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Missional Marketplace S1 E2: The Sacred and Secular Divide

by | May 10, 2022 | Resources

Many followers of Jesus have unintentionally adopted some bad work theology, a set of assumed beliefs that neatly divide our daily lives into sacred and secular partitions. We believe these perspectives were more absorbed than intentionally taught, but they’re confusing and destructive nonetheless. In Episode 2 of the Missional Marketplace Podcast, we tackle this “sacred/secular divide.” We start in the elementary school lunchroom and end at summer church camp! We believe it will be a fun and liberating journey for many of you.

This week’s Missional Moment features our dear friend Amy from ReMade India. The way ReMade is harnessing the power of the marketplace for economic and spiritual transformation is inspiring. We hope it stirs your imagination to think differently about the missional power of the marketplace to both embody and proclaim Jesus to the ends of the earth.

Please share, follow, and rate this show (we prefer all the stars if you don’t mind) on your podcast platform of choice. It goes a long way to help establish us as a new podcast. Other helpful links related to this show are listed below:

Remade India: https://www.remadeindia.com Full Interview with Amy

Missional Marketplace Book: https://www.erikcooper.me https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/173…

The Stone Table: https://TheStoneTable.org

Weekly Newsletter Signup 5-Day Daily Devotional https://www.facebook.com/thestonetable https://www.instagram.com/thestonetab… https://www.linkedin.com/company/1367…

#businesspodcast #sacredandsecular #christianpodcast

Transcription:

Speaker 1 [00:00:00] We have our sacred partitions and our secular partitions, right. So, you know, maybe I, I volunteer at church, I sing on the worship team. That’s, that’s, you know, that’s a sacred activity. But, you know, I’m an accountant by day. I do accounts payable for, you know, for a mortgage company. And that’s my secular work. Right, right, right. Or I volunteer in the nursery. I mean, that’s what I really do for my sacred calling. You know, I lead a Bible study or a small group. That’s my sacred work. But you know what I do every day to earn a living that’s just secular. And I’m telling you that that is that is just flat out bad theology. Yeah, it is actually a modern form of ancient Gnosticism. 

Speaker 2 [00:00:51] Welcome. Welcome. We are here with another episode of the Missional Marketplace podcast. I am I am Darren, your host or co-host with my lovely brother here. Eric. Eric, how you doing? 

Speaker 1 [00:01:05] I’m doing great. Lovely. You’ve never called me lovely. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:07] Lovely. You know, Sage, I was going to call you short. I was going to come up with a lot of things, but this is where we landed today. 

Speaker 1 [00:01:15] I am lovely enough that we’re going to correct the problem from the first week and not put my face behind the mike. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:21] Right. If you if you’ve watched with us on YouTube, Eric was hiding behind his microphone last week. But that’s all right. We’ve got it fixed. We’re ready to to rock and roll. But like I said, this is episode two of the Missional Marketplace podcast. So we’re learning a few things where we are in the flow, getting it ready to rock and roll. But yeah, last week we, we kind of set the stage a little bit, yeah. With our, our, our very first episode and we let everybody know that, that we have this lovely book written by a great author here, the Missional Marketplace book. 

Speaker 1 [00:01:56] Free product placement here. 

Speaker 2 [00:01:58] Yes, yes, yes. Very much so. But we let everybody know we’re going to kind of walk through some of the content of this book, kind of bring out some of those some of those ideas that you wrestle with and bring to light in the book. And really where we started was with kind of these these big questions that we all kind of wrestle with, whether we we know it or not. So what are some of these questions that we outlined last week? 

Speaker 1 [00:02:21] I’m just going to read them right off of the back flap of the book. 

Speaker 2 [00:02:24] Absolutely right. Absolutely. 

Speaker 1 [00:02:25] You know, is there any eternal value to your day job? You know, I think a lot of Christians in the marketplace probably wrestle and ask that question. Right, for sure. For sure. Is it possible to find gospel meaning in a quote unquote, secular career? You know, and then one I think a lot of us wrestled with, if I if I really love Jesus, shouldn’t I just quit my job and go into full time ministry? Right. Isn’t that what? Like people who are really serious about their faith? Yeah. And then really, how does my everyday work have anything to do with God’s mission in the world? And so that’s kind of what the book’s about. And those are some of the things we’re going to talk about, you know, through the course of this first season of Mission of Marketplace podcast. 

Speaker 2 [00:03:05] Yeah. And if you, if you missed episode one, you can go back and catch that on YouTube obviously, or anywhere that you catch your podcasts, you’ll be able to find it. Obviously, if you’re listening to it, you’ve already found it. So you know where it’s at, but right, yeah. Last week we kind of outline those questions. We dove into that from from from that standpoint and and really let everybody know what this podcast is about and who it’s for. Right. So who would you say, Eric, that this podcast is for? If somebody is listening and they don’t fall into this category, they might just shut it off right now then. So before we dove into our next little point, who is this for? 

Speaker 1 [00:03:41] Yeah, I think it’s really you know, the heart of this is really for marketplace Christians. Christians who who have a vocation in the marketplace. Yeah. But they’re passionate about God’s glory in all of the earth. They’re passionate about God’s global mission in the world. And they want their everyday work lives to have a deeper kingdom connection. You know, when they go to work every day, they want to know that their work has actually something to do with this grander call and this thing that is is so valuable and important to them and defining to them as followers of Jesus Christ. 

Speaker 2 [00:04:15] Yeah, yeah. I love that. I love that. And and this podcast is brought to you by the Stone Table, which if you’ve seen the look around here, you know that the logos are a nice product placement we got going on. That’s right. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 [00:04:32] A little product placement here with the with the stone table mugs and the business’s mission mugs. 

Speaker 2 [00:04:38] Yes. Yeah. Just letting you know that that’s the missional marketplace brought to you by the stone table. And as Eric just outlined, this is who the podcast is for and who are. So if you if you’re still with us, we’re glad. That’s right. You are here. And and today we want to dove into the topic of the sacred and secular divide. Yeah, sacred versus secular. And in Eric, you tell me you’re going to take us back to the junior high lunchroom a little bit here with the story, which the junior high lunchroom is a scary place in general, but you brought out this really cool moment that you had as you look back on junior high, tell tales of your lunchroom experience. 

Speaker 1 [00:05:19] I kind of call this the parable of the lunchroom. And I think really, you know, if you went to school in any capacity you can, you can resonate with this, right? So if you remember, you know, those those lunch trays that we had in your school, you go it had the little compartment for your Salisbury steak and then it had a little compartment for your mashed potatoes and a little compartment for your Jell-O cubes. And then, yeah, it always had that little square with the circle in it where you were supposed to. Put your milk carton, which was square, which I always thought was odd. 

Speaker 2 [00:05:52] It never made. 

Speaker 1 [00:05:53] Sense. Yeah, never made sense. But, but anyway, you know, the, the, the, the lunch tray was intended to partition our food crate like it was, it was intended to partition our food. And for me, guys, this is really how all food should be served. One in modern 21st century life. Yes. You know, because I have a psychological disorder. I don’t know if you knew this, but I have a psychological disorder. It’s called Bromo Tak Tila phobia remote. Tak telephone. 

Speaker 2 [00:06:24] You say that ten times fast. 

Speaker 1 [00:06:26] No doubt. Broomstick Tila phobia is the fear of your food touching. So I don’t know if you’re almost right now and you’re listening to this and you have a little issue with that as well. But I it’s not it didn’t follow me into to later life. I’m a little more relaxed, a. 

Speaker 2 [00:06:43] Little better. 

Speaker 1 [00:06:43] Now, but not totally. No. But, you know, nothing was worse than when the juice from your green beans would seep into your mashed potatoes. I know it all eventually goes to the same place, man, but, like, it’s. It is just not right. 

Speaker 2 [00:06:56] I can’t. I can’t. I’m with you. It must be run in the family because I can’t handle it. 

Speaker 1 [00:07:01] So I love those lunch trays. I love those lunch trays because they kept everything kind of nice and neatly partitioned and separate from one another. Yeah. Now, now why? I think these lunch trays are amazing for for food consumption. They are a horrible analogy for how we think of our everyday lives. But I think there are a huge number of Christians that probably have a little Bromo Tactile, a phobia when they think about when they think about their lives. Right? Like we have our sacred partitions and our secular partitions, right? So, you know, maybe I, I volunteer at church, I sing on the worship team. That’s, that’s, you know, that’s a sacred activity. But, you know, I’m an accountant by day. I do accounts payable for, you know, for a mortgage company. And that’s my secular work. Right? Right, right. Or I volunteer in the nursery. I mean, that’s what I really do for my sacred calling. You know, I lead a Bible study or a small group that’s my sacred work. But you know what I do every day to earn a living that’s just secular. And I’m telling you, that is that is just flat out bad theology. It is actually a modern form of ancient Gnosticism. 

Speaker 2 [00:08:10] Oh, wow. 

Speaker 1 [00:08:11] Right. Ancient the ancient Gnostics believed that that matter was evil and spirit was good. And so they compartmentalize their lives. And this is actually a heresy that followers of Jesus have been fighting since the first century, since the since the early church. 

Speaker 2 [00:08:26] And you can see that play out, you know, even as you say that, I’m like, man, I can see how that’s even played out in my own life of just wrestling with the, you know, what, what is good here and what, you know, spirit versus what I’m experiencing in life now. And, and yeah, like, wow, that’s a that’s insightful. 

Speaker 1 [00:08:43] Yeah. And there’s this great verse, I think that kind of puts it all in context. Colossians one, 19 and 20. I love this verse and I want you to think about your everyday work in your everyday life in the context of the Scripture, cautions one 1926. For God in all his fullness, was pleased to live in Christ and through Him, God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in Heaven and on Earth by means of Christ, blood on the cross. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, His death and resurrection, everything is being redeemed and reconciled and resurrected. Yeah. Including. Including the work of our hands. Including what we do when the alarm clock goes off. Whether we work as a pastor in a church, as a missionary on the mission field or as an accountant, accounts payable clerk at a at a mortgage company. Right. All of it is being redeemed and has been redeemed. God has reconciled everything to himself and made peace with everything and heaven on earth by means of Christ, blood on the cross. Well. 

Speaker 2 [00:09:55] That’s such a good framing or reframing right, of this conversation, because I don’t think, you know, if you grew up in church at all, I’m looking I’m thinking of it, but in my own experience. Right. But but if you grew up in church in any way, shape or form, it was never really it wasn’t necessarily taught to you that way, but it was kind of more one of those things that you caught that there’s this the sacred and there’s this secular and there’s a divide, and you got to make sure that you choose. Right. And and I don’t think anybody would say that they were teaching that necessarily, but it was definitely kind of just embedded into the culture of the church that we grew, grew up in. And I know for me, one way that that really played out is as a music lover, the the the Christian music versus the secular music, right? That was one easy way that kind of seeped into the conversation of like, Oh, you got to make sure. Are you listening to Christian music? Because all secular music is bad. And and though the purpose of that conversation was was needed and helpful because I think music obviously has a power on on us. And it can it can help us in good ways or bad ways. Think about the way we view our lives. Right. But I think what it did in a in kind of this underlining way was allow that to seep into everything. Right. So if there’s Christian music and secular music, that means there’s Christian work and secular work. 

Speaker 1 [00:11:20] How many albums did you like throw out or burn or break and then buy again? 

Speaker 2 [00:11:24] Oh, man, there, there, there are there are artists that literally are still eating from from me pain all of the times that I threw them away and repurchase them. Yeah, we had a lot of a lot of fun with that. Um, yeah, the church camps that we grew up in and you’d, you’d come bring your, your CDs and put them in the fire. 

Speaker 1 [00:11:44] And I still, I still mom doesn’t like when I tell this story, Darren, but I still remember Mom breaking my Michael Jackson Thriller album into multiple pieces. I’m wondering what that vinyl would be worth, like an original thriller would be worth today. But it was. It was apparently giving me nightmares. Yeah. Yeah. So. Well. 

Speaker 2 [00:12:04] I guess Mom probably did it from the nightmare standpoint instead of the music standpoint, you know. But yeah. Nonetheless. Point taken. Yes. That, that could. 

Speaker 1 [00:12:11] Forgive you. 

Speaker 2 [00:12:12] Mom. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 [00:12:12] Yeah, we forgive you. 

Speaker 2 [00:12:13] We love you. Yeah. That was our retirement plan that she broke. Totally, totally backfired. That’s right. Fired. Right. But speaking of church camp, I know that that we grew up going to to a church camp. And maybe if you’re listening and grew up in the church, you had a similar experience. But but there is a story that you tell that I think shines a light on some of these things that we’re talking about with the sacred and secular divide. Talk to us a little. 

Speaker 1 [00:12:37] Bit about that. Sure. Yeah. So like Lake Placid campgrounds in Hartford City, Indiana, booming metropolis there was there. Yeah, Hartford City. I don’t know how they call it a city because it is not a city at all in the middle of nowhere. But awesome, awesome formative Christian experience. Yeah, yeah. You know, in that place. But one of the things I do remember about Hartford City is the sulfur level. Oh, so bad. Just a little bit. 

Speaker 2 [00:13:04] You shower and smelled worse. 

Speaker 1 [00:13:06] Higher than normal. So the whole place had kind of this this odor of rotten eggs. Yeah, it was bad. So after a day of doing church, you know, games or camp games, you’d come and shower for service, and you’d smell worse after. After getting ready. Terrible is terrible. No, no, no. Every night of church camp had a theme, you know? So, like, the first night at church camp was a a salvation message. The second night was about discipleship and sanctification, but it always culminated the week always culminated with called into ministry night. Yeah. And I remember these things vividly. We actually anticipated them, right? It was like you were trying to sense what the Lord might or might not be saying to you over the course of the week, as you knew where the culmination was going to come in, and the evangelist would preach this incredible, powerful message on what it means to be called into full time vocational ministry. And then he would say, Who here feels like God is calling them into full time ministry? And maybe ten, 12% of the kids would raise their hands. Right. And then he would say, if you feel like you were being called into full time ministry, then come down to the front here. So all those who felt called would get up from their seats, their their metal folding chairs, and they would walk to the front and they would kneel down. And then the other 90% of us or so would be asked to gather around them, lay hands on them, and pray for those who were called. 

Speaker 2 [00:14:31] Who were called in. It was always funny because you’d spend the day on the sports field and then you get mad at one of the other kids, and he would go down to be the cold ones. And you’d always be like, Man, I ain’t following that guy. He’s not going to be the pastor. Not going to his church. 

Speaker 1 [00:14:46] No doubt. 

Speaker 2 [00:14:47] No. Yeah, that’s totally that’s totally how it works. You know, 10% of the kids go down and we all kind of came up. 

Speaker 1 [00:14:52] And in you know, I remember after service, you know, you’d be walking over to the snack shop and one of your buddies would holler at you, Hey, hey, Eric, were you called? Did you get the call? Right? Yeah. And I always remember saying to them, no, no, I am I am not called into the ministry. I am just going into secular work. I remember saying that. 

Speaker 2 [00:15:14] Yeah, again, not something that was taught, but just this underlining thing that even in that conversation, that innocent conversation with your friend, there becomes this these theological, weighty, heavy thing that you’re like, Oh, sacred, secular, and begins to split those things. 

Speaker 1 [00:15:30] Yeah. And I just want to say this to be clear before we go further, that there is something unique for sure and special about the ecclesiastical the ecclesiastical call into full time ministry. Right. Please don’t misunderstand. This is not to to reduce so that unique and special calling. That rests on the men and women who are called to minister within a church context. That is a special, unique, heavy, heavy calling to be called to the mission field. You know, that is a unique calling. But what I do want to make sure we don’t do is we don’t want to press down or devalue pastoral ministry, but I want to elevate and I want people who are in the marketplace to understand if you are a follower of Jesus, your everyday work has been redeemed by the Gospel and your work redeemed, you know, for God in all His fullness, is pleased to live in Christ and through Him God has reconciled everything. Your work, your everyday work, is a sacred endeavor. It is a sacred endeavor. It is not a secular endeavor. There is no partitioning, no broomstick hill, a phobia necessary here. We don’t need to partition our lives. Go ahead and just mix all that stuff together like we used to do with my my buddy Todd. We used to be able to pay him to eat anything we could mix anything together, right? We could pay him to eat it. 

Speaker 2 [00:16:55] I’m getting sick just thinking about that. But every, every friend group that I’m pretty sure that everybody had a friend that was like that. There’s always I know I had a friend that you could you could dare if you dared him. Oh, that’s all you had to say. I dare you. And he was doing it. It didn’t matter what it was. And it was often, you know, eat this weird kind of concoction that we’ve created. 

Speaker 1 [00:17:15] I think we’ve taken a very beautiful and powerful spiritual moment and just turned it into a, you know, become a commentator, a feminist. 

Speaker 2 [00:17:21] That’s what we do best. It’s what we do best. So yeah. Yeah. Well, I know that it would be easy to hear us talk about that and to go, oh, you know, bring down the ministry calling instead of what I think we’re trying to do, which is really help others and everybody to understand that the work that they do every day is so important to elevate that up and to see that it doesn’t matter what your day job looks like, there is a sacred calling in that. And I know that we’ve all had probably in one way, shape or form, a terrible job. And I know that somebody is probably out there sitting at that job, maybe even listen to this podcast to try to get away from it for a minute going, I hate what I do every day. I know we all have had those. I’ve had those. You’ve had those. So to maybe set it up, what’s the worst job you’ve you’ve had, man? You’ve probably had a few, but but what comes to mind is one of the worst ones that you had. 

Speaker 1 [00:18:23] Yeah, I think one of the ones that that always comes to mind. You know, I work for a CPA firm, right. When I got out of college for for two busy seasons and I remember one of our first jobs was to do an inventory count, and we had to do an inventory count of a big manufacturing plant up in northern Indiana. And I was of course, I was the new guy. You know, I was 22, 23 years old, had no clue what I was doing. So they put me out in this freezing cold warehouse, put me on a scissor lift. I remember being like three, like three stories up. 

Speaker 2 [00:18:55] Oh, man, lift, which you’re kind of scared of heights, too, so. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 [00:18:59] So. And I had to do what we had to do. Sample counts of I don’t even remember what it was, some widget, some part that they made at this manufacturing company. And so all day long, in fact, it was Christmas Eve on there. It was Christmas Eve because you had to do these like right up against the end of the year. You had to do was close to the end of the year as possible. And so I remember doing these inventory counts, taking a widget out of one box, you know, putting a checkmark on a piece of paper, put it in a box, freezing to death in this warehouse right on Christmas Eve. Oh, man. And thinking, you know, if somebody would have told me that was a sacred call, right? At that point in time, I would have told them they were absolutely nuts. Right. But I think we have to learn to rethink our work through and we’re going to talk about this in the coming weeks and we’re really going to unpack this more than weeks. But even the simple service acts, right? We can connect them to how how work that we might see is awful, how work we might see as menial, how work we might see is not feeding our our egos or being able to connect it to something greater than ourselves. Right. Like if we can go back and say, look, how does this ultimately add value to human lives and to other people? We can realize that it is a sacred calling and endeavor. So I wish someone would have helped me connect the dots between an inventory account on Christmas Eve and a freezing cold warehouse and the impact that that manufacturing company was making ultimately on the lives of everyday people through what they created and manufactured that helped people flourish and live their lives for sure. 

Speaker 2 [00:20:33] Right. Because I think there’s some jobs that it’s easy to to make that connect. Right. It’s easy to go. This is how my work ultimately helps this company do this good in the world. Right. But there are other jobs that are a little more difficult, right? A little bit more like. Oh, they just feel like. Meaningless or just like I can’t see how this actually makes an impact. And in I want you to tell the story. I hope I’m not ruining a podcast down the down the way here. But you had an encounter with with somebody in in the airport. It was just somebody that was just cleaning up around. Right. And had this amazing experience where she just had she had connected the dots and something that we might easily overlook. Yeah, but but she was able to go know this, this actually has meaning and impact and maybe unfold that story if I haven’t ruined a later podcast. 

Speaker 1 [00:21:26] Or gone off. 

Speaker 2 [00:21:26] Anyway. 

Speaker 1 [00:21:27] So we’ve ruined the rest of the season. No, no. That is a great story. It’s powerful story. And we may just tell it again. 

Speaker 2 [00:21:34] Right. Right. For sure. 

Speaker 1 [00:21:35] Yeah. Flying back from L.A. to to Indianapolis from a business meeting one time. And we were coming through the Atlanta airport, and it was it was late. I mean, it was late. I mean, the last flight, I think it left it like 1130, got back to Indy about 1:00 in the morning and we were sitting at a gate B 26 in the Atlanta airport. I still wear it when I when I go to the Atlanta airport now. And I walked back. That’s where this happened. 

Speaker 2 [00:21:58] So, yeah, we. 

Speaker 1 [00:21:59] Were we were dead tired. A couple of other guys were traveling with me and we were watching the the last minutes of like the, the West Coast NBA game right up on the terminal screen. And there was no one in the airport. If you ever been to the Atlanta airport. I mean, there’s never no one in the Atlanta airport. That’s how late this was. It’s a and we were sitting there, had our feet up on the seat, had our roller bag luggage. And and all of a sudden I hear this humming and singing and and I look up and this lady is pushing the the janitor cart. Yeah. And she is she is she is happy, she is singing and she, she comes right up to us and I stop and I say, Hey, are we in your way? Do you need to come right here? Right, right. She’s like, Oh, sweetheart, no, no way. You just sit right there. You let me take care of things, right? So it started a conversation with her, and we found out that earlier that day she had found she she was telling us she found somebody luggage, somebody had left her there, their carry on luggage, and she had taken it the lost and found. But she was so worried that it may just get lost in the system here that that she she found their business card. She Googled the person’s name and somehow found their email or their their contact information. She called the person on the phone. Right. She’s probably making minimum wage, sweeping floors, mopping floors, picking up trash. 

Speaker 2 [00:23:17] Easy to say that’s not my job. 

Speaker 1 [00:23:18] Exactly. But she she was such a breath of fresh air. She kind of after she had picked up around us, she walked off down the hall and I actually chased her sister down the the corridor, scared the living daylights out of her. But I touched her on the shoulder and she had earphones. And as she pulled him out, I said I said, I just got to tell you, you have blessed us tonight like you have blown us away with your grace. And I said, I want you to know that what you do, sweeping floors here at the Atlanta airport, you know, that is a sacred thing. You added value to our lives tonight. You, in a way, whether you knew it or not, pointed us to something greater than ourselves. Just you. The way you embraced your job. Yeah. And served us and washed feet the way Jesus would wash feet. So I love that story because there is no menial job. There is no menial work when we give it to the Lord to use for the value and the blessing of other other people. 

Speaker 2 [00:24:17] Right? When you can say what you know now, what can I get from it necessarily? But what good can I give? And you see it in that story in such a beautiful way that she was like, This is more than just the work that she had to do. There was something bigger. There was something that allowed her to to really say, I’m going to do this good in the world. That might mean call this guy Googles name and call this guy, find the luggage. And I mean, just be in a smile in a in an enjoyment. You know, when you had that interaction, it left you, you know, with a smile on your face, too. 

Speaker 1 [00:24:53] Yeah. She she wasn’t saying. I’m just I’m just a just I just have, you know, this this minimum wage job. She was saying, how can I use what God has put in my hands today, you know, to to bless others, to honor God and add value to the lives of people around me. And that’s something we’re going to talk about a lot in. 

Speaker 2 [00:25:10] The coming up for sure. And so hopefully as you’re sitting out there listening to it today that you you hear us in it’s an inspire and inspiration to you that you can say maybe if you’re not in the job that you love. Right, that you could at least go, I want to do some good in the world and maybe just see that there’s not a sacred secular divide. There’s not this this lowly job that you just have to just do. But there’s something powerful when you can allow God to redeem and so step into that today. And hopefully that’s an encouragement to you. Well, last week we introduced a what we’re call an emotional moment where we we. Highlight somebody maybe that we know or have heard of that that is just stepping out and doing some some good in the world. They might be a missionary. They might be a business leader. They might be somebody that we’ve just heard their story. If we could get that lady that you just saw in the airport, it would be awesome to have that conversation. But but it’s our missional moment, just a short story about how people are stepping into the world and allowing their work to to reach all around the world. And so let’s let’s step into our second missional moment. 

Speaker 1 [00:26:22] For this week’s Missional Moment. We’re going to talk to my good friend Amy. Amy and I grew up together, went to high school together. We’re in church, youth group together. And now, for almost two decades, Amy and her family have lived in Southeast Asia doing some incredible work. But it wasn’t always that way when when Amy and her husband first landed there in Southeast Asia, her husband began to do more traditional work in the area and was having some some good impact with what they were there to accomplish. But Amy was she was frustrated. She was struggling to find her place and to make connections with the women in the community. And that’s when growing up as the daughter of a businessman and entrepreneur, she started toying with ways that maybe business and businesses mission could help her connect and make an impact on the local women in the community where they lived. And that’s what started her business called Remade. I’m going to let me tell you about it. 

Speaker 3 [00:27:24] We take old saris, which is Sari is the dress the Indian ladies wear. And it’s just six feet of material. There’s no sleeves in it, there’s no hands, there’s nothing in it. It’s just a piece of material. And we take old ones and we repurpose them into different things like blankets, bags, scarves, all kinds of different things. 

Speaker 1 [00:27:44] Like all good businesses, businesses, mission projects. Start with identifying a local need. You know, we always think of missions through charitable lenses, but business mission actually looks at meeting a local need in the community through marketplace and commerce. 

Speaker 3 [00:28:04] I would walk through the village that we are a part of and I would see little girls out. And also. Aren’t you in school today? Oh, we can’t afford a bookbag. So I can’t go to school. I go to school without a book that my teacher will scold me. And I mean just me, the way I’m wired, the injustice of that just let me up, you know, it just that’s not okay that a girl or a boy or anyone doesn’t go to school, that they can’t have a book bag. 

Speaker 1 [00:28:28] You know, as believers in Jesus, we believe everyone was created in the image of God. The theological term is the imago day that all of us have that imaging or that reflection capability that’s been stamped on us directly by God Almighty. And that’s why when we look at what Amy has done through Remade, we see that she has identified the value, the human value in each of the women that are part of the remade business. But she’s also looked at their gifts and their talents and their unique abilities and said, how can those unique abilities, that unique stamping of God on the individual lives of these women meet the need that she identified in the local community. 

Speaker 3 [00:29:15] In that village? There was one thing that a lot of them were good at and that was this. So and when I identified that, I realized like, this is something this is something that they can bring the value that they have, the skill that they obtain, bring that to the business. We can improve on it and then they can find value in that work when they see these things. 

Speaker 1 [00:29:34] So, you know, after years of running these remade centers, Amy has countless stories of life transformation. You know, this part of the world is not known for women being empowered financially or in many other ways. And so through their involvement with remade many of these women, now they’re able to to save money. They’re able to buy things they would never be able to buy for themselves. They’re able to invest in their children and in their families. And it it really has raised the dignity level and in ways that these women never thought was possible. So I’m going to let me tell you one such story. 

Speaker 3 [00:30:10] I walked outside with her and we walked up to this brand new scooter, and I’m looking at it. And she just standing there with this gigantic smile on her face. And I finally realized, like, she’s not saying a word to me, but she’s standing right, this brand new scooter. And I said, How even is this your purse? Is this your scooter? And she said, Yes, Auntie, it’s mine. I bought it last month. I saved all my money for the past six months that I earned. And I bought this scooter and I stole a part of it. So I’m expecting something small. And she has a scooter now, and she flies all over that village to this day with her son on the back, taking them to school. All kinds of. It’s so fun to see. 

Speaker 1 [00:30:50] It is fun to see. It’s, you know, what makes business as mission a unique. And really any kingdom business initiative unique is what we call a multiple bottom line approach. See, yes, we want our business to to meet a local need. We want it to harness value and connect dots. And from an economic standpoint, we want the business to be in the black. Right? We want it to be economically viable and to do well on traditional business terms. But when we’re talking business as mission, that’s not the only bottom line that we care about. See, there’s the spiritual bottom line as well. 

Speaker 3 [00:31:25] Like, we do have two bottom lines and we have the business. Bottom line is like the profitability, all those things are your top business school. But you also here’s the bottom line. You have the holistic bottom line, which if I have to choose every day of the week, the holistic bottom line is going to win out. You know, even if what we’re doing holistically doesn’t make business sense, well, God makes up that difference, and I’m not going to discount God. He’s able to make up that difference every single time. And I’ve seen him do it a multitude of times. 

Speaker 1 [00:31:53] And what I would say to you, if you are a believer who works in the marketplace, if you are a believer that has marketplace skills, I want you to know that who you are and how God made you is part of God’s kingdom plan for the world, your work, your gifts, things, your wiring is sacred. It’s sacred. It’s not secular. It’s sacred. And I want to let Amy just encourage you a little bit about how your gifts can be used for the glory of God among every nation, tribe and town. 

Speaker 3 [00:32:23] I mean, I would say, first of all, just be obedient to God. He is going, you just do and learn most the most about the gift things that you have, whatever gifts God has given you. You do the best you can in school. You learn about it and leave it up to God as to how he’s going to use that in your life, because he will. That’s not a concern. Like God will use the stuff that you’re good at because He’s given you those abilities, so he’s not going to waste it. So I wouldn’t concern myself with that as much as finding ways to be better at those things, to find ways to enhance those gift things, you know, whatever it might be. 

Speaker 1 [00:32:54] Huge thanks to my friend Amy and her incredible work at Remade Harnessing the Marketplace for the Mission of God in the World. If you’re interested and learning more about remade, you can go to remade India dot com that’s remade India dot com and you can find out all about the incredible work they’re doing there in Southeast Asia. 

Speaker 2 [00:33:16] Well, it’s officially episode two in the. 

Speaker 1 [00:33:19] Books, right? We did it two down. 

Speaker 2 [00:33:21] With two down. Thanks to Amy for the missional moment. I love that story. I love hearing incredible what’s happening all around the world. And Eric, this is a resource that we’re creating, but it’s not the only resource we have where can can everybody find more resources just like this if they would like? 

Speaker 1 [00:33:39] Yeah, well, we would love I mean, first and foremost, we would love wherever you’re listening to this podcast right now, if you would like like it. Mm hmm. That really helps kind of establish it as a producer, rate it, review it, share it, send it to somebody that you think might benefit from the topic. But, you know, we do have a lot of resources, a lot of free resources if you go to the stone table dot org, our resource page there, there’s blogs, articles, videos. Those videos also show up on our Instagram page and show up on our Facebook page. We’re also on LinkedIn at the stone table. And then, of course, you know, we’ve got the book. If I can do a shameless plug for the book. Yeah, you can. You can find this at the resource page at the stone table dot org at the fact I think there’s a little banner that pops up on the, on the top bar when you go down table dot org where you can order this. It’s on Amazon. You can also go to Eric Cooper, dot me Eric with a K and you can order it there. We’ve got it. We got paperbacks, we’ve got digital e-books. Yes. And we’ve also got the audio book. So, like, if you want me to read it to you, like I can read it to you as well, maybe put you to sleep at night, put your kids to sleep at night. But we would love for for you to connect with us. And we really more than what we can get from you, we really just want this to be a blessing to you. We want this to help reframe your everyday work, maybe encourage you a little bit when that alarm clock goes off tomorrow morning that you would feel that invigoration that that says, Hey, I actually have a sacred calling here. Yeah, whatever my everyday work is, it has been redeemed and resurrected by Jesus Christ. So I hope you come back and join us the next time. Darren, thanks for for hosting us again. 

Speaker 2 [00:35:27] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And we’ll see you here next week for another episode of the Missional Marketplace podcast. 

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