In The Marketplace
It is quite clear that Jesus was in the temple every week on the Sabbath day (Luke 2:27). In fact, Jesus started His ministry in the synagogue (Luke 4:16). We find Jesus in the temple teaching the doctors at a very young age (Luke 2:46). The scriptures record very accurately that Jesus was faithful to the Temple of worship (John 18:20). However, when it came to Jesus seeking and saving the lost, He took his mission to the Marketplace. Jesus taught a parable about the Lord sending His servants out into the highways and hedges compelling anyone to come that His house might be filled (Luke 14:26).
The market place was where the people were. It was like our shopping centers and malls today. The marketplace was the place where people did business. The highways were where the commerce and trade took place. Jesus was teaching His disciples to get out from behind Church walls and to where the people lived on a daily bases. Where the people worked and did business was where Jesus had in mind for His disciples to reach the unsaved.
If any serious businessman today starting up a small business wishes to succeed, he knows he must go out to where the people are. Sad, but more than 80% of all small businesses that start up close down within 3-5 years. Why? They commit the ultimate sin: thinking that all one needs is get a shop, put a sign up and wait till customers come. Wrong! The same sin is for any church to believe that all is needed is to get a building, put a sign out and wait till people come. Worse, we Christians get a building, put up a sign and the tell God to go get the sinners and bring them to church. We religiously call this praying for a revival.
Marketplace evangelism was what Jesus originally used and is the only guaranteed method of the Bible. The perfect business success model is to find a need and meet it. The same is for the church. If we are going to succeed in growing the church (salvations) we must discover the needs, hurts, and desires of our local community and create a way to meet that need.
How is it that the early Church did their ministry of saving souls, healing hurts and meeting needs in the “streets” and we twenty first century Christians don’t? True, our culture provides great opportunities via civic buildings, such as performing arts, parks, theatres, malls, convention centers, etc. However, about 95% of all “Marketing” is done OUT WHERE PEOPLE ARE. We must get church out of church if we are going to make a dent in our mission.
Join me this year in becoming “Engaged” in Marketplace evangelism. Come go with me out into the streets where people are. Take a good hard look into the mirror of your soul and find the gifts and compassion to help others. I know inside everyone of you reading, there is a longing to reach out and offer to others what you wished someone had done for you. Some of us are where we are because there was someone who loved us to Christ and now we want to do the same for others.
This is the year of Opportunity. It is the year of multiplication. This is our year to do and become what our soul is crying to do. This is our year to leap from our coach and step out into the Marketplace and make our life count. Listen, do you hear that? It’s the hustle and bustle of hundreds and thousands of people reaching, looking and asking for someone to show them the way, answer their questions and offer them a way out from where they are to where they want to go. And you, yes I do mean you have exactly what they need. Come on, let’s go.
This article “In the Marketplace” by Tim McClure was excerpted from: www.promiseland.com newsletter. February 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”