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Christian businesspeople have an important role to play in carrying out the Great Commission, and it doesn’t only involve making donations.

So what should that role be: How can businessmen and businesswomen respond to Jesus’ mandate to take the gospel to the ends of the earth and at the same time help address the knotty problem of financial dependency among ministries emerging in developing nations?

These are the issues to be grappled with at “Instilling Healthy Interdependency Together: A Symposium from Three Perspectives,” Oct. 8-10, 2013, at the TWR international offices in Cary, N.C. The symposium, which will also be available online as a live webinar, is being sponsored by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, the Acton Institute and TWR.

The three perspectives alluded to in the title are “business, church and missions.” Organizers characterize the upcoming event as the logical next step after a 2011 symposium that addressed unhealthy financial dependency and concluded that “the local poor need jobs if they are to give generously to their local ministries.”

And that’s where the role of business comes in.

“Businesspeople, pastors and mission leaders will discuss how to inject sustainable business acumen into foreign missions,” said Barbara Shantz, TWR global fund development liaison and lead organizer of the symposium. “How can members of the business community coach churches and organizations toward long-term financial sustainability in missions?”

The keynote speakers for the symposium and their topics are: D. Keith Pigues, author and dean of the N.C. Central School of Business, “Letting God Lead Our Professions”; Ram Gidoomal, author and chairman of Lausanne International and of the U.K. fair-trade organization Traidcraft, “Business with Churches in Mission”; Patrick Lai, author of “Tentmaking,” “The Life/Work of Business as Mission”; and Jim Anthony, CEO of Colliers International in Raleigh, “Connecting Businesses for Kingdom Advancement.”

Among the other speakers to be featured are TWR President Lauren Libby, Catalyst Services Director Ellen Livingood, health professional Princess Smith and Vulnerable Mission Director Jim Harries.

The fee for participating in the symposium is $180, with students charged $135 and webinar users charged $60. An early-bird discount of 10 percent is available through Aug. 31.  

To register and to read more about the event, including speaker bios and the full schedule, go to