What is Marketplace Ministry?
Marketplace Ministry is God’s strategic plan to reach our world for Jesus! Ministry takes place outside the four walls of the church. Christians spend most of their time in the marketplace (home, work, and community) interacting with people from all “walks of life.” God desires to use marketplace ministers to reverse the downward spiral, where corruption and sin are running rampant and the family structure is being destroyed. God’s people are the instruments of change in the earth.
Be An Instrument of Influence
God uses Christians to influence nations, as Daniel influenced the king of the Babylonian empire. In fact, Bishop Bill Hamon, Christian International Ministries Network and author of the book, The Day of the Saints, devotes a chapter about Saints in the Marketplace and Government. In that chapter, he explains how God is training Christians to serve as Daniel and Deborah-type prophetic saints in the political and business arenas of the world. You could be the next Joseph or Daniel or Deborah or Esther of today transforming your workplace, your city, and your nation.
Rich Marshall, author of the book God@Work, summarizes the meaning of marketplace ministry. He writes:
I am quite certain that the time has come to recognize not only that all of us are called of God, but that our calling is for ministry in all facets of society. I see that calling not only in what might normally be included in the business and professional arena, but also in government, sports, media, medicine, and in all areas of work life.
Rich Marshall addressed the calling of all Christians to serve God in their sphere of influence in the marketplace. He recognized people gravitate to the anointing in God’s children and that anointing “breaks the yoke” of bondage. In John 14:12, Jesus said:
Verily, verily I said unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
In the marketplace, Jesus’ followers will be able to “speak blessings and a sense of destiny” in the lives of others at work, at home, in the community, and government. Also Christians will flow in supernatural wisdom and knowledge to develop innovative solutions to problems affecting our world.
People in marketplace ministry strive to fulfill the prayer Jesus gave to His followers to pray and practice – “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9-13). God is telling His children to conduct business like it is being done in Heaven. God wants His children to demonstrate His work and righteousness on Earth for Him. Marketplace ministry provokes Christians to put God first in all matters, not just in church.
Can You Imagine This?
Imagine a world where Christians live a life of integrity demonstrating God’s power on their job such as correctional officers knowing exactly what to say to prisoners to convict their heart toward rehabilitation, police officers knowing how to take control of a dangerous situation with ease, and prison guards praying with the inmates. What do you think would happen to the prison system?
Imagine hospitals, clinics, and health facilities full of Christian medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors, and other health care workers praying with their patients to pinpoint the root cause of a physical or mental health issue. These health professionals would recognize the problem and know the solution through the power of the Holy Spirit. They would speak in the lives of people prophesying healing and health, not death.
Imagine Christians in the broadcast and entertainment field fighting against pornography and excessive violence on television and in movies. These professionals create more family oriented movies based on biblical principles that inspire viewers to serve Jesus. Christian musicians write and sing songs that uplifts the heart of people and give them hope. Listeners will recognize God’s glory on Earth and His love for His creation.
Imagine business leaders conducting transactions with customers fairly and treating their employees with dignity. God uses corporate executives to promote safety features on their products because they want to put the welfare of their customers first instead of excessive profit. Christian workers display work ethics by coming to work on time, respecting others on the job, and completing their work in excellence. The work environment is like a family serving one another in love.
Imagine political leaders keeping their campaign promises after being elected because they follow the Holy Spirit instead of popularity. Even government officials make decisions based on skillful and Godly wisdom. Christian leaders in the government arena listen and follow Godly counsel living a life of honesty and integrity. In fact, Christian political leaders influence the directions of our nation according to God’s will and His creation.
Can you imagine how great it feels participating in marketplace ministry to that degree? This picture of marketplace ministry can impact nations for Jesus according to Isaiah 61:1-4.
Just as Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one, God has commissioned His children to do the same thing – to overcome the power of darkness by being the light of the world, the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13 – 16).
Are You Making An Impact?
As ambassadors for Jesus, ask God, “What is my marketplace ministry? How am I to impact my home, my workplace, my community, and my city for God?” Remember to seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). As you spend that intimate time with God listening and obeying His word, you will discover the gifts God has instilled in you.
George Barna, in his book Turning Vision into Action, calls Christians to have micro-vision. He says:
Every Christian is called to be, at the very least, a micro-visionary. No believer can create a legitimate excuse for not having a sufficient measure of God’s vision to leave some mark on the world he or she touches daily. The vision may be finite and restricted, but just as the Body of Christ needs people who have various gifts operating in cooperation and harmony to reach a global audience, the Church needs a broad-based foundation of micro-visionaries to influence their more limited but equally important worlds.
You and I need to be supportive of micro-visionaries. Our churches are built on them. The reason churches don’t make a dent in the postmodern culture is not that they have too many micro-visionaries. It is because they are weighted down with too many Christians – a majority – who have no vision whatsoever. Becoming a micro-visionary would be a major step up and a blessing to God, to their churches, to their families, to their friends and to themselves. Yes, “micro” means small; but it is better to have a person of small vision who faithfully and effectively executes that faith than to have a million people who attend church regularly, but never pursue God’s vision. May God grant us more micro-visionaries in the days ahead.
The key to success as a child of God is to discover your marketplace ministry and faithfully fulfill it. It does not matter if the ministry is large like fighting for creation science to be taught in public school as an alternative to evolution science, or small such as having bible devotionals at home with your family. Just do it with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
In order to remain faithful to your calling, here are 5 steps to help you get started:
1. Develop a prayer life by simply spending time with God.
2. Put time aside to study the bible; conduct character studies, word studies, book studies, and/or simply read through the bible every year.
3. Seek God for creative ideas and strategies to impact your home, work, community, church, and government; see yourself as a “change agent”.
4. Pray for your workplace; spend time praying for your staff, co-workers, and customers as well as growth and financial prosperity. God wants you to produce wealth to establish His covenant on Earth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
5. Read books that will perfect your gifts and talents for Jesus; become a researcher so God can use you to prophesy into the lives of others.
Become equipped to serve effectively as a marketplace minister. Allow God to move you in a sphere of influence that will impact your home, work, church, community, city, and world for Jesus. This is what marketplace ministry is all about!