In the 12th and final episode of our first season of the Missional Marketplace Podcast, we unpacked what our hosts call “the currency of the kingdom,” and that is relationships.
Erik opened us up by sharing about the opportunities to reach UPGs even in our own neighborhoods. Some people may not choose to take their marketplace skills across the world to reach the unreached people groups in a foreign area, but Erik encouraged us that there are unreached people groups even in our own hometowns. He shared a story about his old house being bordered by two Hindu families, while his business at CRF held a property that was 80% Somali residents, one of the hardest locations & people groups to reach with the Gospel. These front-step opportunities gave Erik the chance to build relationships with these people, getting to know their stories, lives, and worldview while also sharing his.
Erik noted that often we associate evangelism with the rude, condemning person or team with a bullhorn out on a college campus or on the street corner that is calling people “sinners” or casting sharp remarks at them as they pass by. Somehow, those people think that these methods lead to Jesus. I’m not sure how, but that’s not my responsibility to figure out for them. Regardless, this is often how many Christians see evangelism, as this door-to-door Amway salesman or a shouting, jeering street corner sign-holder. Unfortunately, this negative picture has gotten a lot of attention, but this is not the heart of evangelism or the Gospel. The best thing we can do, and what our goal really is, is simply to build relationships with people. Erik encouraged us to share a meal, share our story, share our worldview and how God has impacted that for us.
Erik also gave us three quick thoughts on how to do this well:
- Be Real – if the Gospel has really captured you & transformed you, it will flow out to others.
- Be Natural – the Gospel flows best from life to life, through human connections.
- Be Intentional – look for opportunities in the conversations to open up intentional dialogue or to pray for someone.
I think if there was one overarching goal in this episode, and in business as mission in general, it was really to be creating a platform for building relationships. Erik expressed how marketplace work can be a great way to do this because business is a dynamic space to foster relationships. Darren also challenged us by asking, “Who can you build a relationship with, without an overarching goal?” And he encouraged us to “step into that” relationship.
Finally, our Missional Moment featured an anonymous BAM worker who could not share their identity based on their location & the work they are doing across the globe. This person encouraged us along the same lines as Erik & Darren, noting that “business as mission is, by nature, social. Coffee shops, barber shops, gyms… Conversations open the door for Gospel sharing.”
Look for opportunities in your everyday work! Look for opportunities in your regular stops – Starbucks, the barber, and the grocery store. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes, take a moment to look around you, and seek to build relationships with people.
And that does it for our first season of the Missional Marketplace Podcast! I hope you all have been edified, encouraged, and challenged to take the Great Commission further through the marketplace. Stay tuned for more resources from The Stone Table to encourage, teach, and guide you in your walk of faith as a marketplace believer!