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Stories & Blog

Kingdom Potential of the Global Marketplace

Kingdom Potential of the Global Marketplace

Read the series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Any consideration of a theology of work must consider the mission of God expressed in the whole Bible beginning in Genesis 1. The cultural mandate, as we have seen, is a global mandate envisioning those in relationship with God filling the earth, reflecting His image, and being the means of God’s global work through their work. The Great Commission, as a renewal and update of this mandate, is for all believers in all their skills, professions, and trades. And the approximately 3 billion unreached peoples show how far we are from the fulfillment of this task.

Simple math 

The global marketplace represents an opportunity to multiply the number of kingdom workers pursuing the Great Commission task of Jesus. If 10 percent of the approximately 8 million American expats overseas were believers, that represents 800,000 kingdom workers. And that’s just Americans. In an age of global work represented by immigrants (some of whom are believers) going “from everywhere to everywhere,” the unreached areas of the world have thousands of Jesus-followers from other countries living and working in their midst.

Workplace vision needed 

These expats from the world over can often be found in English-speaking international churches. Even in areas closed to mission workers, these marketplace believers can worship freely. Often, however, as in America, they do not view their placement and work in those countries as God’s calling to steward their vocations for the kingdom of God. They need church leaders who will cast a strong vision for their work as a reflection of God and means of His work.

Two types of marketplace workers 

Most marketplace workers will work as employees, either transferring their current job or finding a job in their industry overseas. They work with integrity and excellence, stewarding their position to serve God and the unreached people around them.
Other marketplace workers will launch businesses and become employers. They create jobs in the name of Jesus as an expression of His love, addressing that least-reached community’s greatest material need — a good job. Entrepreneurial business has great potential for at least two reasons:

  1. Profit-making business is God’s ordained way of creating wealth, growing the economy, and alleviating poverty (see Deuteronomy 8:18).
  2. Business owners create and shape the culture of their companies. In so doing, followers of Jesus have the unique opportunity to create a work culture that reflects God’s values and is fertile ground for Him to accomplish His work.

The addition of marketplace workers in no way devalues mission workers. God has used them immeasurably and will continue to use them to accomplish His work! But a proper theological perspective on work and the ever-growing need of unreached peoples require us to mobilize “disciple-makers from all professions.” The kingdom potential of the global marketplace is enormous!

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