Go. Serve. Love’s always pretty hyped to share marketplace-missions-related stories and thoughts from Marketplace & Development Enterprises, an organization providing business, vocational, missional, and personal services to fellow believers who want to make money and make disciples in unreached communities. So we’re pulling this important post from our archives today.
In light of the 4.13 billion unreached–and the need for the solution of an equal size–-MDE is looking for Christians who 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.
By Mark Canada, CEO, MDE
We’ve spent some time weaving through some of the myths around marketplace missions (or Business as Missions/BAM), tossed up like misplaced traffic cones. We’re talking ideas like “Missions” is for missionaries” or “BAM takes away from ‘ministry'” or “reaching the unreached takes me to places my mom will be afraid I’ll get shot.”
But what about the reasons to go?
Why Marketplace Missions/BAM/B4T?
Because of the billions.
The need is too great, the urgency too strong, for “traditional” missions as the sole method.
We need a solution as sizeable as that 4.13 billion. If we are to engage the unreached billions, marketplace believers must play a part. As the Church, we must empower and send out more than “full-time missionaries” to vast fields.
As a corollary to the first reason: God’s called more believers to work in the marketplace than in full-time ministry. There are significantly more marketplace believers than full-time ministry folks.
All believers, including those in marketplace missions, are called to make disciples. We need to tap into this larger group to make disciples in unreached communities.
Marketplace workers have greater access to more unreached communities than traditional missionaries due to governmental and cultural restrictions. Countries welcome jobs and healthy economies more than Christianity.
People are generally more open to listening to the gospel presented by individuals with whom they have an affinity and relationship. And those relationships may develop faster and deeper through the natural connections made in the marketplace.
Most traditional missionaries would kill for the opportunities with which marketplace missions gains access into lives.
Missionaries strive to be incarnational–and by that, I mean as Jesus “dwelled among us” (John 1:14)–for Jesus, as a carpenter for over two decades. As we make disciples, we long to train people how to do their lives as transformed Christ-followers.
That incarnational ministry can be difficult when means of support comes from donations of others. Full-time ministry, paid for by someone else, is not an option for most who become Christians.
Marketplace missions is.
Marketplace people are that much closer to and better understood by nationals. An unbeliever can see what it looks like to be a normal marketplace person and a disciple of Jesus.
School debt and diminishing funds targeted for missions require alternatives to traditional missions funding methods. Marketplace workers are generally able to engage in ministry and retire educational debt sooner than “traditional” mission workers.
This is especially true in developing countries where the church wants to send out workers but can’t use the U.S. model of financing missionaries. The bi-vocational method of marketplace missions is the only viable option for them.
Have we convinced you to check it out yet–and maybe even forward to a friend?
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