The term Marketplace has to do with world systems that make up a community, such as economical, educational, political and judicial, etc. Marketplace refers to the places and spaces where we live our vocational lives. Generally, it refers to all the places where we live and work—the places we are in regular interaction with people. These are the places where we do our “works of service”; where our impact is felt by the world. The clear implication is that God’s Kingdom is meant to have influence on all people, in all places, through all professions.
The GPF Apostolic Missions Network Inc has a pathway for people to use their profession anywhere in the Marketplaces of the world as representatives of God’s Kingdom. As ministry extends into the marketplace, one danger is the temptation to appoint ‘marketplace apostles.’ This is misguided. Ephesians 4 is clear that the fivefold offices are gifts to the church for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. The apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher all equip the marketplace worker.
Appointing ‘marketplace apostles’ creates a secular/sacred divide at a higher level and tends towards the most successful Christian in a sphere becoming the ‘apostle’ without necessarily being apostolic in their thinking and behaviour. What we need is apostolic doctors, nurses, teachers, receptionists, computer operators, government leaders, artists and so on. They would know that they are sent into the marketplace to do the work of ministry, whoever they are, whatever they do and wherever they are.
The inner awareness of the teacher in the classroom or the office manager that they are sent, and legitimately represent Christ, even though it will look very different from what is seen on a Sunday in church, will empower and free them to greater accomplishments in their field of ministry. The apostolic creates an army of ‘sent ones’ and the result will be transformation in the world and in the church
MARKETPLACE MINISTRY AFFIRMATION
Our great cause is to make disciples in our spheres of influence by being faithful ambassadors of Christ in our workplaces and communities. Discipleship—that is, becoming more like Jesus—happens in everyday life. Yes, discipleship can happen anywhere… even during a two-hour, lecture-style event on Sunday. However, the potential for discipleship and ministry investment in a weekly service is a fraction of what is possible during an entire work-week spent with our co-workers, clients, etc.
THEREFORE, WE AFFIRM THE FOLLOWING:
Our Theology of Work
- God Himself is a Worker who from Creation has enjoyed and blessed work.
- Work is not a platform for ministry or a means to an end. Our vocation is part of God’s purpose to restore all things to Christ.
- How we do our work and engage in our relationships is the demonstration of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
- We choose to make excellence a value in our work. (Col 3:23; 1 Cor 10:31)
Our Identity in and with Christ
- Our value is not in our profession, status, or salary. These can all be taken or changed. It comes from the value, honour, and love Jesus places on us. Therefore, we will walk humbly with Him among all whom we encounter in the marketplace. (Micah 6:8)
- We go into this acknowledging that Christ calls us to suffer with Him in this world and that we may experience this in our pursuit of faithful witness for Him in the marketplace.
- We believe we are called and commissioned to bring Christ’s presence and reflect His ways in every sphere of work and to every corner of creation that our lives touch.
- Jesus is the centre of everything, and we are His representatives. Therefore, we choose to make Jesus the centre of our story.
- The Gospel expresses the inherent value of all humans as equal and so we will as God enables, influence systems and structures to reflect the divine worth God has for all people.
- We choose to live a generous lifestyle where our time, resources and relationships will bring Christ’s blessing to those we encounter.
- We choose like Christ did, to ‘move into the neighbourhood’ (John 1:14) and participate in the local community by learning language and culture to the best of our ability.
Our Commitment to Community
We will commit to being in community on 2 levels:
- Participate in a body of believers/team where we can find and contribute care, community, accountability & mutual support.
- Demonstrate a life of Christian hospitality toward co-workers and other neighbours.
Our Limitless Pathways in Missions
The idea of career fields serving as a pathway to mission has great implications for all Christians who consider the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20). Jesus’s call to spread the message of redemption is not just for the full-time missionary but for each of his followers as they go:
- into study
- into the business world
- into healthcare
- into education
- into retirement
The call for each of us is to make disciples, whether we are nurses or students, engineers, or full-time church planters. The question is simply a matter of location. We want to encourage you to consider what you do well, and then consider where you can put those skills to use in a strategic way for the mission of God.
Increasing opportunities exist for you to use your skill sets to represent Jesus among unreached peoples and places all over the world. God has plans to use the natural inroads of jobs and life stages to bring his light of truth into the darkest pockets of the world.
The Body of Christ is called to “occupy”, barter, trade, do business (Luke 19:13; Matthew 25:14-30), therefore using our gifts, talents, divinely inspired innovations enables us to honour God and reflect His glory in the world systems, liken to Daniel and Joseph.Therefore, it is from this viewpoint that The GPF Apostolic Missions Network Inc has expanded her borders to community involvement and to engage in the Marketplace.
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