What is marketplace ministry?

 Welcome back to the Milk Honey Show. I am so excited that you’re here because today I want to talk about marketplace ministry. What does it mean? Do women have a place in it? How do we serve God in our businesses? Does this mean we have to run a ministry? We’re going to answer all of those questions today. So first and foremost, what is marketplace ministry?

So marketplace ministry a beautiful and powerful concept that encourages believers to incorporate their faith into their business and career practices. So it gives you an opportunity for people of all denominations to join together in the mission of sharing the gospel, as well as working towards a common goal of serving God with their business.

So this idea is that Christians are going to use their businesses and their careers as a platform to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, as well as provide an opportunity for fellowship, discipleship, and providing a good or service to the community, so it’s all of those things wrapped into one.

And so people who take part in marketplace ministry can serve God by using their skills and gifts and talents to make a global impact. And what I love most about marketplace ministry is that it gives us a chance as believers to connect with people who would ordinarily not connect with us.

People who may not ordinarily hear the gospel. When I think about marketplace ministry, it’s so funny, you’re going laugh when you hear me say this. If you live in the south of the United States, then there’s a restaurant called Cookout, and I think it starts in North Carolina.

And I’ve lived down here for years. In 2008 I moved to South Carolina. So I have been going to Cookout for a very long time, and it was only a few years. I thought I was standing in a local cookout and I heard worship music playing over their loudspeaker, and I was like, Hey, they’re playing Christian music.

And then I look at my cup. This is I feel so stupid saying this now for how long I’ve been going, but I look at my cup and there’s, on the to-Go Cups, were bible verses. They’ve literally been sharing the gospel every single meal they serve since their inception. And so then I look it up and I realized that it’s run by Christians and all these things, I had no idea.

They are a fast food restaurant putting the gospel on every single cup that goes out the door. That’s marketplace ministry, and. What this really means is that we have to recognize that our business is not just about making money. Yes, making money is important because we could do a lot of Kingdom good when we make money, and I think people get what it means to make money as a Christian wrong, and we can do a whole episode on that.

But when we’re engaged in the marketplace, We have to remember that God is the ultimate CEO of our lives and our businesses and that what we’re doing is for his glory and for his purposes. And so that’s why I say I think it’s important to spend time with Him, listening to him seeking his will for our businesses.

I know some Christians get a little weird about praying about their business, but when you’re engaged in marketplace ministry, God is using the talents that he’s already given you, the skillset he has given you to go and make a bigger impact. And so you should be praying about it. You should want that business to prosper because that means, and I don’t mean price gouging people, I want to be clear about that,

The 1.99, I pay for the five chicken nuggets I get at Cookout, they’re not robbing me blindly here, but they’re sharing the gospel. They do well, there’s always a line at Cookout. They’ve got two lanes, they’re busy. Chick-Fil-A is another marketplace ministry situation.

They always have a line, but they’re also very firm in their faith and about sharing the message of Christ. And so praying about the people you are going to impact with your business matters.

Asking God how he wants you to steward the talents and gifts he has given you matters. So a lot of times when I talk to people they say marketplace ministry means I run a ministry. No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. Chick-fil-A is not a ministry. Cookout is on a ministry. They serve fast food. Okay?

Now, do they support ministries with the money they make? Absolutely. So what it means is to take the skills and the talents and the provision that God has given you and to run a business whereby you can glorify God and you can create a space where people can learn the good news of Jesus Christ in an opportunity, they probably have never had before.

I can tell you when I ran my marketing agency for years, four years I ran this agency, so often I would come in contact with people who do not share my beliefs, and I had an opportunity, even though we were talking about email marketing and social media copy on our meetings,

I was setting boundaries I don’t work on Sunday because I take a Sabbath. Why do you take a Sabbath? What do you do on the Sabbath? I get to have these conversations with people who wouldn’t normally get to have them, and so that’s what it means to run a marketplace ministry is to.

Remember that God’s presence is in your business no matter how big or small, no matter how, how many millions of followers you have, or if you have one, God’s presence is there and we just have to lean into it. And so what does that mean for you? What does that mean for you as a woman?

Again, I get people throwing at me all the time Titus 2 and I did an episode on Titus 2 about how women should be busy at home. And that’s true. We should be busy at home. We should take care of our home. I’ve got sourdough bread proofing right now because I got up early to make sure my sourdough was fed.

And it was all active and bubbly and donuts things. I’ve got sourdough bread proofing for my husband’s dinner tonight, for him and me to have dinner. And so I’m busy at home. I’m recording this in my office at home, so I’m busy at home. I’m constantly doing things. There’s a little laundry going on, and things are happening, but I also get to serve my community.

I also get to disciple other women. I get to record this podcast. I get to write a blog. I get to mentor women inside Girl Power Alliance, and. I’m teaching courses. I get to show up and disciple others while also still caring for my home. And you can do the same thing, I’ve talked about so many women who had a marketplace ministry.

The Proverb 31 woman. She’s my favorite example, she had multiple businesses and multiple streams of income. Nobody shamed her. Instead, everybody idolizes her. Not that we should, we should be following Jesus, but people aspire to be this woman. This woman had multiple businesses and multiple streams of income, and yet she still discipled other people.

Last episode I talked about Lydia who was a dealer of Purple Cloth, so she ran this business and because of that, she was able to open her home to disciples. Joanna and Susanna, supported Jesus and the 12 disciples while He was alive by their own means. It didn’t say Joanna and Susanna ran a ministry.

Lydia did not run a ministry. The Proverbs 31 woman did not run a ministry. She had a vineyard. She was selling cloth. She was doing things that weren’t in a ministry, but then she took the provisions that God gave them. They all took those provisions and used them. The Proverbs 31 woman. There’s a verse about halfway through, it talks about how, because she was in abundance, she opened the doors to the needy and was able to care for the needy.

When we look at Joanna and Susanna they made enough money they could support Jesus and the 12 disciples. Amongst other women. Lydia, sold purple cloth. She didn’t run a ministry, but yet she opened her home to become a ministry. And so that’s what I think is really special about marketplace ministry and why I think it’s really important for women to be engaged with it because there’s so much that we could be doing to spread the gospel without having to be abrasive.

And so that’s something I want to talk about too, is how marketplace ministry is this truly authentic way to display God’s nature without doing denominational divides. So one thing I love the most about Girl Power Alliance is that we don’t have a denomination. And that’s something people ask Michelle, you’ll hear from Michelle next episode.

People ask Michelle all the time what denomination is Girl Power Alliance and she always says, we’re just Jesus. Jesus is the denomination, as long as you love Jesus, there’s a place here for you. Even if you don’t love Jesus, there’s a place here for you. We have Don Christians who join, just an FYI.

But as long. Jesus is at the forefront of what it is you’re doing. Then none of the secondary or tertiary matters make a difference. None of that matters as long as you’re sharing the gospel, as long as you’re putting good biblical practices at the forefront. And so that’s seriously something that I’ve grown to love over the last six, eight months, is that.

Marketplace Ministry is this beautiful place where it almost feels like there are no rules, there are rules, but there are no rules if that makes sense, so there are, we have to abide by biblical principles. We have to put Jesus first, those are the rules. But we are not hindered by the church.

We’re not hindered by religion. All we’re doing is serving Jesus through our business, and that doesn’t have to be stifled in any sort of way. It doesn’t have to follow church-specific rules for your denomination or this person’s denomination. It just gets to be this unfiltered, pure love of Christ out in the world.

Where we get to seriously put God’s good and true nature on display for people in a way that they’ve never seen, and that I think. is truly special. I think it’s truly remarkable that we get that opportunity. I remember the church that night, my husband and I met their volunteer short said, we get to do this.

And I just love that cuz we get to do this. We get to show up, we get to steward our talents. We get to impact people who may not know Christ yet because of the talents that God has given us, because of the entrepreneurial spirit God has given. . And so that to me is a sacred space where you have to be in such connection, in such alignment with what the father’s will and purpose is for your life and your business, that you have no choice but to make a global impact where you have no choice but to make a generational impact where you have no choice but to show up in big ways and with God showing up even bigger behind you because you’re walking in that alignment and that purpose and you’re doing the reach out and you’re doing, you’re going to a place where the Christians are not. And I think that’s really special. And so what I want to know is how you know if you’re in alignment with God.

So I really want you to dive in and think about how you know that you are putting God first in your business and if he’s truly your CEO. So this is not just a declaration that you’re going to make. It’s more than something super simple or an objective to hit or anything that. It is this deep spiritual endeavor that requires intentionality.

Dedication and discernment. So in order to ensure that God remains at the center of your business operations, you have to continually seek his guidance in His presence in all the decisions made. This isn’t, I said, my gosh, have you ever seen, I remember this audio was trending on TikTok, and it was, you need Jesus every day or whatever. The response was that I need Jesus to go to Walmart. You need to include God in all things. And the way you can do that is through regular prayer and communion with God. Diving into the scriptures and really diving in, do an inductive study on that.

You have to, I fast about big decisions that I have to make. I just came off of a fast, which is probably why I’m starving, . . It is also crucial that you surround yourself with -minded women who are going to encourage you and hold you accountable to what it is. that you’re trying to accomplish with this,

and so here’s the thing, it may not always feel like God is present or involved in your business, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t right. So we have to stay in this attitude of prayer and surrender and trust and just trust God’s will for our business, even though it may not be seen or felt immediately.

I’m going to bring on my friend Michelle Tufford in a few weeks to talk about the surrender that she did. And her story is powerful. It’s powerful. She’s talking about true surrender in business and how long that process was, how she’s still in that process, and the blessing that has come from being in that process.

You’re going to love that. And so here’s the thing, marketplace ministry is just an incredible opportunity to go beyond our personal worship and extend God’s love and compassion and his true nature into a community setting, so we can serve others outside of the. But in a way that is still aligned with our faith.

And so when you’re operating in a marketplace ministry setting, it encourages you to put your trust in God and to lean on him for direction as you’re trying to bring light to the darkness, we have to surrender to his leadership and to his purpose because at the end of the day, , our marketplace ministry can have an impact that we may never feel.

It can have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of the people who come in contact with our business. And as you are, as you’re finishing up this episode, I just want you to think about what the mission truly is of your business. How can you disciple others and share the good news? , how can you make sure that God is the most important aspect of your business?

How can you be sure that you are acting as a faithful follower even in your business? And so ultimately it’s going be up to you to decide what role you’re going have, a workplace ministry, and how you’re going put your faith into it. But no matter what you decide to do, I hope you always remember to keep God at the center of your work because he truly is the ultimate c e o for your life and your business, and by stepping into a place of marketplace ministry.

It’s truly just a beautiful way to put the talents that God has given you on display. It is a beautiful way to glorify our Creator. It’s a beautiful way to disciple others. That’s what I get to do every day. It’s a beautiful way to just, God’s full nature on display. And honestly, I truly think it’s a beautiful way to learn what it means to surrender and trust.

I have been through that, so I will tell you this, I walked away from an agency that I helped build. I had over a dozen people working for me. I was getting steady pay. And right when the recession started to creep up, I knew I had to leave. There were things just not aligned with my business and I couldn’t keep operating in that anymore.

And my husband had to take a lower-paying job right before I made this decision, two months before I made this decision. And so we needed my income to pay the bills. We needed my income to keep a roof over our head we needed my. . And so clearly this conversation that I had with my husband and that we had with the Lord, it was like walk away, take nothing, walk away.

And I was like okay. I almost felt like the rich ruler whom Jesus was told him to sell everything and follow me. Let go of your stuff and follow me. I’m definitely not the rich young ruler, but it was a scary thing, gas was going up and everything was just getting more expensive.

And God said, let it go and trust me. Okay. So I do. And it was scary. It was so scary to do that. But then, He brought me into something better. He brought me into something deeper. Am I making the same money I used to make when I ran my agency? No, not yet. But nobody in my family has gone without.

And in fact, we’ve had, we’ve still had extra. And I can tell you that’s only from God is this full surrender. I am now in a place where I get to disciple. every single day I get to have discipleship conversations, and I wasn’t having that before and I wasn’t being poured into as a leader before. And now I get godly mentorship.

I get to provide, godly mentorship. I get to go out into my community and have these really beautiful conversations that I wasn’t having before. And it’s because of this full surrender to, to what God wanted me to do with my business. And now he’s taken me into a new place with the skillset that I have, with the things he has given me to put me in a radically different season.

And it’s a season that I’m so grateful for. This has been an incredible season. I’m grateful for the season that I’m in. because it has impacted my family drastically. It has impacted the lives of the fam, of the women that I get to disciple, I hear about it every single day. And so I say all that to say, you have got to put your faith and trust in the Lord.

You have got to surrender whatever it is to him. You have got to lean into whatever businesses that God has for you. Whatever that looks like for you. And if you’re unsure of what that looks like, maybe you’re stuck in the clarity piece or you’re not sure what your zone of genius is, or you’ve no idea what it looks like to start a business, then I have a resource for you.

Come work with me because I can provide you with these resources. Let me just say the resources that I have available. I did the math the other day. I spent $5,000 on my first business coach. I’d just gotten a settlement. I tore my rotator cuff at work and workman’s comp thing.

And so I took that money and I hired my first business coach. My first business coach did not cover biblical principles. Did not cover P and L statements or tax structure or branding or any of those things, she didn’t cover any of those things, and I’m not saying she was bad, but she didn’t cover any business fundamentals and I needed those.

I now get those same business fundamentals with Christ at the forefront for less than my weekly grocery bill. And I have four people in my household, two of which are two boys. Two boys are going through a growth spurt right now. So I get all that for less than my weekly grocery bill, which is pretty incredible to me.

So if you’re I want to step into marketplace ministry, I want to figure out what my calling is, I want to go out and use my business for God’s purpose and click the link in the show notes. and come hang out with me because I promise it will be one of the best decisions that you make. Come connect with me on social media if you have questions about what that looks like, but I would be honored to help serve you as you go out and serve the Lord with your business.

So until next time…

Interested in marketplace ministry? Join me here.

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