On Mission in the Marketplace–Part 1

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When Jesus entered our world, he didn’t box himself inside the four walls of the synagogue. He walked into the lives of sinners. He touched the lepers. He associated with prostitutes. He dined with heathen. He scandalized the religious community by penetrating the world.

In order for Jesus to reach and rescue the world he had to penetrate it. Likewise, for us to impact and influence the world for Christ we must penetrate it. We are to go as he went, to associate with unbelievers. Perhaps one of the church’s greatest failures is that believers have disengaged too much. We need to penetrate the marketplace. Here’s how.

Take on the “Unseen” Partner
Before you go to work, take time to pray about your job. Pray for the people you’ll be working with and those who you’ll be serving. Remember, God is the “unseen Partner” in all of life. He is with us wherever we are. And we need his presence, especially in the marketplace.

The 13th-century writer Meister Eckhart penned: “The kind of work we do does not make us holy, but we make it holy. . . . As we have the divine being within, we bless each task we do, be it eating or sleeping or watching, or any other [task].”

A businessman decided to take the “unseen Partner” with him to work. Consciously he decided he would take Christ’s presence with him throughout the day at the office. To remind himself of the divine being within he prayed every time he walked to and from the drinking fountain. As he walked through the offices and spoke to people, he prayed for them. As a piece of paper came across his desk, he committed it to God. He said he noticed no outward change in his attitude, but some of the love and concern he had for these people must have communicated itself to them. People began to come to him to talk about their inner lives.

Being conscious of God’s presence can have a profound impact on your job, and the people around you.

Transform Your Attitude
At your work, whatever it may be, have an attitude that reflects the positive nature of God’s grace on your life.

Many jobs are boring. The marketplace is often a maze of nameless people. Sometimes good employees don’t get recognized and promoted. The woes of layoffs and the threats of mergers and downsizing can be discouraging. But in the midst of less desirable circumstances attitude can transform a boring, thankless job into a Christian ministry.

When Gordon MacDonald pastored Trinity Baptist Church in New York City, he would ride the same bus daily from his home to the church. One day the bus driver complained to MacDonald: “You’ve got it a lot better than me. You have an interesting job and travel different places. I just drive this bus up and down the same streets every day.”

MacDonald told the bus driver his job could be a Christian ministry too. “Every day, when you first get on this bus, before anyone else gets on, dedicate this bus to God for that day. Declare it to be a sanctuary for God for that day. Consecrate it to God’s glory, and then act like it is a place where God dwells.”

Several weeks later MacDonald returned from a trip and saw the bus driver. “You’ve transformed my life,” the man exclaimed. “I’ve been doing what you said every day, and it has made me see my job in an entirely new perspective.”

The same transformation could happen to you in your work if you would take the time to adjust your attitude each day.

What can you do in your work setting to minister and witness to those around you? Let me encourage you, first, to list the people with whom you work that you will pray for. And begin praying for them each day. Second, begin each day by consecrating your work place. Dedicate it as a sanctuary to God. Make it a holy place where God is present and God can work.

“Before I need you, I need to know you.” Pain and problems come into every person’s life. Employee Care of America partners with businesses to provide help and hope for its employees. We build a relationship before the need arises. Think of it as an Employee Assistance Program on steroids. If you would like to find out more about this beneficial service click here for our website.

 

About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer.

This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world.

I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing.

My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you.

I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it).

I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications.

I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC.

In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf.

You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.

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