Effective ministry is anyone whom heart is set on fire by the Holy Spirit of God and is burning with a passion for people and willing to go into the marketplace of humanity to share the Good News of the Gospel: the Lord Jesus Christ!
The First Disciples: “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.And He said to them: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:18-22 (NASB)
The model of a man of integrity in the Old Testament who made a difference in the marketplace of his day:
“Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Then they the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:3-4 NASB)
Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:1-5; 9-10; 20-21; 25-26 NASB)
“But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:14-20 (NASB)
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49 NASB)
What does it mean to minister in the Marketplace of Humanity?
There has been much written about ministry in the marketplace. After careful and thoughtful study to this subject, I have discovered that Jesus was not focused on building a business to then go and serve God. Jesus was focused on ministering to people, most often to a single individual who He encountered in His daily walk here upon the earth.
We complicate the Gospel. The Good News of the Gospel is simple and centered on Jesus, what He taught and did. He is the model for marketplace ministry. Living a Christ-centered life is allowing Jesus to develop His character and integrity in us which will enable us to share the Good News of the Gospel with a passion to draw others to Him.
Marketplace ministry is being used by God in whatever work environment we are in – whether we are a janitor at a local school, a business owner or CEO, the leader of a company. We are to live a life of character and integrity so young children to ninety-nine year old adults are drawn to us as we go about our daily lives. God wants to use us and He wants to begin to do it today, not tomorrow – using the natural and spiritual gifts He has placed within our lives.
We must daily spend time in His Word and live a life of prayer. There are many examples in Scripture which model a life of character and integrity. Let us focus on one which especially exemplified great character and integrity. The Bible says Daniel (chapter 6:3-4) was a man who distinguished himself with exceptional qualities and abilities so much that the king was going to promote Daniel because of those characteristics in Daniel’s life. However, his peers were jealous and attempted to find some fault in him, but the Bible says he was faithful, always responsible and completely trustworthy. They could not find corruption, negligence or lack of trust in Daniel’s life. So they set out to entrap him because they knew he prayed three times each day: morning, noon and evening to God. Daniel models what our prayer life should be – constantly in touch with God.
Daniel also modeled what a person in the marketplace of humanity should be: 1) one who allows God to use the natural gifts we have been given, 2) willing and ready to rely upon the Lord each day for direction, and 3) filled with God’s Spirit and Power to be His representative here on earth whether it is at work, home, in the grocery store or doctor’s office. We need boldness to allow God to use our natural gifts to share the Gospel to all people who surround us in our daily lives – especially those who do not know Christ.
A Christ-centered message of the Good News of the Gospel is to share the love and grace of God, the purpose of the Cross, the shedding of the precious blood of Christ to cover our sin, the power of the resurrection of Jesus and the need for repentance to receive salvation – a new life.
Pleasing the Father was the ultimate purpose of Jesus. The call of Christ is for every man and woman to live and minister foremost for the glory of God, not the good of man.
Worship is at the heart of the matter in any ministry. Work is worship. Worship is ultimate because God is ultimate, not man. Living and working in this life is a temporary necessity. Worship abides forever. Let us therefore worship by giving our lives to God.
Marketplace ministry is not an organization made up of business people selected and taught that marketplace ministry is to build a business to serve God. Marketplace ministry is an organic release by the fire of the Holy Spirit that springs forth from the heart of a man or woman from any walk of life who passionately desire to see people come to Christ with repentance for their sin, and also to stimulate believes who are indifferent to arise, and fall at His feet to worship Him!
God wants us to be Partners in His business of Extending His Kingdom On the earth. It’s Our Workshop of Worship for Eternity!