Minister in the Marketplace
Finding your place in the sun…..
You were made for such a time as this!
As a minister in the marketplace, your work is important to God
You are called to both business and full time ministry. The concept of business as a tool for spreading the gospel is not new. The apostle Paul is a biblical example of secular work and ministry.
Throughout history, God has chosen to use people from the marketplace to lead revivals, transform culture, bring about social justice and enlarge the Kingdom of God. Jesus began his ministry as a carpenter. As a matter of fact, all of the men Jesus called to be his disciples were not called from the ranks of famous orators or professional religious workers, but from the world of business. In God’s economy there is no distinction between ministry and business. You may be a part of the great company of Saints called to minister and manifest the life of Christ out in the public square of the marketplace.
Finding a Ministry Job You Can Love
Has God called you:
* to start a church in a college dorm, city park, or the local coffee shop?
* to pioneer an orphanage in Afghanistan, or open a Christian radio station in Miami?
* to start a 501(C)(3) nonprofit designed to train underemployed men in Chicago?
* to launch a new business in your hometown in support of the homeless?
* buy a franchise to finance a Christian school or mentor children with parents in prison?
* run a food bank, soup kitchen or rebuild homes lost in hurricane Katrina?
* organize medical mission trips to underdeveloped nations * the list of possibilities is endless.
The point is, ministry is not reserved for the few. Ministry is multifaceted and many-sided. The scriptures plainly tell us that God wants to use everyone. You don’t need to quit your job and live on the tithe to be in full time ministry.
Your First Priority: You Need A Compass – God Has A Vision For Your Life
Not understanding God’s vision for your life is like a ship without a compass. You just drift from day to day. When the phone rings, you answer it. When you’re hungry, you eat. When you are tired you go to bed. You don’t take charge of your life circumstances…. Your life circumstance takes charge of you! Without the motivation of a God-Centered Vision, you just end up drifting with the everyday demands of life.
Your Second Priority: You Need a Plan – a personal mission statement
Do you have a strategic Plan – that will enable you to fulfill your vision and complete your destiny? Understanding the center of God’s will for your life is just the beginning. You will need a plan of action for accomplishing your mission in life. Your second priority is to develop a clear personal vision along with a simple Step-By-Step God Centered Plan for achieving your goals.
Without a strategic ministry plan you just end up drifting from one good idea to another. You settle for doing what is convenient, rather than what’s important. A personal mission statement guides your life, it helps you to focus the resources, gifts, and talents God has given you.
Your personal mission statement works just like a map. It provides the direction and planning necessary to guide the course of your days and the life choices you make.
Having a vision is important, but developing a workable plan to achieve that vision is vital. “For want of a skilled strategy an army is lost; victory is the fruit of long planning.” Pro 11:14
Your vision will not be completed just as a byproduct of life. You are responsible for the intentional fulfillment of your purpose in life. You must strive to be who you were born to be. God provides the grace, but you are given the responsibility for making the choices.
”Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Pro 16:2-4
Here is a basic outline of the Vision Planning Process.
Sometimes it’s tough trying to formulate a plan on your own. This is where a mentor / Ministry Life Coach can really help out. A mentor is trained to help you “connect the dots” in your life, so that you are able to focus on all that God has given you. The added benefit of accountability will save you a great deal of wasted time trying to go it alone. Proverbs 15:22 says, ”Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Ask God to direct you to a mature, seasoned advisor to help you with the vision planning process.
There are 6 basic elements to be included in your Vision Plan
A clear written vision will provide the direction, the vitality, the boundaries, and the driving force for everything you do!
- 1. Identify Your Mission & God Centered Purpose in life.
The Bible tells us that we are “saved unto good works”; the epistle of James says, “Faith without works is dead.” The question is: What ministry work in the marketplace does the Lord have for you to do?
•2. Identify Your Objectives
•3. Identify Your Resources
- 4. Devise a Budget for getting things done.
Don’t get stuck here! Most folks fail to accurately access the value of their limited finances and never develop a step-by-step plan for effectively and strategically expanding those
resources. Don’t let a lack of finances prevent you from achieving your vision. Everything in God begins with only a seed. (I will post a whole series on this subject, and in the process show you how 4 Jewish immigrants turned a piece of cardboard into 14 Million dollars. The problem is not a lack of resources; it’s a lack of understanding how to effectively use what you already have.)
- 5. Devise an “Action Time Line” for accomplishing your goals.
This Plan of Action breaks your vision down into bite size pieces that you can handle one simple step at a time. As you begin to get things done, it’s surprising how motivated you will become. Actually making progress, and seeing your vision start to come to life; will generate a whole new dynamic and energy into your project.”Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” Proverbs 21:4-6 (in context) Proverbs 21 (whole chapter)
•6. Implement Your Plans – You just do it!
A REAL LIFE CASE STUDY – here’s an example of turning a vision into a working reality.
Youth About Business
Sam Kirk left a career with Southwestern Corporation to start Youth About Business. He had a simple mission in mind: to provide people from underserved communities with the opportunity to learn God’s principles and apply them to business. “I remember talking to my wife and telling her that God had set a new direction for our lives.” What Sam found was a God given vision that called him into a life of eternal significance.
Sam says, ” I would watch the news everyday and see so many of our young people making the wrong choices.” Sam decided to give them a Godly alternative! He started a mentoring program that gives students an opportunity to work with business owners. Older students have a choice to work in training centers where they learn the day-to-day operations of how to make a company run. As he experienced success in one location, he began to duplicate the ministry in other cities around the country. ”We’re now located in Nashville, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.” Sam has proven that with God all things are possible!
A visionary finds a need and then develops a practical plan to fill that need.
Sam’s vision was a creative way to reach what many call the “missing generations.” Statistics tell us that only a small percentage of our population between the ages of 12 and 23 go to church. However, Sam found a creative method of attracting this sector of the postmodern generation. A Gallup poll survey found that over 70% of our youth would like to become business owners. Yet, over 85% say they are not being taught how to successfully run a business. Sam’s objective was to use this need in their life to introduce them to the Lord. His program to train young entrepreneurs not only filled a need in their lives, but has given them a spiritual foundation they can stand on for the rest of their lives. Sam comments, “We’re committed to preparing tomorrow’s leader today.”
Youth About Business Mission Statement
“Our mission is to provide an entrepreneurial training program to youth that will enrich the lives of program participants. Our program exposes youth on training through the YAB Training Centers. Our goal is to give our youth participants a unique learning opportunity that will enhance their educational endeavors, as well as equip them with a better understanding of how to become effective leaders. Our program prepares students with all the mechanics of how to successfully run a business. We have an established curriculum, and area professionals help us to execute the training portions of our program. Our Youth About Business grads have gone on to enroll in many colleges and universities around the county.”
Notice three Basic Elements Sam used to turn his vision into a working reality.
1. Sam started with a simple vision that focused on one single need.
He began to verbalize, share and communicate his vision so that others around him could become a part of what God had placed in his heart.
2. Next… Sam began to identify his mission objectives.
His objective was simple: to reach youth by meeting a need in their lives. That need was their desire to become a business owner. He planned to meet this need by providing formal business training, as well as, opportunities for young entrepreneurs to gain practical experience by working in local businesses.
3. Next… Sam began to identify the resources around him.
Sam didn’t let his personal lack of resources stop his vision. He learned to think and plan in terms of team ministry.
By sharing his vision with others, he began to find the people resources he needed to make his vision come to life. Volunteers, business owners, and educators, began to join with Sam to teach and mentor the teenagers in his program. Corporations, businesses and local government began to get involved as sponsors. Individual sponsorships were made available from $30 to $100 a month. Some sponsored one child’s complete annual tuition amount. This not only covered the student’s cost of curriculum, but also their one week stay at Vanderbilt during the summer, their trip to Wall Street, and their leadership Retreat during the Christmas holidays. Several companies sent executive volunteers to teach classes and serve as consultants.
This recruitment of strategic ministry partners (people resources) is a powerful method of overcoming your lack of financial resources.
A major skill for launching your vision will be the ability to include others and equip them for the work of the ministry. Solo visions are inherently weak. Recruiting partners can include counselors, consultants, mentors, experts, retirees, authors, advisors, friends, key employers, your pastor, financiers, civic organizations, Better Business Bureau, Small Business Administration, civic leaders…. Pray, the Lord will send the resources! As a matter of fact, those resources are all around you right now.
If you try to do everything alone and never partner with others in the Body of Christ, you create huge barriers to your own potential. The size of your ministry team, should determine the size of your dream! For a vision to motivate believers to work together, those believers must first be convinced that the vision is a promise and revelation from God Himself and not just some dream of one ambitious gifted leader.
Finally, after formulating your Strategic Ministry Plan and Action Time Line designed to get things done……. Just jump in and do it! For help with your project contact: Mark C. Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org