My parents were businesspeople. My in-laws were businesspeople. And my wife and I both followed suit.
As a young businessman, I believed the Great Commission was not just for pastors and missionaries, but it did seem like the ministry professionals saw the real action — that is, until I came across the stories of gospel patrons. These stories captivated me because they were business leaders playing a strategic role in God’s kingdom. They were not second-class Christians. They were fellow workers, partners in the work of the gospel.
It was there in Scripture in the three women who quietly supported Jesus’s ministry (Luke 8:1–3). It was there in history in the wealthy cloth merchant who generously gave to produce the first English Bible.
The more I investigated this idea, the more I came across people like Peter Thomas. Peter leads a growing business in central California. He’s an engineer by trade. And he’s passionate about foreign missions.
He said, “With the wealth that I have, and with the wealth we have in America, we should be the hub — the American church should be the hub of doing foreign missions.”
So did Peter become a foreign missionary? No. A pastor? No. Those are great callings, but Peter found his part to play as a businessman who engages in the Great Commission by partnering with others.
One of these partnerships is with a globetrotting cameraman named John. Together, John and Peter are helping to stir up the Western church to be more engaged in the work of foreign missions.
We believe our generation could finish the Great Commission, but it will take a team effort of all of us playing our parts. As John says in the film, the stories of gospel patrons need to be heard because they can inspire businesspeople to see how God can use them, in their fields, in connection with his global mission.
Whether we go or give, speak or send, preach or patron, we are members of one body and partners in one mission, until all tribes, nations, and peoples have heard.