Category Archives: Marketplace

-Taking Jesus into the Marketplace

English: A Toyota Prius hybrid taxi in New Yor...

                                              (Image via Wikipedia)

Europe is full of huge empty cathedrals and most people there think of Christianity as something from the past.

In strategizing over how to take Jesus back into that continent, Global Advance is trying to advance the faith through Marketplace ministry hoping to make the church relevant to young Europeans.

Here’s an article about their efforts in Germany:

“Global Advance Trains Germans for Marketplace Ministry”

According to Jonathan Shibley, president of Global Advance:

"We really felt like it was a sovereign time for the Lord to pull together people during an economic crisis, because that’s where our faith comes out and shines."

"Three years ago, we were challenged at Global Advance to begin to look at Europe much like we would other developing countries: as an underserved region of the world, and almost an unreached region of the world to some extent."

"People are hungry spiritually, but they don’t know what they’re hungry for. So the gospel’s got to be demonstrated in a fresh way. So many people associate religion with empty cathedrals. They haven’t made the connect with their faith and the relevance to their personal lives. Somehow the church has got to become relevant again."

In talking about the recent conference Shibley concluded

"It was just a wonderful time to bring a wide variety of people from different denominations, different backgrounds, and also different industries together under one common cause—and that’s to see Christ lifted up through the workplace in Europe."

Response: I believe that marketplace ministry is also part of God’s heart for transforming America and particularly the American church. For too long American Christians have lived separate lives dividing the sacred from the secular and profane. 

Most of us Christians spend a majority of our lives in the marketplace, in schools, jobs, or in businesses. Yet we mostly keep the most important things of our lives separate from that experience, our families and our faith.  For too long, American Christians have separated their working lives from their faith, viewing work as a necessary evil to pay the bills. Not really the ‘spiritual’ part of our lives but the secular.

You can see where this has gotten us when well known church-going evangelical business leaders end up in jail over corrupt business practices. One famous energy company in Texas comes to mind as an example. The CEO was a deacon in his church and now he’s in prison.

It wasn’t always that way in America nor was it that way in Europe. The protestant work ethic transformed the West. All thing were done as unto Christ. But it was in America that religion and business would go hand in hand to build up a new nation that would lead the world for an entire century. However, somewhere in the last 50 years or so, Christianity became something that primarily happened just in a church for one hour on Sunday or two if your Pentecostal or Charismatic.

Again, it wasn’t always that way. One of the greatest revivals in America happened in businesses in New York City in the 19th century just before the civil war. Over 50,000 businessmen were converted to Christ and they transformed the entire American economy for the next 50 years until America became a leading world economic power.

It is time once more for American Christians to put it all together and live our entire lives under the banner of Christ including the marketplaces where we spend most of our time and efforts. I believe that the marketplace is the key to the next major revival that will transform the American church and change it into a relevant and dynamic witness to a secular American culture which has abandoned God and the very foundation it was originally built upon.            *Top

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-The Hospital Healing Prayer Initiative

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...

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Abby Abildness, founder of Healing Tree International, leads a team of prayer ministers in a weekly healing prayer service at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and has for the past six years. According to Abby:

"Combining healing prayer with medical care can bring God’s healing care to society around the world.” 

Abildness said that she took God at His Word that He is the God who heals and now she is taking the power of prayer—to those in need who are at the hospital both the staff and patients.

According to the article about this ministry here’s how it works:

The hospital makes an announcement over the PA system every Friday at 11:45 a.m. that a healing prayer service is taking place in the chapel. When patients, family members (and sometimes hospital staff) arrive, a team of prayer ministers is there to meet them. They simply ask for prayer for divine direction or wisdom in making the right healthcare choices. According to Abildness, lives are transformed and healings take place.

Healing Tree International, headquartered at the historical Londonderry Inn Bed and Breakfast, Hershey, Pa. The group also offers healing prayers weekly on Wednesday morning at the Inn.

Abby Abildness has just finished writing a new book which will come out soon:  “God’s Original Healthcare Plan.”  The book documents the successes of  her ministry group and provides a blueprint for establishing a healing prayer ministry in hospitals and for working along with medical professionals to provide total healing for patients.

Response: This is an example of marketplace ministry that God is initiating through his Holy Spirit all across this country. Most of it is under the radar right now and most in the Christian community are not fully aware of all of the stuff that is going on and being initiated by fellow Christians. This is what I call ‘the seeds of revival’ that are just beginning to sprout.

At some point it is going to expand just like popcorn. The fire gets hot and melts the butter and it seems to take for ever before a few kernels pop. Then a few more explode and then all of a sudden hundreds are popping all at once. That is the way this ‘Thy Kingdom Come Revival’ is going to be revealed. Right now just a few kernels are beginning to pop but just you wait!            *Top

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-What is it About the Marketplace?

Charles Grandison Finney

(Charles Finney via Wikipedia)

What is it about the marketplace that makes it an important venue for Revival? What is the marketplace anyway. Really the word in the context I am using it involves where we spend the majority of our waking hours. Our occupations, jobs, schools, businesses, markets, and shopping malls.

American Christians have looked for revival in all of the wrong places. Churches, conferences, special tent meetings and etc. The church bound forms of revival are really church renewals- They are wonderful, I love them, and they are life changing and ‘body of Christ’ renewing. However they seldom if ever touch culture and the greater society as a whole. Nothing like the ‘Great Awakenings’ in the past. We really need to look for something greater and expect to be surprised.

It is time for a revival in America to touch the very culture and places where we spend our days. What if the Holy Spirit descended at the office where you work – would it make a difference. What if people found themselves on their knees praying (unplanned) in a mall and everyone passing by was also touched and joined them –even those who don’t know what is happening to them and have never really prayed before? What would you call that?

It has happened before in America in the 19th century when Finney went into the factories and businesses of NY City and 500,000 inexplicably came to Christ. It is said that as Charles Finney merely walked through businesses hardened workers fell on their knees and responded to the Holy Spirit flooding the whole place. The whole culture of NY City was changed.

We are now in the midst of a recession that is touching every business in America. I read yesterday that unemployment is now at 10.3% but that doesn’t include the other 9-10% that didn’t get a job in a year so they statistically dropped them from the rolls. The unemployment figures in the USA are really closer to 20% if not over.

A lot of the prophetic folks I know and listen to are saying that it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better? Meanwhile the media and the politicians keep trying to put a good face on the economic and political mess we find ourselves in since they really don’t have a handle on it and don’t want to do the hard stuff that it will take to get us out of it.

The problems we face economically are in the marketplace but what if revival came to the marketplaces in America would it make a difference? Would it change America for the better? I believe that the answers are obvious. Americans spend most of their lives at work and in the marketplaces and if God is really going to bring a Revival today in America that is where it has to go.

Come Holy Spirit.

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