Growing up in Louisville, KY, I had never heard of Waco, Texas. I had no desire to go there. It held no influence over my life. But most readers know that today, that isn’t the case. As soon as you hear Waco, Texas, you think of Chip and Joanna Gaines of the show Fixer Upper. Two ‘ordinary’ Christians who began to fix up properties around town, stumbled their way into a TV show, and have turned the unknown Waco, Texas into a hotspot for tourists.
This is an example of the influence a successful business can have in a community. Admittedly, an unlikely one, but every business has the potential to touch multiple lives and impact the people around them. This is why we believe Marketplace Ministry, when coupled with a clear strategy for making disciples, is a vital tactic for missions.
Marketplace Ministry in the Middle East
In recent years, the Middle East has seen over 5 Million externally displaced Syrian refugees. For a Team Expansion missionary who works in this unique region, he needed an equally unique way to respond to the needs of these people. He decided to use a Marketplace Ministry approach to his mission work and started a modest restaurant. He was able to train locals in running this business and hand it over to them.
He immediately saw the potential for multiplying Kingdom impact with this approach.
Business Training Program
This missionary will be partnering with a ministry who developed a business training program. We hope, using this program, new believers can be trained in starting their own self-sustaining businesses. These believers can then use their business to multiply disciples through the employees they hire, the customers they serve, and the other businesses they work with. By plugging believers into these important community positions, it begins to not just influence individuals or families, but entire communities.
Long before Chip and Joanna Gaines became cultural icons, they had established a reputable business in Waco. They consistently performed stellar work and they built a strong foundation of partners. If you read their book, you’ll discover that the Gaines’ story involves a lot of God moments. They didn’t luck-into changing Waco, God guided them into it and they responded with some amazing leaps of faith.
This is the prayer behind Marketplace Ministry. We want to impact individual lives through these efforts, but we also want to capitalize on the unique influence each business holds on its community. When the marketplace is claimed in the name of God’s Kingdom, rapid multiplication can begin to occur. But it can take some leaps of faith.
Will you join us in praying for a great awakening in the marketplace? There’s a new prayer initiative called
Pray Now Pray Boldly, maybe this is your first leap of faith: to join us in weekly prayer.
If you want to learn more about Marketplace Ministry and how you can use your vocational calling to advance God’s Kingdom, we’d love to connect with you. Learn more about Marketplace Ministry and how you can connect with us here.