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My Business: A Great Commission Platform *

 By Rodney Dale Swope

Christian Business owners have a unique advantage and opportunity to use their business as a platform to share the Gospel. They can do good business and contribute to “every day savings.”
Jesus often spoke to the multitude. Today, the multitude is in the marketplace. So much of our time, talent and resources are spent in the marketplace. Let’s establish the marketplace simply as the community of buying, selling, trading and investing. This community is inescapable for most people. It is retail, wholesale, web-based, mail ordered and networked. It is everywhere that value is exchanged for value or promise for promise. We all, at some point, enter the marketplace to acquire what we need, to trade what we have for what we want, or to invest in our futures. We go to the marketplace to work, to shop, to dine and for recreation. Even when we go without making a transaction we contribute the measurable impact of our steps as traffic that can be translated into future sales. The multitude is in the marketplace. They are buyers, sellers and passersby’s. They are saints, sinners and backsliders, too. They are believers, thinkers, doubters and haters. They are enquiring souls desiring to fill a need. They are the multitude.
Jesus went to the multitudes to share the good news of the Kingdom’s arrival. He went where they were and taught out in the open. He taught among the fishermen, the tax collectors and taxpayers. While He ministered in the marketplace, He zealously expressed His disdain for making the house of God a place of merchandise (Luke 19:46). This story is not at all a knock on business, but Jesus' clear condemnation on what had been misplaced in what was to be a "house of prayer". Some things and some places must remain sacred. It was not the activity that prompted the only recorded tirade of the Lamb of God; it was the LOCATION of the activity that provoked Him to turn over the tables. The market is a place that breeds greed, corruption and thieves. This is more the reason why believers need to take their faith to work, in the marketplace and elsewhere. Hence, we ought to take the marketplace out of the church and take the church (us) to the marketplace.
It is interesting to consider how He might feel about conversely making places of merchandise into houses of God? Might He rejoice in the fulfillment of His great commission to his disciples? Might He glow in satisfaction to see the gospel be spread to all corners? Might He relish in the manifestation of souls being saved through the service of living epistles and citizens of the Kingdom who know Him and choose to carry out the commandment to make disciples?
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? How can they hear without someone preaching to them? How can they preach unless they are sent?

Some are called and sent forth as marketplace ministers. Some are called to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, some teachers. There are some who will be ministers as owners, some as managers, some as staff and some as workers. Yet, we all are called to the ministry of reconciliation. We are ambassadors representing the kingdom and apostles empowered to claim new territory in the hearts of men. Marketplace ministers are called, equipped and equipping others to do the work of the ministry in the community of traders.

Christian business owners have dual-realm authority to proclaim the Kingdom of God where they work. They have the divine decree of possessing in the spirit and the earthly authority of owners granted under the law of the land. Both realms coinciding in a marketplace enterprise bear witness to the power and authority to speak forth the good news. There is a gate open to Christian business owners to serve, teach and direct those employees under their care with time tested Biblical truths. Recent court cases have reinforced the right of an enterprise to hire based on religion and to conduct voluntary bible studies at work. Owners have rights to share the Gospel within the context of their enterprises. They must only demonstrate the faith and resolve to do it.
While some are arguing over Wal-Mart’s choice to greet its customers with “Happy holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas”, these marketplace ministers can lovingly proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord. They can print it on every advertisement, every receipt. They can say it to close every transaction with every supplier and every customer. They can flood the marketplace with the love of Jesus and the express power of His Name. They can bring all to the meaning of the phrase “everyday savings.”
Wal-Mart’s choice acknowledges that money is green and not all shoppers celebrate Christmas. Other business owners might take a similar posture and shrink from the opportunity to unashamedly share their allegiance to the Kingdom of Christ. Some might rather deny Jesus as Peter did. Yet, Jesus demonstrates for us that He will bless our enterprise when you use it as a platform for the Word.
We see in Luke 5:1-7 Jesus is preaching to the multitude on the banks of Lake Gennesaret. As crowds began to press closer, Jesus having already scanned the environment, looked over and saw two docked fishing boats. He got into one of the boats and asked Simon to push it away from the shore. From this floating platform, the Word was preached. When he finished speaking, He asked to put the boat out into deep water and throw out the nets for catch. Simon was reluctant and complained, “Master we have worked all night and caught nothing, but I will do as you say.” Simon threw in the nets and they began filling with fish so much that the nets began to break and the boat nearly sank from the weight of the catch.
Jesus invited Simon to use the tools of his profession to become a platform for the Word. Simon received an abundant blessing. This blessing was the direct result of Simon using his business to support the Word. Then he received the overflow of blessing. The Lord pays for what He orders and He pays back a great return for anything He borrows. Our Christian businesses can support the Gospel with financial support, too. However, it is better to keep quiet about our giving in order not to boast. It is far better to let our works demonstrate our commitment to the Lord’s work.
A Christian business is more than a business owned and operated by Christians. It is more than simply saying we are Christians and displaying Christian symbols. It all has to do with regular prayer to under gird the enterprise and the intention to save souls and serve the people of God. Prayer invites the Lord into a place where He has granted us dominion. Believers in business must, through prayer, ask the Lord where to cast their nets. This is the key distinction. In a Christian business, Jesus is the CEO. He has left us in charge to manage. He is only a prayer away when we need Him. In a Christian business however, He is regularly acknowledged and consulted.

Your, boat, office, truck, lunch table or website can be a platform for the great commission.

Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.

Matthew 28: 1-20 MSG Bible

The people who you meet in your business every day, in anyway are those “near, who we are commissioned to train “in this way of life.” That is, the way Jesus teaches us to live.

* taken from Bibles and Briefcases A Biblical Economic Guide for the Believer in Business"