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Stories & Blog

Global Marketplace Vision (Part 1)

Global Marketplace Vision (Part 1)

Todd had a good job with a corporation in America. He was also a committed follower of Jesus, passionate about making disciples of the nations. In fact, he and his wife profiled themselves with their company so as to increase the likelihood of being assigned overseas. He received his overseas assignment and promptly sought the help of a well-known mission organization for preparation to be effective kingdom workers in the marketplace. They were turned down and left to figure it out for themselves.

So Todd took his corporate job and his family overseas to make an impact through his work — a marketplace worker, as we would call him. After writing a prayer letter of sorts, explaining some great opportunities with coworkers, they received no response from their church or friends back home to indicate that anyone was even praying for them! The church didn’t know how to view them, they decided. A marketplace professional and kingdom worker who didn’t need financial support simply didn’t fit their categories.

Our “Equipping God’s People for the Workplace” series focused on the priority of intentionally equipping God’s people for the workplace as their primary venue of loving service to God and others. Yes, we must affirm the dignity and strategic nature of our work no matter where or what it is. That in itself is a paradigm shift for many churches. But there is an even greater shift needed, as illustrated by Todd’s true story above. 

Sending marketplace workers | Churches today who have a more-than-theoretical vision for global engagement among the unreached are in the minority, judging from statistics of personnel and finances.* However, if this minority of proactive churches is rare, it is even rarer to find churches that are intentionally casting vision for their marketplace and professional people to move and work among the least-reached.

This “global marketplace vision” is not so much a mission strategy as the logical next step in the vision of the workplace as a primary venue for ministry. It requires a shift from the traditional understanding of preparing and sending only mission workers (who will always be needed) to recapturing the biblical and historical vision of sending workers from all professions.

Paradigm-shifting questions for the church

  • What does it look like to cast vision, prepare and send marketplace workers going overseas?
  • What are the specific challenges related to these non-traditional workers? 

Paradigm-shifting questions for the mission agency

  • What does it look like to come alongside marketplace workers to help them prepare and to give ongoing support for disciple-making?
  • What services could they provide in collaboration with the church to enhance long-term effectiveness?
We will explore these questions throughout this series.

Read the series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

*See When Missions Shapes the Mission, David Horner, Chapter 1, “The Place of Missions in Today’s Churches.”  See also http://www.thetravelingteam.org/stats.
The people in this story are real but italicized names have been changed to protect identity.
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