Marketplace Ministry


Jesus declared, “Don’t turn my Father’s house into a marketplace!” (Jn. 2:15-16), as He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He mandated, instead, “Turn every marketplace into God’s House!” (Matt. 28: 19-20, paraphrased) This is what the Marketplace Ministry is all about. To do Marketplace Ministry, and turn every marketplace into God’s house, we need to do 3 things:

First, EMBRACE the Marketplace vision. The Marketplace vision is a vision of the 7 key sectors, also called Mountains of Interest, reclaimed for God. These Mountains are: AV Media, Business, Church, DVD (Arts &Entertainment), Education, Family and Government (www.reclaim7mountains.com). The idea is that, if Christians were to make an impact in the world, they need to influence the seven key sectors. These in turn will influence the rest of the world. This is the Godgiven vision shared by Campus Crusade founder Dr. Bill Bright and Youth with a Mission founder Mr. Loren Cunningham.

Why are these “key sectors”? Media has great power in influencing viewpoints. The Business sector can provide funds that can be used for the Gospel. The Church is the Body of Christ appointed to go out into the world and bring people to Jesus. Arts and Entertainment can quickly capture audiences. Education is a powerful driver of the truth. Family is the basic unit of society. Finally, the Government has the power to make laws.

Unfortunately, most Christians view the Church like it’s a mall, a place to enjoy one’s self. When in truth, the Church is really a military camp we run to when we’re wounded to get healing, nourishment, training and ammunition. When we eventually get out, we should be ready to fight again. Because outside the Church is war, where the battles are fought and won.

Second, EMPOWER Marketplace leaders. Acts 16:9-40 lends us a picture of how Paul and Silas empowered Marketplace leaders. They engaged quickly they spoke to a gathering of women even on a Sabbath. They sang while in prison. They chose to speak to their jailer about Jesus. As a result, the Lord opened the hearts of Lydia of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics (BUSINESS), the jailer (EDUCATION), and their families (FAMILY). The following verses go on to say that Lydia also became a supporter of Paul and the Church (v. 15, 40). This is the manifest power of the Holy Spirit when we quickly engage others with the Gospel in His power, and leave the results to God.

Not only do we engage people quickly, but we must also enlist them immediately. We often think that when a person has just come to know Christ, he needs to be nourished and weaned first. In the passage from Acts, Lydia of Thyatira immediately brought her household to be baptized with her, as soon as she heard Paul’s message (v.15). And the jailer brought Paul and Silas to his home as soon as he learned how he and his household will be saved (v.31).

Not only do we engage quickly and enlist immediately but we must also encourage frequently. After Paul and Silas’s release from prison, they went to Lydia of lhyatira’s house where “they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.” (v.31) Paul’s encouragement of believers subsequently gave birth to the Church in Philippi. It is very important as Christians and as leaders to keep encouraging people. Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Filipinos have this crab mentality to pull one another down. Let’s try to make it a habit to appreciate or compliment people every time.

Lastly, EXPECT rejections and oppositions. It is going to happen. Don’t be surprised. Paul was beaten and jailed but he kept going. If we get beaten along the way, we must persevere as well.

But aside from rejection and opposition we can also expect Marketplace transformation. Amazing things will happen. Lydia of Thyatira did not just become a financial supporter of Paul and the Church, she also started the Church in Philippi and maybe even went back to his place of origin and helped start the Church of Thyatira (Revelations). The Bible is replete of stories of Marketplace transformation. Around us are countless transformations as well.

God is giving us this vision. Will we be like Lydia, a supporter of the Church? Will we be like Paul, a proponent of the Marketplace ministry? Will we take part in the great battle plan that’s raging on?

If we want to win the war, we need to go out.

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