The spiritual gifts and five-fold ministry callings are not limited to the confines of the church building. Some people are called as “marketplace ministers”, sent into the business world to plant seeds of the Gospel, bless the world with their gifts and claim territories for the kingdom of God.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” ~ Romans 12:6
There are many ways in which the ministry of the Holy Spirit is carried out in the marketplace, here are just 3 of them:
The business world can be a dark and lonely place but God sends His people to bring light there. There are some who are called to reach out to and disciple others in the marketplace. If God has given you a senior leadership position in a large corporation, for example, He may be calling you to use your influence to impact the lives of CEO’s and other senior executives. Corporate fellowship or study groups have been started in this way. Some Christian business owners use their business as an avenue to lead others to Jesus.
There are people who are extraordinarily graced to excel in business; it’s almost as if they have a Midas touch. God gives them a great idea and also the wisdom to flourish in the business world. Many hugely successful companies, such as the Quaker Oats Company, Heinz, Colgate, Mary Kay and Walmart to name a few, have been started and grown by Christians. These giants inspire others to follow their example and succeed in business.
Spiritual gifts, such as the word of wisdom, are not restricted to the church service. In fact they are regularly expressed through believers in the marketplace. One spiritual gift that is often expressed in the marketplace is the gift of giving. Many Christian entrepreneurs are led by a passion to give; whether in the form of financial giving or through the investment of their talents to bless others. The biggest Christian philanthropists are usually those who have experienced tremendous success through business.
The five-fold ministry gifts are also found in the marketplace. Christians in business face particular challenges that others may not encounter. There are pastors with a special grace (and perhaps a business background) to relate with and minister to such business people. Christians in business sometimes struggle to reconcile their faith with their work. This is one of the reasons God mobilizes marketplace teachers, who are anointed to empower Christian entrepreneurs by revealing God’s Word as it applies to business.
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