How does this initiative complement the local church?
- The church leaders’ role is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” Most of your congregants spend the bulk of their time in the marketplace. We share this responsibility by equipping businesspeople to be kingdom-focused.
- This initiative complements what you do to equip key constituents in the local church to function to their full potential.
How are you equipping our businesspeople to realize that they are ministers?
- First, we give them a framework for understanding their business from a Biblical perspective.
- Second, we challenge them to align the purpose of their business with God’s purposes.
- Third, we teach them how to take up their responsibilities as heads of households, as envisioned in Scripture.
What benefits accrue to the local church?
- Businesspeople are fired up about their participation in what God is doing, thereby becoming more productive members of local congregations.
- Businesspeople are fulfilling the great commission by more intentionally “bringing church” to their employees at the place where they spend the majority of their time!
- Many churches lose businesspeople because they are, in a word, bored. By learning they are ministers and by being challenged to employ their vocational skills for Church building, they become more effective in their spiritual walk.
- Churches that have been touched by rēp now have businesspeople in their congregations that are more engaged and more effective in kingdom endeavors.
What are the benefits experienced by the business leaders?
- Their view of work and ministry is overhauled.
- They realize that the real purpose of their business is to maximize glory to God, not to maximize shareholder value.
- They take ownership for their role in society-wide transformation.
- They involve God as a co-creator in all aspects of running their businesses.
- They experience marketplace miracles in practical areas of business.
- They increase the kingdom influence and impact of their businesses (which may not mean an increase in revenues or profitability).
Will businesspeople now want the church to run like a business?
- It is more likely that they will see their businesses as spiritual entities.
- While the kingdom principles for running an organization apply to churches too, our primary focus is on seeing expressions of the kingdom of God in the workplace.
- We discourage any separation of “business” versus “ministry” just as one opposes the secular – sacred dichotomy.
Can you help us start a business-related ministry in our church?
- Yes, we have a number of resources that can help local church leaders to effectively equip the businesspeople in the church.
- Most major churches have a marketplace ministry track. We can partner with your church and provide our proven methodologies and resources that have impacted thousands.
What benefits does one see in the businesses themselves? Does the theory actually produce results?
- We have seen employees come to Christ.
- The families of business leaders have been positively impacted by changes in the businesspeople.
- New resources have flowed into kingdom initiatives. We are not prescriptive about how this takes place, but encourage generous giving as evidence of Christ’s heart-work in businesses.
- The financial health of many companies has improved.
- Businesspeople have connected better with their faith and their local churches because they have become fired up about “business as ministry” rather than feeling guilty that they enjoy business.
- Business leaders have taken on their responsibilities as “heads of households,” and the many benefits thereof have accrued to these business households.
What are the keys to fruitful participation in marketplace ministry for a local church?
- Be ruthless in addressing dichotomized thinking.
- Be sure that you do not make businesspeople feel like second-class kingdom citizens.
- Be willing to have your wineskin renewed when it comes to new initiatives that include businesspeople. Don’t assume that the old ways of committees and structures will work for businesspeople.
- Avoid attaching “para-church” labels to anything that doesn’t happen within the four walls of a local church.
- Don’t do the ministry for them—make businesspeople own their specific calling and responsibilities to minister in the marketplace.
- If you have some people in your congregation who are being stirred up in this area, do not say “we’ll get back to you.” The world of business travels at a much, much faster pace than the decision-making patterns of local church committees, so they may hear a delay as “No, I don’t like this idea.”
- Partnerships with other organizations and churches in unity in the marketplace will result in a greater kingdom impact.