Updated: Jul 25, 2022
We recently had an ordination service at our church for marketplace ministers. We commissioned those followers of Jesus who are in full-time ministry in the marketplace and community: plumbers, students, professionals, craftsmen, technology experts, homemakers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and others whose primary ministry influence is outside of the walls of a local church. It was amazing!
Some Biblical examples? There are those whose ministry was primarily focused in the community or on the job, such as Bezalel the craftsman (Exodus 31:1-6), Lydia the merchant of purple fabric (Acts 16:14-15), Abraham (rancher), Amos (farmer), and Joseph and Daniel (served in government). There are many other Biblical examples. Note: Community ministers may have their primary influence in the community but it is always their honor and privilege to serve in and be connected to their local church.
Others started out in community marketplace ministry and eventually switched into a formal, church-based, full-time ministry like Jesus, Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, and Luke. Old testament examples, like Moses and David, eventually left occupational ministry to focus on serving the people of God full-time.
Then there are bivocational ministers, those who do both community ministry and church-based ministry at the same time, such as Paul (tentmaker and apostle/missionary, see Acts 18:3-4). One feeds the other, and vice versa. I myself have been ministry bivocational for many years as a physician and a pastor. In both roles, lasting fruitful ministry has been seen for the kingdom of God!
Community marketplace ministers: rise up! Nothing is more anointed than an anointed marketplace minister in the marketplace fulfilling their calling. Your church will grow. The Kingdom of God will grow.
Whatever you do, do your work with all your heart, as for the Lord
and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive
the reward of the inheritance; it is the Lord Christ whom you serve.