Military Salute from iStockWhat do you think when you hear someone say, “He’s a leader in the church”? Do you assume that person is a pastor, elder, deacon, or administrative board chair – someone that has a position of leadership in a local congregation? That’s the way most of us think… and it is wrong.

The church that Jesus Christ is building is not an organization; it is an organism, a body with a head; and that head is Jesus. Wherever two or three are gathered in His name, He is there with them. The church is mobile; and the church is certainly where most followers of Jesus spend most of their waking hours – in the Marketplace.

I realize that this is old news to many of you. God’s most recent move in the Marketplace has been going on for at least 15 years now. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Marketplace Ministries in the United States and around the world. I expect you have been touched by at least one of them.

But there is something about this reality that you may not have considered; something God has encouraged me to share with you:

From God’s perspective, all Christian leaders in the Marketplace are leaders in the church. Whether they fill leadership roles in their local congregation or not, being leaders in the Marketplace affords them the responsibilities and opportunities of church leaders; even as much as those previously mentioned.

Marketplace Leaders are to live as leaders of the church that Jesus Christ is building. They are to be agents and instruments of that building program – in the Marketplace. Their spheres of influence are God’s spheres of influence. Their work is God’s work; and that work is more than making money to give to their local congregation. That work will cause others to glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

God’s desires are as high for the Marketplace Leader as they are for the pastor, elder, etc. Jesus Christ has given gifts to the church in the Marketplace: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This includes every segment (business, education, government, etc.) and every level (owner to manager; superintendent to teacher).

The eyes of the LORD are roaming to and fro throughout the Marketplace seeking those in whom He can show Himself strong – those that are loyal to Him. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to those whom He determines – to those in the Marketplace. He does not require His gift bearers to have a seminary degree. He is looking for surrendered vessels of righteousness.

This should be the most exciting news for every Marketplace Leader. You are not limited – God is not limited – by your choice of vocation. Your impact may be as great – even greater – than your pastor’s.

Not only are God’s desires for every leader in the Marketplace the same as His ordained pastors, but the challenges for you are potentially greater. For example, the parable of the talents applies as much to you as to your pastor; and you are not protected in your assignment, as he is, by the safe confines of the organized church. In a very real sense, you are more out of your element – more an ambassador in a foreign land – than your pastor.

Consequently, one could argue that you need more of God and His grace in your Marketplace position. You need more time with God in prayer and Bible study. You need keener ears to hear and eyes to see the ways and thoughts of God.

This is not lost on God. He will provide the grace you need; and He will prepare you for your assignment. Your first step is to believe and surrender to the desires He has placed in your heart; desires for the kingdom of God right there in the Marketplace.  Please contact me if you need help finding that great adventure.

Humbly yours and His forever,