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Portrait of a Marketplace Disciple-Maker

by Crossworld
in Blog, Business and Management, Disciple-making
Seven characteristics from the book of Daniel

We’re all familiar Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego as the heroes who survived run-ins with lions and fiery furnaces. But they were far more than that. These men were four of the most effective marketplace disciple-makers in Scripture. They were so effective that two of their pagan bosses — who happened to be kings — came to worship God and commanded all the people in their kingdoms to do the same (Daniel 2:46-47, 3:28-30, 6:25-27).

How did they do it? Here are seven characteristics that made these men effective marketplace disciple-makers.

1. Marketplace disciple-makers openly identify as God’s people.

“Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel” (Daniel 1:3).

Daniel and his friends couldn’t — and didn’t — hide the fact that they belonged to the God of Israel. Their relationship with God was out in the open just as ours should be.

Letting people know you are a follower of Jesus is an asset, not a liability. Jesus told us to let our light shine so that people can see our good works and glorify God (Matthew 5:16). By openly identifying as a follower of Jesus, you allow God to get the credit.

2. Marketplace disciple-makers have a great God.

“Daniel said, ‘Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him’” (Daniel 2:20).

The Holy Spirit did not inspire the book of Daniel to show us how great these four men were, but to show us how great God is. Nothing will stop Him from being exalted in the earth.

Daniel and his friends believed their God was a great God. Is your God a great God? Is He in control of your workplace, your office, and your industry? Believe it, and say so.

3. Marketplace disciple-makers are competent at their work.

“The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego]; so they entered the king’s personal service. As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm” (Daniel 1:19-20).

These four friends were born with talents. They had stellar resumes that got them through the HR department, then they worked even harder to be the best at their jobs. As a result, they were chosen by the king.

As pastor and author JD Greear said, “Do what you do well for the glory of God; and do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God.”

4. Marketplace disciple-makers respectfully challenge culture.

“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).

Many believers don’t know what to do when culture mandates that we dishonor God. Daniel and his friends pushed back against culture, but with respect. When the culture demanded they compromise their convictions, they didn’t explode, undermine, or acquiesce. They made up their mind and asked permission, and God gave them favor.

In a high-pressure situation of your own, how will you respectfully challenge culture and live according to God’s Word?

5. Marketplace disciple-makers have compassion for the people around them.

“The commander of the officials said to Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king’” (Daniel 1:10).

Daniel could have replied, “That’s your problem. If he kills you, that’s one less Babylonian.” Instead Daniel demonstrated compassion for his guard.

Do you have compassion for the people you work with? Do you love your enemies? You cannot make disciples if you do not have compassion for them.

6. Marketplace disciple-makers expect and acknowledge God’s favor.

“Then Daniel … told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery” (Daniel 2:17).
“‘…No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…’” (Daniel 2:27-28).

Daniel and his friends excelled in knowledge, skill, wisdom, and understanding. And they knew those things were evidence of God’s favor (1:17). When work became threatening, they sought God’s favor again, trusting Him to answer. He did, and they gave Him the credit.

All of us need God’s help at work. Pray for it in faith. And when He answers, acknowledge Him before others.

7. Marketplace disciple-makers function as a team.

“Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon” (Daniel 2:48-49).

Imagine King Nebuchadnezzar as the CEO of Babylon. The CEO decides to cut jobs. Daniel, whose job (and life) is on the line, requests a conference with the CEO to respectfully challenge the decision. He buys some time and asks his team to pray. God answers, and the CEO promotes Daniel instead of firing him. What does Daniel do? He shares the reward with his team who helped him accomplish it.

None of us get where we are by ourselves. Thank God for the team He’s given you, and look for ways to share the joy of success.

Bill Fuller, Church and Marketplace MobilizerBill Fuller worked in business and church ministry before joining Crossworld in 2017. As a Church and Marketplace Mobilizer, he combines his passions by helping marketplace professionals see the value of their work and find their role in God’s mission.

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