Why marketplace missions? 4.13 billion reasons

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During the month of September, Go. Serve. Love is pretty hyped 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.

By Mark Canada, CEO, MDE

We’ve spent some time weaving through some of the myths around marketplace missions (or Business as Missions/BAM), thrown up like misplaced traffic cones. We’re talking ideas like “Missions” is for missionaries” or “BAM takes away from ‘ministry'”.

But what about the reasons to go?

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 marketplace workers, 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.

Relationship development.

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 marketplace workers have for gaining access into lives.

Daily discipleship.

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 ministry 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 is the only viable option for them.

Have we convinced you to check it out yet–and maybe even forward to a friend?

Try our FREE self-assessment to see if

Business as Mission could be a good fit for you.


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