MAIN POINT: A plan for marketplace transformation
In every society, there are major spheres that affect every person and the collective culture. God uniquely designed and called each believer to be an influence through Christ’s power within spheres that shape culture. As we follow Jesus and live out our faith, the Kingdom of God will advance in our nations, and we will understand how to be influencers within the spheres of society where we are positioned.
Understanding how the cultural spheres operate helps us be well equipped to carry out the Great Commission. (Read Matthew 28:19- 20)
What Are The Major Spheres That Shape Culture?
There are several major areas that influence every person, community and society on earth. They are:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Science & Technology
God wants His people engaged in every realm of culture and on mission for Him. The more Christ followers that are effective salt in light within each sphere, the greater the effect of righteousness in a nation.
Why Is The Marketplace Important?
What we refer to as “the marketplace” involves all of the realms of society. All of the daily activities of business, education, entertainment, government, family, media, technology, and religion take place in the marketplace. The influence of each of the seven mountains is displayed in the marketplace.
For example, suppose the government is influenced by leaders who believe in honesty and integrity and who want to stop corruption. They will use their influence to pass and enforce laws that will stop fraud, corruption, and bribery. This will lead to a better business environment that will generate more wealth and well-being in a country.
How God Uses Our Influence For His Glory
God has deposited gifts and talents into each person. These gifts and talents help indicate what vocation(s) each person should have and which sphere of society that person should influence. The word “vocation” comes from the root word “vocare” which literally means “to call or to summon.” So we are called or summoned to serve the Lord through our work.
For example, an individual who has the ability to work with numbers and is very logical may be an accountant or bookkeeper for a company. Through his or her honest and hard work, he or she would have a positive influence on the business mountain.
Followers of Christ must have a positive influence in every cultural domain in order to make a difference in society. We must also understand that lasting change is only acquired with a multigenerational mindset. We must think further than our own lifespans! As God’s people reflect His glory within society, there will be positive marketplace transformation that will have an incredible impact throughout the nations.
God’s Redemptive Work In Each Realm
Business: Economic systems that allow business and commerce to thrive and expand. Businesses that use the resources of a nation to bring blessings and a higher standard of living to all people.
Education: Education rooted in the principles of God’s Word that trains and prepares students to have integrity, to be successful and to give hope for the future.
Entertainment: Entertainment that is wholesome and allows people to experience a full range of excitement, fun and other God-given emotions.
Government: Governments with just laws that are carried out by officials with integrity and honesty who take care of and provide for citizens.
Family: Strong families led by married couples (one man, one woman) who love each other for life. Parents that love and nurture their children and raise their children to love God.
Media: Media that is based on investigating and communicating the truth completely and accurately.
Science & Technology: Advances that better people’s lives and the earth as a reflection of God’s glory.
Religion: Churches that realize their role in 1) worshiping and experiencing God in church meetings and 2) equipping their members to be ministers of the Gospel in all parts of society.
The Spiritual Battle
It is also clear that the battle for influence is not just on earth but is also being fought in the heavenly realm. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NKJV.
Each realm of culture and society is in a battle between darkness and light. When God’s people bear the light of Christ, they affect the culture and bring the transforming presence of God into every situation.
However, the opposite is also true. As ungodly individuals are in control, demonic forces are given access through sin and perversion into a society. Satan’s kingdom of death, theft, and destruction is established, and society degenerates further away from God and the blessing of His presence. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10 NKJV.
When Satan’s kingdom gains deeper hold on people and over a geographic region, the influences are called “strongholds.” Strongholds are established when there is a lack of Christian influence and activity in an area over generations. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…” 2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV.
From the very beginning, God has called His people to have dominion under His authority. This was the mandate given to Adam in Genesis and continues today. As Christ-followers, we have the mandate to spread the influence of His Kingdom.
“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 1:28 NKJV
We are called to partner with God in His redemptive work throughout every sphere of society. This is how we express God’s life within the realms where we are called to operate. As we follow Jesus in all parts of our lives, His influence will become great in our societies.
The idea of God’s kingdom being established on earth through believers who influence cultural realms may challenge some traditional thinking. Let’s explore some of the areas where our thinking must be adjusted:
True or False Question #1:
“Church gatherings are the only place where God intervenes and works in the lives of people. God doesn’t really move in the marketplace.”
The Answer is…
The Church as a body of believers is called to participate in God’s redemptive work in the marketplace. God is not limited to a church service. He is operating seven days a week, 24 hours a day and so must we. Some people may spend a few hours a week in a church meeting, but almost everyone spends more than forty hours a week in the marketplace!
God goes with us and wants to work through us as we move in the marketplace. We need to encourage and pray for people in the marketplace, not just at church. We need to have expectations that God will do supernatural things and transform the lives of those we contact every day.
There is a dangerous lie that many in the body of Christ believe. The lie is that we have a “spiritual part” of our lives that we use when we are in church and a “secular part” of our lives that we use when we are at work and play. For the Christian, there is no division between sacred and secular. Jesus Christ is Lord of all life, not just certain parts.
We will be most fulfilled, satisfied and joyful when we realize that all things are spiritual. When we allow God to move and work in all areas of our life, we will be free from the inner conflict of attempting to live both a “spiritual life” and a “secular life.”
True or False Concept #2:
“The pastors are the only ones anointed for ministry. Those people who are not full-time church staff are called only to give money and support those who are called to preach and serve.”
The Answer is…
The Bible says that every follower of Christ is a priest. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light… ” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
A great number of believers do not see themselves as priests, pastors or ministers in their particular sphere. Many are taught to be passive until Jesus returns. However, every individual is uniquely designed for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and has a role to play in the marketplace. Those who are called into “full-time ministry” as pastors, teachers or evangelists are to equip the Body of believers for ministry in every realm of society.
It is easy to see the importance of the marketplace in Jesus’ own life. The majority of His miracles happened in the marketplace, not in the church. Most of His parables commented on the marketplace. The Bible records more than 120 encounters that Jesus had with people. Only about 10 of these were in the temple or synagogue, and the rest were in the marketplace. Thirty-nine out of forty supernatural manifestations recorded in the book of Acts happened in the marketplace.
God will do unusual and amazing things when we welcome Him into our lives and into the marketplace.
- Pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you. What sphere of culture or society are you called to impact for His Kingdom?
- Examine your own life. Have you given God control in all areas? Are you living a life free of the division between sacred and secular?
- Ask Christ to show you how he wants to use you to bring transformation in your nation.