Albert EinsteinI have noticed that many in the church are confused, in one way or another, about the meaning of the phrases “Marketplace Ministry” and “Marketplace Leader”.  In most cases, the understanding is not wrong; it is just limited. The problem with a limited perspective is that it can inhibit God’s work in and through our lives. Obviously, that’s not something we want to have happen; too much is at stake.

Furthermore, there can be no doubt that God is moving in the Marketplace, in a very intentional way; and when God moves, dramatic things happen. I don’t want to miss Him; and I don’t want you to miss Him. But what, or where, is this “marketplace”; what “ministry” is He doing there; and who are these “leaders” that He is using as His instruments for that ministry?

If you, as a follower of Jesus Christ, have never considered these questions, then I strongly encourage you to do so now. If you have considered them, let me suggest that the Marketplace, and God’s work there, may be more than you have imagined. More importantly, it just may be that He has positioned you to lead and no one has encouraged you in the good work that will glorify your Father in heaven. I pray that this three part series will do just that.

God has not given the Marketplace over to His enemies. He has positioned His children to be overcoming disciple makers and transformation agents in the Marketplace. And that is where we begin: Exploring the meaning of Marketplace.

What is the Marketplace?

For starters, we must recognize that “Marketplace” and “Business” are not synonymous. This is probably the most common misunderstanding among the Christian leaders I have worked with. This is reasonable; as most secular definitions limit the Marketplace to “the world of business and commerce”. This is a restrictive perspective; so, let’s try something different.

From a ministry perspective, “the place where people do business” is not the best definition for the Marketplace. It is more accurate to say that the Marketplace is the place where people work. In this context, Business is just one mission field of the Marketplace. Education, Government, Arts and Entertainment, Media, Religion, and Family are other recognized fields (or mountains, as some prefer to call them). Medicine and Sports also come to mind.

Why is this important? Because God cares about all His children; not just those in the Business field. For example, more people work in Government and Education than in Business (at least in the United States). Generally speaking, these mission fields are more hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ than in the Business field. The same can be said for Media, and Arts and Entertainment. The need for disciple makers and agents of transformation is greater in these more hostile fields.

God has not been caught by surprise. He is aware of the need. He has positioned leaders in every area of the Marketplace. They all need our encouragement and support (FYI: I will specifically address the Religion field in part two of this series).

Thankfully, God has called out leaders to minister into every Marketplace field in our culture. He has a purpose and a plan. As you consider the possibilities in your Marketplace field, ask Him to show you the good work He would have you walk in. Don’t allow your perspective to constrain His strength and work.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

 Humbly yours and forever His,

NOTE: Click here to continue to Part 2 of this series.