…Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:10-11
Too often we as Christians have two lives; our church lives, where we do our so called ministry and our secular live, where we earn our living. If we feel called to what we consider to be full-time ministry, the immediate assumption is that we are called to be the traditional pastor who must establish a local church or become a foreign missionary. Many have even left their businesses or professions in the marketplace because they believe that the only way to be in full-time ministry is to be a part of the local church staff or be involved in foreign missions; by doing this, some have found themselves outside of the will of God.
Ministry is bigger than the local church; ministry involves every aspect of our society. There are three basic institutions that God has established where ministry must be carried out; the local church, the family and the marketplace. Among those institutions, the marketplace is the one where we spend most of our time with the majority of unsaved people. Marketplace ministry is carrying out our vocation as a calling, in the name of Christ, with the intent to fulfill the great commandment (Matthew 22:37-38) and the Great Commission. It challenges us to allow Jesus Christ to change us from fishermen to fishers of men.
Many of us who have accepted Christ are still acting as fishermen. We spend most of our time and energy in the marketplace toiling and worrying about how much fish we can catch, we do not realize that we are no longer fishermen but fishers of men. As fishers of men Jesus has already taken the responsibility to ensure that we catch enough fish to make our business profitable, our project successful, or that our campaign for office prevails.
Are you a fisherman or a fisher of men? Are you fulfilling the great commandment and the Great Commission through your business or profession?
I started my career as an entrepreneurship instructor, executive director and founder of a nonprofit youth organization. I was doing good works according to most standards; helping young people learn the skills of business so they could have an alternative to drugs, and providing leadership training to young, aspiring leaders. But in 1995, through a Christian businessman who was operating in his marketplace ministry, I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. That led to a personal transformation where I received my marketplace call to use entrepreneurship as a tool to empower the body of Christ and seek and save the lost. That revelation then led me to develop an entrepreneurship training program called Biblical Entrepreneurship and to restructure the organization my wife and I founded into a service ministry called Nehemiah Project International Ministry which helps people build kingdom businesses in partnership with churches, Christian organizations, and Christian colleges and universities. At that moment I went from being a fisherman to being a fisher of men. By the grace of God, the Lord has blessed us to assist thousands of individuals who are now operating profitable, sustainable and scalable kingdom businesses in the marketplace. Your transition may not be as drastic; it may not even cause you to change what you are doing. You may only have to change how you are doing what you are already doing or your attitude towards it.
How to identify your marketplace call?
- Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
- Identify your gifts, skills and abilities.
- What do you have a burden for?
- Where does your passion lie?
- How do you incorporate the great commandment and the Great Commission in the execution of your ministry
Remember there are very few industries and professions where we cannot serve the Lord, for the scriptures says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3:17.
Copyright © 2011 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.