If you are involved in ministry and online, you probably hear or read about it at least weekly: Marketplace Ministry. What is Marketplace Ministry?
In a nutshell, Marketplace Ministry refers to those activities which derive in the hearts of persons who want to serve Christ faithfully in all aspects of the world of work — in the office, the boardroom, the production center, the retail store, investment and other financial institutions…the places where the wheels of our economy are in motion and people are involved in all of the many and varied vocations in the world of work.
Marketplace Ministry is also that OUT-reach of the Church itself, as it endeavors to serve those who are working.
So, why is the Church no place for it?
The Scripture goes something like this: John 2: 13 tThe Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus uwent up to Jerusalem. 14 vIn the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
The Church is no place for trade. The Church — the people gathered in the sanctuary as we normally imagine the Church to be — is no place for trade. It is not a marketplace. If a person joins with others in the sanctuary in order to “network” for commercial purposes, that person is misusing the Church. If a person uses his or her influence in the places of power and trade, and does so by leveraging his or her affiliation with the Church, that person is misusing the Church. If a person opens up a store in the “narthex” or “vestibule” and sells products for financial gain, that person is misusing the Church.
But the reverse is not forbidden, neither is it wrong. The marketplace IS the place for the Church to be in ministry. And the more wide and varied the marketplace becomes, the more opportunity there is for the people of God to serve God’s people in the market.
The Disciples College has added a new degree program this year. The purpose is to advance the skills of ministry and to apply the competencies of ministers in the marketplace. And it is a very specific purpose for which we have created this program. We have limited our program and our training to the “Digital Marketplace.”
How can the minister serve through an online presence? How can the minister lead others into influential vocations for the sake of the Gospel through Digital Marketing Skills? Who can marshal the resources and wisdom of the Church, for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in order to bring light and life to a broken and suffering world…and do so through the worldwide web? Every portal that opens within the digital world becomes and avenue for the person who knows how to leverage the power of the Internet appropriately in order to bring the Good News of Christ to a hungry people.
The way we see it is this: People are searching for meaning, for purpose, for life, for hope. And where are they? Where do they hang out? Think about it.
Contact the Disciples College today to learn more about our “Masters of Marketplace Ministry” degree program. You will not regret making the call (or sending the email, or connecting on social media). firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-815-9078 and ask for Bob Harris, President.