I am thankful for every opportunity I get to learn from missionaries and the global Church. The shifts in the practice of missions that you are now seeing, or anticipate seeing in the near future, are valuable for those of us serving in North America as well. Those shifts include the development of nontraditional sending pathways, and may include “mobile marketplace multipliers” (globally mobile Christ-followers) who are intentionally seeking to be kingdom multipliers in the workplace wherever they may be.
Over the past few years, and especially the past year, a “Marketplace Multipliers” (MM) movement is gaining momentum. It is led by MM’s who every day seek to integrate their faith with their work and steward their influence in order to make disciples through workplace relationships. You can sense their joy in each spiritual conversation, each opportunity to pray with someone, each open door to share the Gospel, and each investment in someone to deepen and strengthen their ability to “keep in step with the Spirit.”
The MM Strategy Team is truly a Kingdom Force – multigenerational, multiethnic, multieconomic, women and men, lay (with pastoral encouragement and “sending”), everywhere to everywhere.
I’m privileged to work alongside them. I grew up in the home of a “marketplace multiplier” – my dad was a blue collar craftsman who specialized in building custom cabinets for our family construction business. I started working with him when I was 12 – and in the workplace watched him leverage his credibility developed through personal integrity and professional excellence to influence others to take a next step with Jesus.
For over 36 years my accountability partner and I have met every other week. Paul is definitely a white collar guy who owns a wealth management firm. Conversations about money have a way of opening doors for spiritual conversations, since where your treasure is, there your heart is also. He is as called to making disciples through workplace relationships as I am in the context of the Church.
So all my life I’ve seen the difference a person can make in the marketplace. It’s a ministry approach at least as old as the book of Acts.
Our MM movement is rooted in the local church. A local church “chapter” meets quarterly, co-hosted by a pastor and a MM in the church. We view it as an “Ezra-Nehemiah” partnership. An MM chapter includes people in all kinds of workplace contexts and roles, who with intentionality and creativity transform everyday places into ministry spaces.
As I write this blog we have 36 local church MM chapters – over 10% of them Spanish-language. In their quarterly meetings they seek to “spur one another on to love and good deeds.” They pray together; engage in peer learning opportunities related to integrating their faith with their work and stewarding their influence to make disciples; and fan the flames of their calling to make disciples beyond the walls of the church as they are “sent out” by their church.
The global spread is already happening. Yaremi Acevedo (a global marketer with a large pharmaceutical firm) is connecting with Rev. Hector Perez in Colombia for the MM movement in Iberoamerica. Earl McJett (who works for the U.S. government with a focus on IT access for those with disabilities) is connecting with Seema Justin in India.
We’ve yet to “publicly launch.” We refer to our present chapters and global relationships as our “launch team.” The book Marketplace Multipliers: Stories of Faith and Influence in the Workplace with Dave Drury is 17 MM’s each telling their story to inspire others (available in English and Spanish). A podcast featuring MM’s and including the affirmation of their pastors has released its first 10 episodes. A webpage is morphing into a website (www.marketplacemultipliers.com) . The North America “virtual launch event” is April 17, with international versions following shortly thereafter. All accomplished by volunteers and donors believing God for a marketplace disciple-making movement.
I’m thankful Ben Ward will provide a follow up post to put it in a missions/global context. Our MM’s love working and learning together with missionaries and nationals so that the MM movement might spread everywhere to everywhere.