What Makes Business a Ministry?

” As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

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What makes business a ministry?

You do!

When you remove your limited view of God, you begin to understand ministry is more than a church thing. Ministry is serving others on God’s behalf. We are all ministers of God (Eph. 4:12). A ministry may either be started by your church, you, a neighbor, an entrepreneur, a social advocate, a government agency, and yes God Himself. It is not just something that takes place through the four walls of your church.

Question: How does God provide for others? Does he regularly create something from fiat or does he work through physical means? How does God feed mankind? How does God cloth humanity? How does God provide shelter?

When one realizes God works through whatever means are available, and that includes the institutions and industries of today, why does one separate the secular from the holy? The real answer is that this divide is a human paradigm and not God’s.

God is holy. Everything he makes is holy. What perverts holiness is man’s separation from God. When humanity walks in rebellion of God the fruit is sin. Secularism is man’s attempt of life apart from God.

Business is a means for God to provides products or services for the benefit of others. It is a ministry that most of us have been called to. Profit is simply a cost for doing business. With profit a business is able to grow better services for the customer. Without a profit, it cannot sustain itself. Without profits, the employees, vendors, lenders, and partners all lose out.

Business in many ways is a community of customers built around a financial model that is self sustaining. When one stakeholder allows greed or fear to enter the community, the outcome causes sin to have its way. This is what causes social conflict between labor and management, employees and vendors, senior leadership and ownership. Instead of mutually submitting one to another for the glory of God, we seek to build our personal empire. The result is competition that destroys rather than builds-up.

When the business purpose is built on a foundation that serves others and glorifies God, one has a healthy model to grow. However, when greed, self-interest, and ungodliness rules, than expect sin to have its way.

When you realize that business was created to serve humanity, and God is its author, one’s worldview opens the eyes for ministry. In my opinion, there is no greater ministry than preaching God’s kingdom and Word through one’s actions, speech, and services within the marketplace.

Whatever your role or service is in the marketplace, you have the opportunity to exhibit God’s Kingdom to your associates. As you excel in your work, you build a platform to speak. Over time, your small niche of people will recognize the Spirit in you is one they would like to attain. Meanwhile, you are ministering to others through the work you do. You may think it is small compared to the heroes mentioned in the Bible. Yet to God ever task you perform for the love of others in his name will be rewarded (Matt. 10:40-42).

Enjoy your business ministry. It is God’s gift to you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Redeem Business

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Corinthians 5:12 ESV

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Why does business have such a negative connotation with many people?

If you asked the typical Bible believer which would she or he believe is the more important position in today’s world, to be a pastor of a church or a CEO of a business, which would you believe the majority would choose?

Actual surveys taken reveal the answer as pastor. Why are we not surprised?

Many Christ followers have a limited view of the God we serve. We place him in a box overshadowed with our personal values and prejudices. It takes time for the Holy Spirit to transform our minds and open our eyes to the Truth of any matter. This is no different with you and me.

I marvel throughout Scripture how the God we serve recruited non-priestly men and women for a specific work in a time and place of his choosing. Most we’re not of noble birth, privilege social standing, or even culturally attuned. They were in many cases the undesirables of the land.

Joseph was the least liked sibling of twelve yet events and circumstances prepared him to rule and save a nation from starvation.

Rahab was a prostitute who trusted in the God of Israel.

Paul worked as a tent-maker while preaching the Gospel to the Gentile nations.

When one reads the faith chapter (Hebrews 11) and the list of names of those considered who-is-who of the Bible, how many are pastors or priests?

We forget that God’s work is much larger than just the Church. The Holy Spirit started the Church because Christ’s Kingdom grows through the hearts of people. And you will find most people reside  outside the four walls of any church building. In fact, you will find most people who need a “heart transplant” in the marketplace. The same place where the majority of us spend most of our time away from home and family.

Jesus Christ came so God could begin restoring all creation to its original intent. He came to restore your relationship between Father God and you. He came so fathers and mothers could restore their relationship between each other and their children. He came to unite families, communities, and nations. He came to restore God’s order within government, education, and yes business.

To restore His order in business though takes people whose heart and allegiance is first to their King (Jesus), and than with others. They are a people who have learned to walk with their God through the challenges and failures of business. They have proven themselves faithful and trustful through the decisions and actions in the workplace. They live the Bible through their words and actions every day. They live-out the gospel message in their business negotiations. They practice love, faith, and truth with each employee, partner, and vendor. They treat others as they want to be treated. They are in business not solely for the money, but so the Gospel message may be shared with others through the processes, systems, and policies that are in place.

They see profit simply the cost of doing business. It allows the business to feed their employees, vendors, and partners. It is not however the first goal. It is the byproduct of creating an enterprise that glorifies God. It is a ministry for the common good. It is a means of how God provides for you and I.

Because man corrupts everything he touches without God’s influence in his life, the same is true in business. However, when we live out the Gospel in the workplace, we partner with the Holy Spirit in his work. The result is people coming to see the True God being revealed through people who practice the with-God life. That is how God is redeeming the marketplace today.

So why not ask God to lead you to be an ambassador for him in the marketplace where you work? It is the largest missionary field in America today. And you don’t even have to move to a foreign culture or leave your family behind to serve Him. You only have to say Yes, send me Lord.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Vocational Discipleship

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 ESV

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What is your favorite church program? Sunday school, women’s ministry, choir, praise band, small groups, bible studies, missions, etc. My answer may surprise you. The reason why may even challenge your #1 choice.

Of all the programs I have been associated with over the last forty plus years, the one with the greatest impact in my life and in the life of many others is discipleship. Not just being mentored on how to live in Christ, but how to live each day in the workplace with, in, and through Christ. So when we speak about vocational discipleship, we are emphasizing how to integrate faith with our vocational calling.

The reason vocational discipleship rates so high in my book is it takes every area of one’s life into consideration. Most of us will spend more than a third of our waking hours working in the marketplace. When one practices the discipline of following Christ through mutual submission with another believer who likewise has surrendered his business kingdom to our Lord, personal and cultural transformation is exciting to witness.

Through discipleship one learns and puts into practice leadership, serving, giving, loving, communicating, and over one hundred other attributes that imitates our Triune God.

So when vocational discipleship is the prime program of every church, members exercise their gifts and talents for God’s glory and for the sake of others in the immediate church community as well as outside their four walls. Church becomes more relevant when one sees how God is involved in everyday life within the marketplace. In addition, vocational discipleship lays the ground work for saints to capture more ground for God’s Kingdom. Church becomes a 24/7 activity.

The believer grows to trust and rely everyday on God’s faithfulness and grace through the challenges and opportunities presented in the marketplace. When You see God move through the workplace each day, your faith and witness becomes stronger. You learn leadership by following your King’s lead. As you follow the Spirit’s lead, you relate with others by how God relates with you.

So if you have time to become involved with only one church program, my recommendation is vocational discipleship. If your church doesn’t have such a program, maybe the time has come to start one.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Founder & Executive Director
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!