Business as a Mission

by | May 11, 2018

Living by faith in India

Sheeba: ‘You may be wondering what pictures from a cake shop are doing in this article!’

Colin: ‘My calling is to serve God full-time, but Sheeba always knew that God had called her to a supporting role in ministry. We’ve always felt it is right to support ourselves and the ministry, and not be dependent on others for support. This hasn’t been easy though, especially once we had kids. Torn between running a full-time ministry and running an ESL Centre to support the family, I constantly found the centre struggling every time I travelled for ministry. Camps, youth and school work meant a lot of time away from the business. I loved teaching at the ESL centre as well as being involved in the camping work, but that clearly meant choosing between my passion and my calling.’

Sheeba: ‘Early this year, my work at Compassion International came to an end, as the Indian Government closed down many Christian NGOs. Yet again, we found ourselves at a crossroads, trying to figure out how we were going to support the ministry and the family. We knew Colin was called to serve full-time, and my calling was to support.’

Colin: ‘So we looked at the talents and gifts God has given us. While I’m gifted in areas like music, running camps, etc., Sheeba’s gifted with skills which are on the artistic side – painting and baking. We decided to put our hands to what God has skilled us with. In her time off from work, Sheeba had previously baked for weddings, made cakes for birthday parties, and many other events. She has been doing this as a hobby for the last 6 years. The brand ‘33 Cakes’ already existed; it was only a matter of taking the next step. We are in the process of setting up a Business as a Mission. The idea is for Sheeba to run the business, which would bring in the finances required to support the family, and for me to be able to give my full attention to the ministry. Our goals are as follows:
For us to be self-sustaining,
Support other workers, and
Replicate more of this model, in order to encourage other young people to consider Business as a Mission.’

Sheeba: ‘While this business is still starting off, we have already realised that, in the long run, the success of this Business as a Mission would also motivate a lot of young couples to confidently serve God. They will be able to use this model, where one of them serves full-time, and the other runs a business to support the needs of the family.’

Colin: ‘We are currently at the stage of setting up the business: registering the business, readying our website, business cards, social media, setting up a workstation, looking for baking equipment, etc. We have also networked with a few other Christian businessmen in the city, to receive some good business mentoring and seasoned advice.’

Sheeba: ‘Just this month, another young couple from Chennai, who are also good friends and ministry partners of ours, have moved to the north of India to try and start another cake shop as a Business as Mission over there. We are excited to see what God is going to do through us and through similar Business as Mission models in India. We are setting up this unit in such a way that it is scalable, transparent, and is easy to replicate. We expect this venture to not only bring in finances for the ministry and family but, in future, grow into something that provides support/employment for spouses of other full-time workers.’