How do we disciple the marketplace?

Discipling the Marketplace

The marketplace has and continues to be the center of activity for business, education, government and more.  The call in each of our lives is to move into a place where we positively influence it for God’s Kingdom.

Part of that commission; the biggest part, is for us to disciple.  What does that look like in the marketplace?

Often our emphasis as it pertains to the God’s Great Commission gets misaligned.  To disciple literally means to raise up or train. When this is done out of relationship – where we come alongside those around us and help close a gap in their lives – it makes them successful.

  • A Discipler is oriented toward the need in others and in developing spiritual formation in areas that are absent of God’s presence.
  • A Discipler is oriented toward the developing skills relevant to advancement.
  • A Discipler is oriented toward creating visionary goals that create empowerment and progress.
  • A Discipler models reconciliation in every relationship and sphere they engage in daily.

These emphasis points in cooperation with the Holy Spirit are transformational for the Disciple and the Discipler.

As we move toward discipling the marketplace there are 4 key areas to recognize:

  1. Exercise Authority – The Identity Model

Along with the discipling mandate from the Lord we were given authority in the earth that allows for this discipling to take place.  While the earth is the Lords – the responsibility over it is ours.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1:26-27).

The key to authority is identity based.  The world is in the midst of an identity crisis and we as Christ followers must be confident in our kingdom identities.   If we understand whose we are – we’ll understand who we are.

After Jesus returned from His wilderness experience with Satan – He announced several things.   The first was to repent – or change our thinking from now on.  Think Kingdom.  The second was live in union with the Spirit of God.  Jesus said that – the ‘Spirit of the Lord was upon Him and with that Spirit came a supernatural anointing to – “preach good news to the poor; to proclaim freedom for the prisoners; recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Luke 4

We are Ambassadors – with really, really good news!

Authority is a product of relationship.  Vertically and then horizontally. Authority is established through obedience.  Obedience is an exercise of trust through relationship that produces fruit.

  • Exercise Relationship – The Intentionality Model

Men build institutions; God builds relationships.

As sons (non-gendered but relational) of God who are positioned uniquely as heirs, priests and kings in a land of promise we must walk in progressive revelation.  There is a key that is described in Matt. 16 where Peter has his revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the son of God.  We are to have a revelation of the Father in order to bring about supernatural understanding.

Plain and simple, you can’t have a revelation of the son of God without having a revelation of the Father.  Jesus didn’t come to preach about himself – He came to reveal the Father and draw us into relationship with Him.  With that revelation of a relationship with our Heavenly Father we are given keys to the kingdom.  These keys allow us to exercise that authority and fulfill God’s Great Commission.

Our invitation is to advance the kingdom not build the church.  Jesus said He would build the church.  The reason why this revelation is key is so that God can move us to a place where we can influence, occupy – steward, and increase – expand.   It’s always about equipping for the purpose of relational formation and transformation.  “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”

Many of us are transaction driven – task oriented – list checking – type A personalities.  Having dealt with this transaction driven issue myself I realized how much of it has filtered into my relationship with God.  Or lack of relationship.  God desires to know me and be known by me.  He desires to know me as a son and for me to know Him as my Father.  If I’m constantly seeking His approval then my relationship is based on performance and transactions.  If I’m secure in who I am in Him and who He is in me then my identity is clear and my path is formed in relationship.  The outcomes associated with this are liberating.  This is life in the Son and His Kingdom.

  • Exercise Integrity – The Observation Model

Integrity

in•teg•ri•ty 
 1. Adherence to moral & ethical principles; soundness
     of moral character; honesty.
 2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished
 3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.

When people are asked to describe a Christian business leader, “integrity” is usually high on the list of expected character traits – and well it should be.  The scripture is full of evidence that God values integrity, morality, honesty … ethical behavior.  

However, in a business world today that seems to operate from a relativistic moral base … where the ends are thought to justify the means … where the bottom line is king … integrity is an increasingly scarce commodity.  Part of that is also due to the fact that integrity can have its costs.  That cost can be as simple as going back to a store to pay for something the cashier missed, or as impacting as losing a contract for refusing to give a bribe.  In either of those examples – as in every instance where operating with integrity requires a choice – it’s interesting to consider who is watching, and how your choice can have an unexpected influence on the lives of, not only the people directly involved in your situation, but of people who are watching … and people DO watch.

We need to put God’s Word into practice. We need to continually apply it in our lives. Every single one of us knows more spiritual truth than we’re putting into practice right now.  We don’t need to know more, we already know enough. We just need to put into practice what we already know.  Be a doer of the Word. 

The key to discipling Integrity is to be reconciled to God and to men.  Remain completely transparent and to take that transparency as a sign of strength not weakness.  Integrity is based on observation.  People are always watching.  What are you showing them today?

  • Exercise Kingdom Thinking – The Question Model

Kingdom Thinking is a transformational process in which we as Christ followers move deliberately toward the thoughts and ways of God.  As this convergence takes place the opportunities for God’s glory to be revealed are increased. 

The greatest way we exercise this aspect of mentoring and discipling is by asking questions.  Jesus did it all the time.  ‘Who do people say that I am?  What about you?  Who do you say that I am?’  Have you ever asked anyone what they think about something?  Or is your current style one that tells everything first?

The key to discipling Kingdom Thinking is to find out 1) What God is thinking, Is. 55:9; 2) What He wants us to be thinking – Phil. 4:8,9; and 3) What others are thinking – Matt. 15:16.  This along with the relational part is the big breakthrough point.

Here are a few of questions for you to consider –

  • What is your greatest personal struggle today?
  • How is your Jesus time?  Is it relegated to devotions in the morning or has there been a complete integration of all time being Jesus time?
  • Do you have a mentor or someone you share life with outside of your spouse?

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