We love to share stories of our missionary partners on the field in a business context. We believe business is a beautiful mechanism for the gospel to flow because business, at its core, is about meeting a need and serving people. As we intentionally add value to their lives, it provides opportunities to talk about Jesus. As we bring the Kingdom through our deeds, we proclaim the Kingdom on our lips.
There is something we all can learn from these stories. This isn’t just a cross-culture strategy for overseas missions, it’s the way all marketplace believers should view their work. How can you and I be more intentional with the way we approach our everyday jobs? How can we point to Jesus each day we engage in the marketplace?
The story below is from a business as mission practitioner in an unreached part of the world. Names and locations have been changed to protect their work there as well as the lives of the local believers.
We have numerous opportunities to share the love and truth of the gospel on a daily basis with so many wonderful people we meet through our business English school. As you are about to read shows one way for God’s love to shine forth through the beauty of the marketplace.
In my most recent class, I taught students from mainland Tanzania, from three different countries. There were twelve Muslims and two Christians in attendance. One of the things I love about our curriculum is the opportunity for conversation practice built into every lesson.
One day as we were learning about “The Written Word,” the discussion topic centered on these three questions:
“What is your favorite book?
Who is the author?
Why do you like this book?”
One of the students (we’ll call “Joe”) explained how the Bible is his favorite book, that it is actually a collection of 66 books and that there are really multiple authors. He went on to share that even though there are sixty-six different books in the Bible, there is just one message throughout this entire collection: God’s redeeming love for human beings! This is his favorite book because it explains to him how he should live his life and tells him how much God loves him and all human beings!
I actually had to help Joe with some of the words he was trying to say (I mean, it IS an English class after all, right?). At that moment, I couldn’t have been more proud of this student, of his English skills and the way he was growing in his use of language. But the overflow was equally as beautiful.
“Frank,” one of the Muslim students, began asking Joe questions and was clearly trying to gain some understanding of what the Bible is all about. He was hearing things about God’s Word that he had never heard before, and he was mesmerized!
Just a few weeks earlier, Frank had asked for and received a copy of the New Testament from another member of our team outside of school. This Injili is printed in the local language and in Arabic. He expressed a desire to have the whole Bible this way, and so we ordered one for him and it’s being brought in with a new team member.
Praise the Lord! We are incredibly blessed by the privilege to serve here, to participate in what God is doing among the many and varied people who come through our business English school. Maybe some in this Muslim stronghold are thinking they would just like to know English so they can have access to better economic opportunities. We love that we can serve people that way!
But we also know and believe that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). We know it’s God’s desire that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance and salvation and freedom through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (John 3:16+17).
It seems like a good idea to continue facilitating these wonderful conversation practice times in my English classes. Our business is providing a local, sustainable avenue for many people to meet Jesus.