a job because Bill is going to have to close and I won't hire you later. It's now or nothing. And so they're all having this discussion. All of our workers and the one girl who helped me out so much later on, she had been a believer for about six months. And they go and they say to her, well, you know, they're all saying, are you going to go? Are you going to stay? And that kind of thing. And they said to her, what are you going to do? And she said, Oh, God is in this company. I'd never leave it and then and that one statement seemed to influence about 147 people. And so I think we lost three or four or something like that, but never had any impact in that company, never got a foothold and never became much of anything. And he eventually died of a heart attack.


Bill MacLeod:  My, my, my. Police ever come visit you? To shut you down.


Bill Job:  Yeah. I would say that I have a very good relationship with the government and the various departments of the government. We had a factory in the countryside, and the police became concerned, I'm sure, because as people become believers in that kind of a context, which is a local balance of things, because they believe that they had been protected for a thousand years by the gods that are on the walls that they worship. Yeah. And so as people become believers, they have to tell their dad, you know, I just am not comfortable worshiping that idol anymore. But unfortunately for the dad, he's thinking, well, you're going to bring disaster from the village.


Bill MacLeod:  Sure. Yeah, that's the world. Ah, yeah, right.


Bill Job:  But that company had brought a lot of economic value. We saw basically people move from bicycles to, you know, motorcycles and little shops were opening up around their lunch time, feeding them noodles and stuff, or just a little 7-Eleven convenience store type of thing. And I think that helped the government to be motivated to want to keep us there. And so we found out that they actually discovered to some research that we could have a license to have a church. And so when they realized there were a number of Christians that they actually helped intercede for us and get the appropriate licensing so that a church can be formed and with the help I went as an American with this perception that the government is the enemy. Yeah, and I would say it is not now it's not.


Bill MacLeod:  They're trying to take care of its people, just like our government to take care of ours.


Bill Job:  Yeah, I found them always to be quite honorable, to be quite concerned about their people. And Lord has opened lots of doors like, yeah, they try to stimulate bosses to be better bosses. Yeah. And the way that they did that was to have an award kind of a contest sort of thing so that, you know, they literally called it for the boss who loves his workers the most the first year.


Bill MacLeod:  Now, who would have put this together? The mayor, the I mean, who? Business leaders or?


Bill Job:  The Labor Department.


Bill MacLeod:  So it's like a part of the government.


Bill Job:  Yeah, Part of local government. Pure of government, Yeah. Okay. So we want there to be fewer problems because they're having to solve all these problems. Yeah. Yeah. You know, No. And bosses act badly and, you know, hurt the workers. They got to clean up the mess.


Bill MacLeod:  Theory of constraint. Yeah.


Bill Job:  So and so they. They ended up awarding us with that award the first year.


Bill MacLeod:  The boss that treats his people the best. And you won it the first year?


Bill Job:  Yeah. And then for another seven years in a row after that. So I think they came back after that. So we really got to give it to somebody else this year, though. So it's it's just an interesting relationship that the government recognizes. And they know why we do things the way we do. It's very clear to them that it's our walk.


Bill MacLeod:  You’re not hiding anything. No. You're yourself. Yeah. But you're not all in preaching on the corner either. You don't have to. You love your employees. They're just like Jesus saying, you know, Lord, thank you for giving me these people. Right? And, you know, I give them over to you and you're saying, Thank you, Lord, forgive me these people.


Bill Job:  If I were to say something to try to help people who wanted to have a missionary style life, I would say forget the idea that you're going to be the hero.


Bill MacLeod:  Amen.


Bill Job:  Forget the idea that's going to be the white guy coming in as the Savior.


Bill MacLeod:  Yeah, amen.


Bill Job:  It's going to be the local guys finding their life in Christ that you serve and you support, and all of the minister will flow from them. When I began to see this happening, I realized that the work burden on me was just much, much, much smaller. And my friends became the heroes, the guys that the society had just turned their back on.


Bill MacLeod:  Amen.


Bill Job:  Then I began to realize this is absolutely so fun.


Bill MacLeod:  It’s a blast. To be a steward. I'm just the sales. He's the boss, you know?


Bill MacLeod:  You know, you really giving us a lot to think about in these sessions, Bill. But as we zero in on the ministry side of business as mission (BAM), what are some of the lessons we've learned today?


Bill Job:  He's interested in all kinds of aspects of it. He's interested in an individual having the experience of salvation, coming to Christ, getting a new life. But he's more interested in life than I thought he was. I was more focused on just getting people into the kingdom. He's actually interested in getting them into an experience with him that goes beyond just the entrance into the kingdom. The offer of the gospel is life, and any time we go through a 24 hour period, look back at it and say, you know, I just don't think I had life in that last 24 hour period. I think we ought to check under the hood because we're missing what the gospel offers. And so then it goes. If you just let him guide you, he's interested in all kinds of people, special needs. He's interested in the wealthy. He's interested in, you know, communities, interested in families. He'll just take you in all kinds of different directions, but it's best to let him take you.


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