Don’t be shocked that I called you a missionary. It isn’t a mistake. Indeed, it is YOU in the marketplace that I’m calling a missionary.
You may be wondering what this actually means as I am sure many of you are not familiar with the term “marketplace missionary”. So can someone truly be a “missionary in the marketplace?” Or is it possible for someone’s “marketplace to become his mission field?”
Well, as you keep reading, the Spirit of God will answer all your questions.
Most of the times we are awe struck by the impact created by mega church pastors and televangelists in our midst that we belittle ourselves into thinking that we aren’t useful in the kingdom of God. Maybe you condemn yourself into thinking that you are not doing anything BIG for God. I understand your desperation but in reality there is nothing to be frustrated about.
First let us clarify the two words “marketplace” and “missionary” in the light of the scriptures. From what I know, the word ‘missionary’ is not found in the scriptures at all. So then, who is a missionary? As the name itself indicates, one is called a ‘missionary’ when he is ‘sent’ on a ‘mission’. A missionary does not work on his own agenda. His whole purpose is to fulfil the mission for which he was ‘sent’. Jesus gave us the great commission in Matthew 28:19 and we are ‘sent’ by HIM for HIS mission. Hence we are HIS missionaries.
We see the express mention of the term ‘marketplace’ in many verses of the New Testament including Mark 7:4. In general parlance, the term denotes a place or an avenue where buying and selling happens and also includes the people who carry it out.
Now, when we talk about “Missionaries in the Marketplace”, it means influencing the place where we work with the light of the Gospel and demonstrating Jesus to the world. Theologians state that nearly 80% of the time, Jesus’ ministry was in the marketplace as opposed to a very few times in the church. So, if Jesus spent a lot of time reaching out to people in their place of work, it is important that we also show the same amount of perseverance in reaching people in our workplaces.
Somebody once beautifully said, “You might be the only bible that many will ever read in their life.” We are the carriers of God’s Presence. When we step into our marketplace, we bring Jesus into our office. Every move we make, our lifestyle, our conduct is a testimony to the people we are working with and we must influence upon them about Christ.
The early Christians ministered mostly in their workplaces because their whole life revolved around their work. But as time passed by, somehow the sacred secular divide crept into believers and blinded them from the revelation of carrying Jesus into their marketplace (our everyday life).
Many of us are content with dividing our lives, whereby going to church every Sunday morning and going to work the rest of the week are completely different facets of our life. But the Bible does not encourage that. When we spend more than 75% of our time in the marketplace, it needs a revelation to perceive ourselves as missionaries in the marketplace. And to adopt the attitude of “My Pastor cannot step in to my company, but I can and I am the missionary for God in my marketplace.”
When we look back at history, we see that whenever missionaries entered a country or a land, they did some powerful reforms in that society. They entered the marketplace, brought in education, stepped into healthcare, and addressed the need of the hour and so on. That is what we call a true missionary. We are called to change the spiritual atmosphere of the places we step into. There should definitely be a shift when you enter in the name of Jesus. Businesses flourish, profits increase double fold, colleagues enjoy your company, and suddenly people feel the difference.
Jesus said we are the light of the world. He didn’t say we are the light to the church. We need to see marketplace as our parish and business as our pulpit.
History has enough witnesses to emphasis the role of God’s servants in the marketplace. If not for Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream, the whole of Egypt would have succumbed to the famine. No decision was made in Babylon without the counsel of Daniel. Esther’s favour with the King saved the whole nation of Israel and thwarted the plans of Haman. Even Paul was a tent maker himself.
Trends are changing everywhere. It is during such a time as this where we need God’s voices in our parliament. We need God’s ideas in the media. We need God’s generals to defend the integrity of our education system. We need God’s watchmen in the legal system to fight for justice. When the whole world is in quest for hope, you who have Jesus, the Hope for all mankind is called to share HIM to the world.
The marketplace needs a Missionary, “YOU”.
Oh Missionary of God! Put on God’s armour and march on… the Kingdom awaits you… Heaven is backing you… Angels are there to guard you… You are God’s ambassador to your Marketplace… You are making a difference for eternity!
Revival and Transformation in our Nation isn’t far!!! Be a part of it.
A Missionary working in God given Marketplace
This article was published in National Christian Magazine in Australia