Season 1 of the Missional Marketplace podcast is available on all your favorite listening platforms.
In the first episode, the Stone Table’s Erik & Darren Cooper introduce the first season of this podcast as a way to walk through the three pillar concepts of Erik’s new book, Missional Marketplace. These pillars are:
- The Great Story
- The Great Commandment
- The Great Commission
These pillars are the structure of the Missional Marketplace book and form the foundation of the Stone Table organization.
Erik & Darren give us a little background on the organization, which finds its roots in a global-missions-driven church they grew up in, as well as an entrepreneurial father with a passion for the Great Commission. These two cords form what has become the Stone Table today: a Great Commission powered organization that seeks to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth by empowering everyday Christians to find value in their day jobs.
Erik shares some personal experiences in navigating the waters of the marketplace world while being a Christian that was on fire for the Great Commission. He shared how he found the focused niche for his book, Missional Marketplace. He told stories of people having difficulty seeing value in their everyday work as it relates to God’s work in the world – but through his own wrestling with this same topic was compelled to share his thoughts about it.
Ultimately, Erik found that many Christians wondered if their day job even mattered – they doubted that there was any eternal value to what they did on the clock from 9-5 every day. He found that often people believed, “If I really loved Jesus, wouldn’t I just quit my job and go into full-time ministry [in the church]?” Fortunately, this is not the only way to partner with God in His plan for the world.
In looking to inspire those in the marketplace to give a little bit more to the Great Commission, Erik shared the story of his dad’s experience in real estate management. The story culminated in a non-profit organization running real estate properties and giving 50% of the income to global missions work. This was an inspiration to those who are standing with their hearts toward the Great Commission but are wondering how to get themselves to connect their work or their giftings to it. This story gave us the light to ask ourselves, “what can I do with my giftings & the opportunities that are in front of me right now?”
Finally, Erik & Darren gave us a big picture look at connecting our work to God’s greater story. We can take the daily opportunity to ask ourselves, and the Holy Spirit, “how does my work connect to what God is doing in the world?” Through this question, Erik found that,
“because of the Gospel, our everyday work can become an opportunity fulfill the Great Commandment: to honor God and love our neighbors.”
This connecting of our story to God’s story through work is exactly the perspective we need in order to find purpose in our work every day. Through our jobs, we can honor God and love our neighbors. This is part of God’s story, and we get to be a part of His story- through the work of our hands.
Every episode of the Missional Marketplace Podcast includes a unique “Missional Moment” segment. The first week, we heard from Tom, who was both a business owner and a student finishing college when he began to ask himself an important question: “how can my business experience fit into the Great Commission and missions work?”
See, Tom had only been around a specific kind of traditional missions model at the time, one that said you gave up all that you knew in your past life in order to focus solely on full-time evangelization of a people group. Through his experiences in the missions field, Tom began to connect with more niche missionaries that were using business as a platform to fulfill the Great Commission – the very thing he was curious to do. Tom no longer had to sacrifice his lifetime experiences, but he could use the things he was good at (business & entrepreneurship) to actually advance the Gospel across the nations. Fantastic!
Tom found that there was a heavy need amongst missionaries & missionary hopefuls to have some kind of a mentorship when it came to using business as a model for missions work. Through this exploration, Tom found Business as Missions (BAM) to be a blossoming platform for missions work. Erik Cooper said on this,
“BAM is more than an access strategy [to the nations], [it] is a great mechanism for Gospel connection & relationships.”
In the traditional model of missions work, it takes about 10 years to see one person saved & won for the Kingdom of God. In a BAM organization, working alongside someone, Tom has seen that timeline shrink from 10 years down to 2 or 3. WOW! That is a phenomenal shrink in seeing someone come to Christ.
The biggest encouragement to take away from the first episode here is; if the Lord is putting something on your heart to use your business or marketplace skills as a platform for missions work & ministry, that is very much an option to start pursuing. There are mentors & practitioners available all over the world today as BAM continues to explode- and The Stone Table team would love to support your journey.
Consider/pray about these questions:
- Is God putting something unique on your heart to pursue BAM?
- How can what you know and what you’re good at be used to advance the Kingdom for Jesus?
Don’t forget to check out the whole podcast episode you just read about on our “resources” page and join us on this 12-episode journey into the Missional Marketplace.