As they conducted business, it was natural for them to present the gospel to the people they encountered. Marketplace people played a vital role in the emergence, establishment and expansion of the Early Church—in fact, most of Jesus’ followers remained in full-time business while simultaneously conducting full-time ministry. This was possible because they saw the marketplace as their parish and their business as a pulpit. To them witnessing was not an occasional activity but a lifestyle.
- Silvoso, Ed. Anointed for Business (p. 16). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
I am many people
Christianity cannot be separated from the marketplace and government because as people we cannot separate ourselves from ourselves.
Pull yourself toward yourself
There is, however, something that is constant across all of these:
I am human, and as such, made in God’s image to be God’s representative on earth.
This to me represent the core of who I am and what I was created to be. All my roles must be pulled into and built around this core concept.
The unifying questions
This really simplifies my approach to many of the challenges of life in that I only have a few questions to ask that can guide all my decision making:
1. What would “Loving God with all my heart, mind and strength” look like in this situation? Or to make that question more practical:
“What does God want me to be doing, and how does he want me to be doing that (with what attitude and emotion and underlying thoughts) in this situation?
2. What would “Loving my neighbour as myself” look like in this situation? What do people around me need, and what do I have that I can give and contribute in the best possible way?
The disciplines that help us answer those questions
To answer both of those questions, there are really only two things I need to do:
1. Spend a little bit of time every day reading and studying the Bible, and just becoming quiet before God, listening for His voice and just moving my heart closer to His.
2. Stay in an attitude of prayer as I move through the day, constantly asking God to show me what He wants me to see, hear what He wants me to hear, notice what He wants me to notice – and then respond in the way He wants me to respond.
From there, I trust Him for the grace, strength and provision to act accordingly.
For me, this is really a summary of what it means to be a Christian.
When we are integrated, God’s kingdom is the same everywhere
And to get back to where we started:
When we live like this, whether we are at work, at church, or at home; and whether work is full time ministry, government work, non profit work, teaching, or working in the marketplace in a normal company, or even running your own company – it is all built on the same foundation. The questions are the same. The purpose remains the same.
My name is Ashton Fourie.