During the month of September, Go. Serve. Love is tickled pink to share stories and thoughts from MDE, an organization providing business, vocational, missional, and personal services to fellow believers who want to make money and make disciples in unreached communities.
In light of the 4.13 billion unreached–and the need for the solution of an equal size–MDE is looking for Christians who truly want to be in the workplace, either as employees or entrepreneurs, and who truly want to be intentional about developing authentic relationships.
They’re looking for a few good men (and women) to take both the presence and the message of Jesus to co-workers and neighbors.
Is Business is a back door to missions?
What if we told you it’s a front door?
If you want to share Christ with people overseas or anywhere, where do you start?
You’re hoping to meet people by inviting them for dinner, or getting to know their kids, or hoping your dog licks them in a friendly way on your walk around the neighborhood.
Even as a pastor, you have to create a connection…but then you’ve got the classic pastor problem of a job label. You wonder if people are buttoning up around you (“Oh, shoot! I just swore!”). Or wondering if you’ve got an agenda in creating a relationship with them.
Marketplace missions provides you an automatic connecting point.
CEO of MDE Mark Canada recalls from his tenure in Kazakhstan, “If you don’t have a job and you’re not with a school, we’re skeptical of you. Maybe you work for the government. Maybe you’re a spy.”
But if you’re bringing jobs and a service needed by your community?
People’s arms aren’t up blocking you. They’re welcoming you.
Welcome to the front door: Don’s Story
Don moved to Eastern Europe for “missionary”/”church planting” work with the Roma community. But he wasn’t anticipating the 7 or 8 years of not connecting and watching people struggling to feed their families.
So Don decided to go through the “back door”: marketplace missions. He worked with MDE to create a small manufacturing company to provide jobs, to demonstrate how to use biblical principles in the workplace, and to create authentic, natural relationships with Roma.
Through God’s kindness, Don did all that and more. The Roma community leaders welcomed and applauded him for truly helping “their people.” (They weren’t overly excited about his religion, but respected him for the value he was bringing to them.)
His workers earned a more than decent wage, were enrolled in the country’s health and pension system, and learned job skills they could take to other employers.
In addition to seeing God provide materially, they experienced the love and head the message of Jesus through Don. The back door was the only way into this particular house.
Don’t I need to be called to missions?
This myth is pervasive. In fact–despite the 4.3 billion unreached–this myth stops countless believers in everyday jobs from considering a life of intentional disciple-making in the least reached communities of the world.
People often have a fuzzy idea of what “missions” means.
What they know? Missions (insert scary music) is is completed in remote places by “missionaries”. “Missionaries” are full-time pastor types who spend all day evangelizing and doing very church-type things, like Bible study.
So this myth follows naturally that if believers haven’t heard or felt God call them to be missionaries, they should not go to the unreached.
But MDE, for example, believes every believer is called, commanded even, to make disciples, whether they’re in Toledo or Tokyo.
We believe Jesus still weeps when he looks out over lost communities. He desires for them to come to know and follow him.
We need more disciples going to those communities.
So let’s back away from defining “missions” or “missionary” for a bit. Let’s simply ask, Where would God have you make the disciples he has commanded you to make?
There is a desperate need for Christians to go make disciples in thousands of places around the world. So here’s our second ask. (Spoiler alert: It’s a biggie.)
Would you consider going there?
You have to live and work somewhere. Why not in a city where the need for a Christian to do so is overwhelming?
Bonus: You might not need to raise financial support. And you might have a natural route to a visa.
Could you work for Google from Indonesia? Open a coffee shop in Kyrgistan? Teach scuba diving in southern Spain (that one, we’ve already got one person doing). Model and sing in Japan? (That one, too.)
You don’t need to be a missionary.
You simply need to be missional. To offer yourself as an act of worship to our Lord – living your life fully and completely for him.
You should be doing this already.
What if you tried do it somewhere else?
We’ve created a FREE self-assessment to help you consider whether marketplace missions (also known as BAM: Business as Mission) could be a good fit for you–and what you could do next.
Want to check it out?