I won’t sugar coat this topic at all. It’s near and dear to my heart, so you’ve been warned.
I guess, it’s because I see “Believers” and “Christian Entrepreneurs”, do this so poorly and so often that it breaks my heart.
So I’ll just put it where you can reach it! Listen: if you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you have your own business, of any sort – YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY! Point. Blank. Period.
Does that mean your responsibility looks just like mine? Not at all, but we all have one that leads to the same result – making Jesus known in the world.
I’m sorry! Wait, no I’m not!
I guess a better way to articulate this is to say it this way: if you are bothered by my statement above, I feel sorry for you. Because you are missing out on one of the greatest assignments given to us.
I know you’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s true! We are the only Jesus, some people will ever see or experience. Why waste our days and our businesses, just building a name for ourselves?
WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY!
You have been given a level of influence!
Whether you believe it or not. It has nothing to do with your total gross receipts or how well you are positioning yourself in the marketplace.
It doesn’t even require that your brand be following my many – this isn’t about that part of your business.
This is about the part of your business that combines what you do, what you sell, who you serve and what you believe- with your Faith and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY in the Marketplace!
I can almost hear you yelling – “Get to it Joy, what is my responsibility”?
Give me a minute here! I’m trying not to yell back!
Any of us and all of us, who follow Christ AND live in this earth are called to share the Light of Christ in this dark world.
I’m not trying to preach a sermon here, but I will if I need to!
We are ALL CALLED to be Ministers in the Marketplace. To use whatever influence we have to “minister” the truth of who Jesus is (and why we’re so gung ho about following him).
That responsibility is vital – not just on Sundays or at Wednesday’s Small Group Meeting (our church friends should already know Jesus).
I’m talking about those outside of the church building.
Does your neighbor know you’re a Christian? What about where you shop for groceries and grab your morning coffee? Do the people that you smile at every week and make small talk, know you serve a big God? The server at your favorite restaurant?
Ever left an encouraging word AND a nice tip? You following? Are you getting the picture, now?
And You don’t have to be a business owner to be a Marketplace Minister.
You don’t even have to have your Pastor or be on the Ministry Leadership team.
Why? Because as believers of Jesus Christ, we are ALL called (and equipped) to be Ministers! Yep! Every. Single. One. Of. Us! You and Me!
There are a great deal of scripture to support this, but since this is MY blog and not a sermon, I’ll let this one sink in:
For we (that’s all of us) are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (minister the truth, be the truth, share the light of hope) which God prepared in advance for us to do (it’s already a done deal and you have been equipped to fulfill this responsibility.) Ephesians 2:10
So how does that look? How do you fulfill your responsibility as a Marketplace Minister? I’m so glad you asked!
Ministry in the Marketplace looks different for different people!
If you are on your job, it may look like you being available to pray for co-workers, whenever they are struggling with something in life (or at work).
It may look like sharing that you are available to talk whenever they need you (and whenever it’s possible to do so, without losing your job).
I remember, my husband starting a 15 minute Bible Study Break at his job. It started with one co-worker having questions about the Bible, and then grew to over 5 men, sitting around a lunch table, with their Bibles (Iphones, included) and their lunch – listening and learning about the Word of God.
Maybe, leading a Bible study isn’t your thing. But you do have it in you to serve someone in need!
Running an errand for someone who can’t get out of the house. Grabbing groceries for the elderly person who can no longer drive!
Maybe getting them out of the house, while you drive around is a thought, too!
People need people! God created us to connect!
And when we don't (like being quarantined) - we get a bit cranky, after a few weeks!
I'll admit - at the start of the Pandemic - I loved every bit of being shut in - for a whole 2 weeks and then...well, let's just say, it won't pretty!
Having "No Contact" isn't normal - especially for people loving , followers of Jesus!
As I write this, I am under a Stay at Home order in my state (Virginia), due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus.
Many people, not just the elderly, are not about to freely get out and about and take care of essential needs.
Serving the needs of others is a heart felt act of kindness, but it’s also ministry.
Especially when you couple it with – a kind word and a prayer of comfort and protection.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus! We need to be using them.
That’s our responsibility – to USE what God has given us, to share Him with others.
As Business owners, hosting a bi-weekly Bible Study, has been our way of ministering in the Marketplace.
But understand that how you fulfill your responsibility should parallel with your unique gifts and sometimes, you will feel challenged to do something outside of your comfort zone!
If so, that’s between you and the Lord. My point is, be sure to connect the dots between your responsibility and something you are passionate about.
Maybe it’s cooking or baking. Can you offer a class to those in areas that don’t have the privilege of obtaining quality food?
Are you an artist? Can you host a children’s art class or even a time to use art and reference it to God’s creation of the Earth?
I’m not sure what YOUR thing is, but I’m sure of this: YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY to use it for God’s glory – in the Marketplace (outside of the church).
Your goal is to make Jesus known, through your acts of kindness, your listening ear, your offer, your product, your resources, your financial gift, your whatever!
Whatever you have can be used to MINISTER to someone else, in some way.
Think outside of the box! Better yet, think outside of the church.
We aren’t all Pastors and Preachers and Prophets and Ministry Leaders…but we are all MINISTERS and we all have a responsibility!
Get out there and be responsible.
God will bless your life for it!
There are people waiting on you – to share what God has given you to serve!
Need some cool Marketplace Ministry ideas you can use or adapt to create your own?
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