This is the final episode of Season 1 of the podcast. We’ve been talking about the role of the marketplace in fulfilling the Great Commission, and while that can seem like an “over there” conversation, there are undoubtedly unreached people groups in your local community. The “diaspora,” a term used to describe people groups who leave their homeland and scatter abroad among other nations, has brought those in need of the Gospel quite literally into our own backyard. This is an incredible Great Commission opportunity.
We wrap up the podcast with a real-life example of how business fosters relationships that further the Kingdom. It’s a powerful story with a shocking update that happened literally as we were recording this episode. You won’t want to miss it!
Our final missional moment features an interview with a young entrepreneur leveraging his business skills to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Because of the sensitive areas in which he works, we had to hide his face and alter his voice. But his insights into the marketplace and global missions are the perfect way to end Season 1. Let his story inspire and challenge you!
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Speaker 1 [00:00:00] I share that story because this is an example of how I believe the marketplace provides missional opportunities. It’s why it’s why we want to use that here. It’s why we want you to understand your work is sacred. It’s also why we want to tell you stories about how the marketplace is being used across the world. Businesses Mission Right. The marketplace fosters relationships and relationships are the currency of the kingdom.
Speaker 2 [00:00:38] And it is another episode of the Missional Marketplace podcast, Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace. Welcome, everybody. We are glad that you are here checking out this episode, whether it’s your first time or your 12th time. We’re just glad that you’re taking a listen to this podcast. My name is Darren Cooper and you’re co-host along with my brother here, Mr. Eric Cooper. That’s Eric with a K. Eric with a K. Don’t forget it. So. Right. So how are we doing this morning? Feeling good. We’re doing.
Speaker 1 [00:01:08] Good. Feeling good?
Speaker 2 [00:01:10] Awesome. I guess I said this morning. So that really puts a time stamp on what time of day it is.
Speaker 1 [00:01:15] Yes. So you can imagine you can imagine the sun shining on the window here.
Speaker 2 [00:01:18] Beautiful day here and good ole Indianapolis, Indiana. And hey, if you’ve taken this journey with us, like I said, we’re on episode 12, which is going to be the wrap up of season one of this podcast.
Speaker 1 [00:01:30] Right?
Speaker 2 [00:01:30] This is it. And we are we’re excited. We’ve been taking your book Missional Marketplace and kind of breaking it down a little bit, walking through some of the stories, some of the outline that you’ve put together. And it’s just been a great journey leading us up to this point. And so if this is your first time listening, make sure you go back and check out this whole entire season. It kind of goes in order and flows that way. And if you’ve read the book, obviously this is a little bit more of a deeper dove on some of this stuff, and we just hope it’s an encouragement. And that’s what this podcast is all about.
Speaker 1 [00:02:02] Absolutely. Just to try to encourage you, give you a little bit of vernacular or maybe some new ideas, ways to think about your everyday work and who you are as marketplace people. Because we like to say here that marketplace skills are missionary skills, right? So we’ve been in this this great commission aspect. You know, the book is broken down into, you know, work in the great story, how our work fits into God’s grand story and grand narrative, how our work is part of the great commandment that every day when we get up and go to work, we have an opportunity to love God and love people, love our neighbor. And for the last now this would be our fourth week on work and the Great Commission. Yeah, how the marketplace is part of God’s global mission in the world. And so I’m, I’m excited to wrap this up.
Speaker 2 [00:02:51] Yeah, for sure. For sure. And last week or I guess the last couple of weeks, we’ve been really diving into Bam or business as mission. Yeah. And it was a great, great conversation or missional moments highlighted our good friend kind of missionary mentor, if you will, from a from afar, Dick Brogdon, just an awesome conversation. He’s inspirational. He’s challenging, he’s encouraging. And and we loved the last couple of episodes on Bam! And now this week we’re going to move into kind of this yeah, this final episode. As we said, we’re going to talk about the missions opportunity next door.
Speaker 1 [00:03:26] That’s right.
Speaker 2 [00:03:27] We’re going to talk about the currency of global missions and even maybe wrap up with the role of the marketplace. Yeah. And so I guess, Eric, as the last couple of weeks we’ve talked about Bam and businesses mission and even in last week’s episode talked a lot about like ways that people can get involved. And we encourage like, hey, if you’re if you’re really good at your job, maybe moving overseas and setting up your business, there’s a good idea or taking a job in an overseas or an UPC unreached people group area where you can where you can begin to invest and build relationships. And and we challenged you gave a great challenge at the end of last last episode and said, hey, come on, let’s go. But what if somebody is out there and they say, I’m not I’m not going to go to an upgrade area and set up shop? Like, That’s great, and maybe I’ll give some money for those that want to do that. But like I, I’m not going to do that. Which means in there, in, in theory there that you’re not going to come in contact with unreached people groups. And so what does that mean for me? Sure. I’m a believer. If I am, I have a passion to see that that come come full circle. But I don’t know, like I’m not going to come in contact with upgrades. What what would you say to somebody like that that’s out there in that situation?
Speaker 1 [00:04:45] I would say you might be surprised. Nah, you might be surprised because well, I’ll start with this. There’s this great quote from a professor and author named Patrick O’Banion, and we talk about it in the book. He says, Taking the gospel to the ends of the earth has never simply been about God’s people going from here to there. It’s also been about ministering to those who have come from there to here. And so there’s this term the kind of this this fancy term called the diaspora. The diaspora is it’s the spreading of people and people groups from their original point of location to different places around the world. Right. Right. And it’s not a term we necessarily hear very often. But, you know, and I also know we live in a in a time in a culture now where immigration and such as. Become kind of a hot button topic, I think very unfortunately, because immigration, especially here in the United States, this great melting pot is such an opportunity for the gospel. And so what I would say to you is whether you live in Beirut, Lebanon, or you live in Lebanon, Indiana, which we actually have 11 in Indiana, just about 40 minutes north of here.
Speaker 2 [00:05:56] Confuses some folks. And you say they’re like, what?
Speaker 1 [00:05:58] But whether you even live in either of those places, there are opportunities to reach the the the unreached, the upgrade all around you. And I’m just going to give you a handful of examples here. Yeah. Okay. So we have some dear, dear friends that live here, Ali and Karima. Their their they and their boys have have lived here. We’ve become dear friends over the last three or four years. They are Moroccan believers. We call them RnB or Muslim background believers. Ali was a muslim who came to faith in Christ and through some incredible circumstances which we may talk about in future seasons here, incredible story. He and Karima and the boys ended up having to move from Morocco here to the states. And they live right here in our in our neighborhood now. But they are also connected to a sizable Moroccan community here in Indianapolis. And Ali’s introduced me to them. And we’re talking about we’re talking about upgrade. We’re talking about people who are Muslims, who live here in Indianapolis. And we have the opportunity, through our connections with Ali, to interact with these people, to build relationships with these people. I’ve been to some great Moroccan feasts at their house.
Speaker 2 [00:07:11] But that’s good.
Speaker 1 [00:07:13] But but I was even thinking, Darren, like we just moved to a new house, but our old neighborhood, it was fascinating to me the opportunities we had for upgrade.
Speaker 2 [00:07:25] Oh yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:07:26] Missions work in our own neighborhood around so next door to me now I maybe to set this up, we’ve told people we live in Indiana, right? I live in a part of Indiana that is like it’s typical Hoosiers, right? Right. Every driveway has a basketball goal. There are corn fields and soybean fields right across the street from our neighborhood. It is not unusual to get caught behind a tractor. You know, you get caught behind a tractor going down to plow a field on your way to work in the morning. And you’re like, I’m going to be late.
Speaker 2 [00:07:58] Normal day.
Speaker 1 [00:07:59] Right? That’s a normal day. However, I mean, we are quintessential Midwestern town. Yeah, but right next door to me was a Hindu family. Right behind me was another Hindu family from India. They’d moved here for work. Right. And and the great melting pot of the United States of America. It’s continuing to bring people like that. Across the street from us was a Pakistani family, a Pakistani Muslim family. And then, Darren, it was it’s bizarre. I would be sitting again in my Midwestern Indiana hometown. I’d be sitting at my dinner table at night, and I would look out the window and every night in the warm weather months. Right. An Indian family in full turban, like full Indian dress. They would walk around the block every night, every night right in front of my house. Right. And so, you know, we have opportunities, right, in our own neighborhood. I mean, our our affordable housing company. We had a property for years in Columbus, Ohio, that was 80% Somali refugees. And if you know anything about Somalia, it is one of the hardest to reach places in the world. We can’t even get workers in there because it’s so complicated and difficult and dangerous.
Speaker 2 [00:09:16] Yet there was a whole community, but we.
Speaker 1 [00:09:17] Had a whole community of them right in our own backyard. Right. So we support missions, projects to all these areas around the world. We support missionaries who have uprooted their lives and moved to these parts of the world. But we also need to understand that you guys are coming to us as well. So we need missionaries willing to move to the unreached places in the world. Don’t get me wrong for sure, but I want to raise awareness for all of us that there are opportunities for unreached people. Group missions work all around you. The diaspora is real. You can you can hire these people. You can find ways to serve them through the marketplace, through your business. You can invest in them and their businesses. You can you can invite them into your homes. I’m just telling you, Daryn, the mission field has come to us as well, and it’s something we have to be aware of.
Speaker 2 [00:10:07] Yeah, and I love that because it’s it’s one of those like it does kind of take all of the maybe excuses that might be the harsh word that you could use or the the kind of the roadblocks. Right. And it just says, hey, no, look around, open your eyes and be aware of it. It kind of makes it this is a weird analogy, so roll with me here, but is like when you when you see like you’re going to purchase a car that you really like. And you’re like, Oh, nobody has one, right? And then they’re everywhere. Like, all of a sudden, you see them everywhere. Yeah. And you’re like, Oh, my gosh, man. These are on the road all over the place. Yeah, it’s almost the same way with this. And at least what I’m hearing. Right. And again, follow me on this analogy, is that if you just stop and kind of open your eyes a little bit, even in your own neighborhood. And I think it’s, you know, maybe the way our culture is right now, it’s easy to come home, pull in the garage, hit the garage down. Yeah. And not see anybody for weeks on end. And maybe what it takes is us maybe simply leaving the garage open a little bit more, walking across the street and introducing yourself and you. If you just simply stop and keep your eyes open, you might you might shock yourself and even your neighborhood into to see some of those things that you’re experiencing in your own backyard.
Speaker 1 [00:11:24] I think we need to ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes because, you know, again, we said the Great Commission is not the great suggestion and you might be saying I’m not moving overseas. And I’m saying to you the opportunities for global missions are right around you. I mean, you could not get more Midwestern flyover country than we are right here in Indiana. And we have upgrades and we have missions, opportunities to reach people who live in places it would be hard for us to get to.
Speaker 2 [00:11:56] Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:11:57] Yeah. But they’re right here in our own communities.
Speaker 2 [00:11:59] And I even hear, you know, if you’ve listened to this podcast and you feel encouraged and challenged and even like you’re wrestling with what it looks like, I think an easy thing to say would be, Oh, well, I’m not going to X, you know, I’m not going to move, I’m not going to step into that. And really what I hear you saying today is, is that challenge to even just stop and say, you know, like like you said, just ask Holy Spirit to help you see what that looks like for you. And it might be just walking across the street with a plate of chocolate chip cookies and introducing yourself, and you never know who you might be coming in contact with and how that can unfold in some, some beautiful ways. And in really what I hear you saying in all of this is is that that relationship is a big part of it.
Speaker 1 [00:12:45] Absolutely.
Speaker 2 [00:12:46] And so to walk across and to introduce yourself and to to invite somebody into your home and to to really begin to to stretch yourself in that way. Because I know I, I struggle with that. You know, it’s like we we even said it at our church a couple weeks ago. We, we had ourselves raise our hand for if you knew six neighbors. Mhm. And there was like one person you know and then it was like how many of you know five neighbors and four is like basically it just, it showed you yeah. The we’re, we’re not really connecting with those around us. And I think that’s a huge aspect and the relationship piece is huge in that.
Speaker 1 [00:13:25] Yeah, it is. And I think, you know, when it comes to the idea of missions or evangelism in general, people are people are a little put off by it. Again, we talked about this in prior episodes that like, you know, 51% of millennial Christians think that it is morally questionable to even share your faith with another person. Right. We could again, we could dig in to that for weeks here on the podcast. But I think people are associating evangelism and missions work with some kind of like, you know, force feeding of our.
Speaker 2 [00:13:57] In the.
Speaker 1 [00:13:58] Corner.
Speaker 2 [00:13:58] With the bullhorn.
Speaker 1 [00:14:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah. This idea of, you know, the Amway salesmen, right? Like nobody wants or the door to door guy who knocks on your door, he’s trying to sell you.
Speaker 2 [00:14:08] You’re hiding in the kitchen.
Speaker 1 [00:14:10] That’s ready.
Speaker 3 [00:14:10] To leave.
Speaker 1 [00:14:11] That’s right. Right. And so, you know, I and my daughter Ana is at Indiana University right now. And there’s this this lady down there and her husband that do they call it confrontational evangelism. And they show up on the campus and they actually yell at the kids. They they berate the kids. They tell them they’re dressed inappropriately and they actually feel like that is going to draw people to Jesus. Right. And so, you know, we think of the bullhorn. We think of people like that. We think of the Amway salesmen. And we’re like, we don’t want to be a part of that, right? We don’t want to be a part of that. And although my friend Dick Brogdon does remind me that, you know, biblical prophets were kind of weird, awkward people sometimes as well. They did weird things. You know, we we don’t want to be associated with those types of things. And that’s why I think we’ve got to go back to this idea that relationships are actually the currency, that the gospel moves on, and they’re the currency of the kingdom and the marketplace. We still believe the marketplace actually gives us opportunities to build genuine human connections and relationships that the gospel can move back and forth.
Speaker 2 [00:15:17] Yeah. And in that’s that’s a that is huge right there because in building relationships, whether it’s through a business connection or walking across to your neighbor, it all starts right there with sharing the stories of your life. Yeah. Yeah. You’re sure? Go back to its things. And so when you hear things like 51% of millennials believe that is morally wrong, I feel like that is they’re they’re revolting. They’re pushing against what you were just saying. Yeah. The the the slimy kind of like I’m going to do whatever. I’m going to even call you derogatory names and hope that you come to the like. How does that ever happen in the world? Right. That’s not going to work. But when they push against that. But when you look at it from a relationship standpoint, you invite somebody in and now you’re sharing a meal together and you talk about how you’re sharing your life. You know how you know how you view the world, how God has changed your perspective in your life and how He helps you in these things. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a completely different sharing your faith experience, right? And that’s why I agree with you 100% when you say that that relationship is the currency, because it doesn’t it doesn’t happen. The lady yelling at you kinda bad names. No, like that doesn’t help me at all. So the relationship piece is the actual that is the hook, that is the thing that is going to enrich not only their life. Right, but also yours as well as you learn somebody’s perspective and learn somebody’s their worldview. Now, all of a sudden, you can have these conversations, the dialogs that open up to beautiful things. And when you realize that you are right across the street, that changes things.
Speaker 1 [00:16:59] Well, and I would just say, I mean, there’s a couple of things we talk about in the book, but, you know, just three thoughts, right, in this regard. Right. And like be real. And what I mean by that is, like, if the gospel has truly captured you, then it will flow out of your life to others in a genuine and real way. Yeah, but I think for so many people, like, they haven’t really been captured by the amazing message of the gospel, right? So it’s maybe it’s part of their culture or it’s part of their thinking or their worldview, and they feel like they’re trying to sell that to somebody else. But when when you really when you really are captured by what Christ has done for you, you know, then that will flow out of your life in real and genuine way. So we say be real, be natural. The gospel flows best from life to life. It’s why, again, why I love the marketplace as a missions vehicle, because the marketplace creates human connections, natural human connections. But we also say be intentional. Right. And I think most of my missionary friends would say this is the challenge, right? Yeah. Because, you know, at some point, you know, no one likes the bull horn guy or wants to be associated with him. Right. But if we’re not intentional with the gospel, we will miss opportunities to point people to Jesus. So look for opportunities like, you know, we interviewed Darren MESSICK in an earlier podcast. Right. Beautiful look for opportunities to pray for people, to encourage people, you know, pray for openness to the gospel and those around you and then look for things that they might say that that just open up intentional dialog. Because I do want to remind everyone people are hungry for Jesus, even if they don’t know how to articulate kind of what that gaping hole is in their lives. People are hungry.
Speaker 2 [00:18:40] And even if Jesus has been served to them before, but in the complete and utter wrong way. Right, you know, like it’s easy to say, well, I don’t want that, because your experience with the lady at IU or the bullhorn guy on the street or somebody that, you know, a relative that just made you feel like you’re worthless as a human like that, that that’s what people revolt against. But yeah, when you when it gets down to it, people are looking for Jesus. And it’s finding that those ways of of bringing that and I love that those ways that you’re bringing that out to be real and that that’s what it’s all about, right? It’s not about being the the weirdo on that on the street corner.
Speaker 1 [00:19:25] Well, I might be a weirdo, but.
Speaker 2 [00:19:26] Well, you know that as your younger brother, I think I have to say that you were you were accurate in that. But. No, no. So you have some you know, again, stories are rightful expressions of of understanding and thinking through you. You have an awesome story of a friend of yours. And so why don’t you why don’t you tell us the story and really bring this home?
Speaker 1 [00:19:48] Yeah, well, this isn’t specific to to a situation, but it is it is a scenario where the marketplace opened up an opportunity for the gospel. And this is what I think I want to kind of leave people with, right? Yeah. Like, you know, again, we say, you know, relationships are the currency of the kingdom and the marketplace is a great opportunity to foster and build those types of relationships. And so there’s a guy that I met, we’ll call him Frank, I’m not going to share is his real name for reasons I think you’ll understand as the story unfolds. But about six years ago, I was fascinated with a piece of real estate. I was looking at a building, something we wanted to have for the stone table, for a ministry development. And I drove by this building. I fell in love with it. And pretty awesome, Bill. It was a pretty awesome bill.
Speaker 2 [00:20:37] Understand why you fell in.
Speaker 1 [00:20:38] Love with it. And so, you know, I started doing some research on the building, trying to find out who owned the building. It wasn’t for sale, but I was trying to run down the owners. So I called a couple of friends in the community and they they helped me locate this guy. And when I located him, he was in jail. Yeah, he was in jail plus. Yeah. For for a bit of the tax issues. He tells an interesting aspect of that story. He doesn’t like to say he was in jail. He likes to say he was on vacation. He was.
Speaker 2 [00:21:07] On vacation.
Speaker 1 [00:21:08] Yes. He was detained for a short period of time. But but when I first met him, he was he was in jail. And right after he got out of of jail, I flew to his location with a friend of mine. He agreed to meet with us. We had we had talked to his son. And I flew down, literally flew to Florida, got off the plane and went to a Denny’s, had a three hour meeting with this guy, turned around and went back, got on the plane and flew home right then.
Speaker 2 [00:21:36] Like, that’s good old Denny’s flight.
Speaker 1 [00:21:37] You go to Florida to go to Denny’s. But I told him that I was interested in the building. We had some really fascinating conversations. He was in a position to sell it then. Sure, but I was interested in the building. And I’ll tell you what Frank was interested in was a friendship. Hmm. And Frank’s probably 30 years older than me. Yeah. And, you know, he. He just took to me. And so every time he would come to Indianapolis from that point forward, he would call me on the phone, or he’d send me a text and he would say, Can we meet for lunch? He had this place here in Indy that he loved to have lunch, and so we would always meet there. Everybody knew him in there. They just brought him his food when he walked in and we’d go to lunch and honestly there and he’d talk about whiskey and auto racing.
Speaker 2 [00:22:26] Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:22:27] And I talk about my family and Jesus. It was we were like the odd couple. Yeah, we were the oddest couple right here. But we did this for for about three years, and I would ask him about the building and he’d say, Nah, I’m not quite ready to sell yet, but when I do, I’ll call you, you know, that kind of thing. One day at one of our lunches, he shared with me that he had cancer and the prognosis was good. But I could tell he was scared. You know, he didn’t know what the treatment was going to be. He didn’t know, you know, what what was in front of him in that regard. And so for the first time, it really opened up a deep conversation about the Lord. Yeah. And over that lunch I shared with him about Jesus, I shared with him about why I’m a believer and why I’m a follower of Jesus. And I’ll tell you, Darren, I’d like to tell you this wrapped up with a nice bow on top, but he completely rejected me. Yeah, he rejected the message. I found out he had grown up in in a Episcopal church. He had been an altar boy. He’d had a horrible experience with the church. And he said, I decided when I was about 16 years old that all of this was a fairy tale. And and that was kind of where we left it. And I actually asked him, I said, Frank, can I can I pray for you? And he said, You can do whatever you want, but I don’t believe in any of that expletive. Right?
Speaker 2 [00:23:55] Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:23:56] And I tell you, I did. I prayed for him that day and I got up and I went out to the car and there I don’t feel like I hear audible voices from the Lord. But at that point I felt like the Lord said, You’re done pursuing that building.
Speaker 3 [00:24:08] Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:24:10] And it was almost like the business transaction was actually part of Jesus pursuit of Frank.
Speaker 2 [00:24:17] Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:24:19] And you know, Frank rejected the message. Now I’m a we still stay in touch. You know, the story didn’t turn out like I would have dreamed, but, you know, I would say God may not be done with with Frank yet. Right.
Speaker 2 [00:24:31] It’s part of his journey, too.
Speaker 1 [00:24:33] Exactly. But through a business transaction or or a proposed business transaction, we built a friendship and a relationship that allowed the proclamation of the gospel. And in the demonstration of the gospel, I think in Frank’s life. Yeah. And so I guess I share that story because this is an example of how I believe the marketplace provides missional opportunities. It’s why it’s why we want to use that here. It’s why we want you to understand your work is sacred. It’s also why we want to tell you stories about how the marketplace is being used across the world. Businesses Mission Right. The marketplace fosters relationships and relationships are the currency of the kingdom.
Speaker 2 [00:25:20] MAN Yes, yes. 100%. And, and even just to tie a little bit more onto that story, there’s, you know, watching, you know, you were driving towards that building and I was kind of just. They’re along for the ride, if you will, and to watch. You know, it all started with the building. It all started with a piece of real estate. It all started with a journey to try to find that person. And then all of a sudden you meet Frank and you’re having these conversations and and it was this journey that led to that moment, right? This moment that, you know, you’d love to tie a nice, nice bow on and say, Ooh, I.
Speaker 1 [00:25:56] Love a Hollywood ending, right? Yeah.
Speaker 2 [00:25:58] But you walked out and you, I, I remember the day because the building to you all of a sudden became it was this borderline obsession, if, you know, in a good in a good way. Right. Like a like you’re this is where you’re going in this in this moment, you were able to let go of the building, open up some new and beautiful opportunities that we would have never seen coming. Right. But it was also a reminder to yourself into the work that we do here at the sun table, that the relationships are the key. They matter and they really do matter. And yeah, that might not be the Hollywood ending, but but Frank had a friend and Frank has has somebody that’s that’s they’re praying for him. And and it doesn’t it doesn’t matter what he chooses to do with it right now. In this moment, he knows that there’s somebody there. And if and when he needs it, he will pick up the phone, call it or pick up the phone and call you. Right. And I think there’s something beautiful to that. And so it’s been it’s been a real joy. And it’s hard to say that with with the the the non romantic ending. But it’s been a joy to see that process because God has done more with it than what we could have ever asked or imagined in that. And so that’s where you really hang hang on to that reality that the relationships are key. So who can you build relationships with now? Who can you step into that kind of thing with with without an agenda, without some kind of overarching thing, right? Like just step into it and allow the relationship to go where it Darren’s to go.
Speaker 1 [00:27:33] I am not kidding you. He just texted me while we were sitting.
Speaker 2 [00:27:37] Shut up. He just.
Speaker 1 [00:27:39] Takes me. I kid you.
Speaker 2 [00:27:42] Not. That’s.
Speaker 1 [00:27:43] I haven’t heard I haven’t heard from him in about eight months. And he literally just text me while we were talking. Wow.
Speaker 2 [00:27:50] That’s kind of spooky, everybody.
Speaker 1 [00:27:52] So again, guys, there is the perfect example of how the Lord works and moves through the marketplace and through marketplace relationships.
Speaker 2 [00:28:01] And in it goes to show to that, you know, we might say his ears were burning. We might have some kind of, you know, thing to say that is wild. But but God does work more than what we understand. And all we got to do is be faithful to step into it. Right. You pick up the phone one day and met him, flew to have dinner with with him at Denny’s and fly back. Right. Like you just stepped into it and you took the logical next step and God unfolded a story that we wouldn’t have written and maybe we would have completely written it differently. But he’s not done yet. And so there’s some there’s some beautiful things in that. And thank the Lord.
Speaker 1 [00:28:38] We’re we’re just we’re a part of his journey, you know, we’re a part of his journey. He reminds us of that over and over again. This is God’s story. And if we submit ourselves to it, he’ll use us to write some some beautiful supporting cast chapters and what he is doing in the world.
Speaker 2 [00:28:55] So good and so good. Yeah, well, we’ve loved every episode so far. We’ve done these missional moments and they’ve been just the joy of this podcast, just telling stories and hearing people and how they’re working. And and we want to step into our final little national moment here for this season. And once you set this up a little bit and let us know who we’re talking to today.
Speaker 1 [00:29:16] Yeah, I want to wrap this up because I can’t tell you who we’re talking to exactly. But he’s a he’s a special friend of ours. And because of the nature of the places that he works, we need to leave him anonymous. And so we’re doing that today. You know, I’d love to share the full reality of this story, but this this gentleman is a real entrepreneur that has a call to the great commission and to cross-cultural missions. And so we’re going to let him tell you a little bit of his story. But my hope, Daryn, with telling this story today is that other marketplace people will start to say, wait a second, like marketplace skills are missional skills. Marketplace skills are missionary skills. You know, maybe I’m not a theologian. I’m not going to teach at a Bible college. I’m not going to go pastor a church cross culturally somewhere. That’s not who I am. And I’m telling you, the gifts that God has given you are missionary gifts. And so I want you to hear his story today. Sure. And I want maybe some of those seeds to sink in and see what might grow.
Speaker 2 [00:30:24] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So we’ll get right to it. Here is this week’s Missional Moment.
Speaker 1 [00:30:31] For this week’s Missional Moment. We talked to a good friend of mine, a business as mission practitioner, who, because of the sensitive nature and locations of where he works, we need to leave anonymous. But this man is a genuine entrepreneur, and I’m going to let him tell you just a bit of his story, and then we’re going to connect it to global missions, because as we’ve said, we believe marketplace skills are mission or skills. And I believe his story will prove it to you.
Speaker 3 [00:31:03] I think entrepreneurship for me, yes, starting from a young age, you know, bartering my matchbox cars and Legos were always a hobby. So I my first business was buying and selling Lego. You know, I would find them at a discount to buy somebody collection, resell it did that for a few years before I came to my parents and I said, Hey, I could import Legos from Europe. I could do like a preorder. Don’t have any inventory. They would give me the money. Then I shipped them over here in bulk and they get here right before they release in the US. And then I’ll just, you know, ship them on to these customers. And I invested some of my money and like I said, most of it was preorder. So that first sale I sold like 80,000 in a month and Mom was freaking out. The inventory came in on a big pallet and I had to figure out who to hire to help unpack all this stuff. So right from the get go, mom and dad were involved and it was it was great. It was fun. They ended up buying it for me when I went to college and sold a lot of Legos.
Speaker 1 [00:32:15] So this successful young entrepreneur had some real business skills, but he was wrestling from a young age with this call to global missions and could just never figure out how those two things went together.
Speaker 3 [00:32:31] The mission’s call came first when I was 12, I felt like God’s calling me to missions. That was what guided me and everything was just driven by this. I’m going to be a missionary. Business came along and I loved it. I enjoyed business, but I never thought that I could use business in my mission. On calling I thought, You know, that’s just a fun thing that I’m doing in my teens. I wish I could do it more, but I’m going overseas. So I was getting ready for college, did a college prep course, and part of it was like skills assessment. And you know what you were you’re good at these business and teaching. Things are coming to the top. And I just felt like Holy Spirit come over me and like, you’re supposed to do business on the mission field. And I was like, I’m supposed to do business. I’m supposed to go to college and study business. That’s what I’m going to do.
Speaker 1 [00:33:23] Farming college. He spent lots of time in various countries around the world helping BAM missionaries set up their business as mission projects. And some of them worked, some of them didn’t. But it taught him a lot about how to work in cross cultural context for the sake of the gospel. And so I had to ask him, what is the process? What does it look like for you to go into another part of the world and bring entrepreneurial and marketplace skills into the missions work that’s happening there?
Speaker 3 [00:33:55] I went for a couple of weeks to a couple of occasions now to study what’s the local environment like? Let’s talk with a consultant and go around and study the local environment, doing research with them. And then we put together a business plan. Okay, the objective is not really X amount of profit. The objective is either to create a platform for a ministry or to get X amount of visas or whatever it may be.
Speaker 1 [00:34:22] As we’ve watched business as mission expand around the world, I’m always curious what models work, what models are both profitable and value add to the local community, but also accomplish the great commission intent for which they are started?
Speaker 3 [00:34:38] I think one of the big things is that it is by nature social. Every person that we interact with in the workplace is another person that we’re bringing God’s light to Christ like to. And you know, my favorite bands are coffee shops, barbershops, diners, where you just interact with people, you know, maybe a fitness trainer. And your job is to just talk with this person about fitness, but you’re getting to know them. Obviously, life coaches are an awesome example of somebody who is just, I’m supposed to talk to you about your life and now we’re getting to know each other and I can share my faith with you.
Speaker 1 [00:35:20] You know, so many people still think, what skills do I have that could possibly impact the great commission around the world? And maybe you’re a marketplace believer. You’ve got great entrepreneurs. Serial mindset are great marketplace skills. And you’re saying those aren’t missionary skills? Well, we have some encouragement for you today.
Speaker 3 [00:35:41] I guarantee you there is a need cross-culturally for your skill set. Obviously, there are some things that are more obvious than others. Being a nurse, my my sister went to cosmetology school and found that there were needs in a lot of these third world contexts for people just to cut hair and to to provide basic help assistance for these people. You got people learning agricultural skills, you know, to teach people about farming and to to be involved in community. So, I mean, it just goes on and on. Whatever skill you have, there is a need for that abroad. And not only can you create a business as mission and impact to the customers there, the clients, the employees. Moreover, you can create a business that creates capacity for other missionaries. You know, you can just go you can you can set up a spot, be there on the frontier, and then welcome the missionaries to come in behind you. And, you know, if you’re if you’re not even passionate about sharing your faith every day, which I think we should be, just go and create a business.
Speaker 1 [00:36:55] If you’re a marketplace believer and this is really stirring you in new ways. We’d love to hear from you. You can you can reach out to us here at the stone table and we might even be able to help connect some dots for you. But I want to tell you, marketplace skills, our missionary skills, and maybe your story can write a great commission story in ways you never thought possible.
Speaker 2 [00:37:21] Man. What a great missional moment to end on. Yeah, that is such a fascinating story and so beautiful. And like you said before, we went to it, just hopefully that encourages you and maybe even challenges you to step into it in some way. Yeah. And and so yeah. So this is the wrap up of season one, not only this episode, but season one as a whole. We’re excited. You know, don’t worry, the podcast is not going away. You’ll still be able to catch. We have more seasons playing, we have new ideas, really cool ways of inspiring, encouraging, having great conversations around this topic of missional marketplace. And so we are excited and can’t wait to get back to season two. But as always, we just want to say, would you take a minute? Would you take a minute or two to rate and review this podcast? That’s kind of been our big ask of you this year is to just rate and review this podcast. It really helps establish us as a podcast, as a new podcast, and as we continue to release seasons, it’ll just allow for more ears to be on this and more encouragement and more inspiration.
Speaker 1 [00:38:30] And more.
Speaker 2 [00:38:30] Storytelling, all that kind of stuff. So great. And review this podcast.
Speaker 1 [00:38:35] Yeah. So we’ve got, we’ve got some ideas for some future seasons and some things that we hope will just continue to foster this conversation of, of accelerating the great commission through the marketplace. How can marketplace believers be more deeply engaged in the work of God in the world? And so I would just leave you with some encouragement. Who you are and how God made you is part of God’s kingdom plan for this world. Even if even if you just have an every day job and you don’t see how any of that connects to God’s work in the world, I’m telling you, go back and review this podcast, and my hope is it will point you to maybe some ways to rethink and allow the Gospel to reshape and resurrect and restore how you see what you get up and go and do every day. And just want to remind you, marketplace skills are missions skills. And so let’s commit ourselves to be the people of God. You know, I say, Darren, there is really one vocation.
Speaker 2 [00:39:37] Yeah, there.
Speaker 1 [00:39:37] Is one vocation. Vocation coming from the Latin word voca, which means calling. There is one vocation and that is the glory of God among all nations. You know, it takes on a lot of different forms, you know, accountants and engineers and pastors and financial planners and retail workers and missionaries, consultants, designers, entrepreneurs. You can fill in whatever your day job is here. But each day, through our everyday work, we have the opportunity to honor God, love our neighbor, and proclaim the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth. That vocation, that calling has not changed for every believer for 2000 years, you know. So let’s commit to getting to it.
Speaker 2 [00:40:21] It’s great, great challenge. Great challenge. And yeah, we’re just going to leave it leave it with that challenge there. Connect with us. Stay connected with us. We have, as we’ve said before, at the stone table dot org a full resource page go check out that and we would actually love we’ll give you one more little call to action here. We would love to hear how this podcast has impacted you. If you would take a minute to email us at info at the stone table dot org. We’d love to hear a story, maybe something that that you’re thinking about, maybe questions that you have that could be future podcast. That’s it. But we would love to hear from you. So if you’ve if you got a story or something that has been stirring from this podcast in this season, email us at info at the stone table dot org. And that is it for this season of the Missional Marketplace Podcasts, Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace. We’ll see you next season.