On Sunday the church gathers, but on Monday through Saturday the church scatters. Into the marketplace followers of Jesus Christ live as God’s ambassadors. They are his representatives, his messengers. They are on mission.
R.C. Sproul described the mission to the marketplace. “The cradle of the church was the marketplace. From the preaching and public ministry of Jesus to the daily acts of the Apostles, the central scene was the marketplace. Perhaps the greatest need for our day is the need to market Jesus Christ. The church must become expert in marketing: not in the slick, Madison Avenue style, but in an aggressive, yet dignified way. The marketplace is where we belong. It is where needy people are found. It is not enough for the church to hang a welcome sign on her door. We dare not wait for the world to come to us.” Jesus’ strategy always involved believers going into the world, to penetrate the marketplace. Followers of Christ must recognize their ministry and mission of communicating God’s love to people they come into contact each day.
How do followers of Christ penetrate the marketplace?
Realize Your Job Is Your Mission Field
The marketplace is the largest mission field in the world. You and I rub shoulders everyday with people who need the power and grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sylvia and Don Hill had the Shoe Shine concession at the old Eastern terminal at Boston’s Logan Airport. While getting shoes shined many people would share their lives with Don and Sylvia. They would share the joy and the pain. As people shared their stories, Sylvia and Don would pray, witness, and minister as they felt directed by God’s Spirit. Often people would write or stop by and thank them for listening and ministering to them.
As Sylvia was washing down the stand one night, a man watched in amazement as she so carefully washed and closed the stand. He approached Sylvia and acknowledged that he had been watching her and asked her how at the close of such a busy she could do such a good job in taking care of the stand. “I have to,” she said. “It is God’s stand!”
Tony Ponceti is the owner of a very successful printing business in Miami. His attitude is that God gives him daily orders and he simply follows them. He believes in the “theology of interruption.” If he senses the Spirit leading him to minister in a certain way, he will adjust his business agenda to get in on God’s agenda. When Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami, Tony became absorbed in the needs of thousands of hurricane victims. He shared food with the hungry, found shelter for the homeless, and medical aid for those suffering everything from minor to major illnesses. As he administered humanitarian aid, he would pray for the hurting and share Christ with them. When Andrew struck Miami, God interrupted Tony’s printing business agenda and gave him a ministry agenda of helping storm victims find relief and then to find Christ.
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. And, third, look for opportunities to minister, to serve, to help, to offer assistance. We may not be able to do everything, but we can do something.
“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.