Christians in the Marketplace

Many people spend far more time in the marketplace than they do in the church. How do they represent Christ in this critical mission field? How do business leaders apply biblical principles to their leadership and interaction with others in the marketplace in such a way that Christ is glorified and men and women are born into the Kingdom of God? How does the church understand and support in meaningful ways this enormous but often over-looked theology of work? And how do we establish our practices and perspectives in the marketplace place upon a sound biblical and theological foundation.

In this track you will find a variety of topics covered from Theology of Work to Mentoring to Theology and Economics to Implementation of Theology of Work. Bill Job will share from his heart and from his experience what it has meant to serve Christ as a business leader in China. You will be encouraged and challenged as the Lord opens your eyes to new mission opportunities in business. These courses are taught by a variety of people sometimes in lecture form and sometimes discussion and interview form.

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With Gerry Breshears, Ph.D. What is God calling you to do? Is his calling only for pastors and “professional ministers” or is it something that applies to all of his people? Dr. Gerry Breshears, professor of systematic theology at Western Seminary, explores key questions such as who God is, what he has created people to be, how being the image of God affects the way we approach work, and what is the role of spiritual gifts in our job. This course will expand your vision of what work is all about, as you come to see yourself as God’s co-worker and representative. 10 sessions. Approximately 5 hours.
With Kent Humphreys. Using the mental picture of a shepherd caring for his sheep, Kent Humphreys likens the shepherd to a pastor and the congregation to sheep, into which a few horses (strong business leaders) have been let loose. It is hard to understand these horses, who are just as capable of causing chaos with their strength and of standing quietly off in a corner of the pasture by themselves. How is a pastor to understand and equip these potentially powerful creatures to be part of the “flock” and then to go out into their workplace to minister and influence it for God? The answer to that question is the focus of this book. Taking the example of how Jesus handled His “horses”, a simple plan is offered that can build bridges between pastors and workplace leaders, impacting both the church and the community. 10 sessions. Approximately 5 hours.
In this three-session course, Bill McLeod, founder of Mission ConneXion Northwest, interviews Bill Job, founder and president of Meixia International, a thriving business in China. With the core conviction that eternal things are more important than temporal things, Bill describes how through his business programs hundreds of Meixia’s employees have become believers in Jesus Christ, churches have been planted and compassionate ministries have started, including a program to hire disabled workers from the local community. Approximately 1.5 hours.
Mentoring is a popular word these days and used by many to describe very different experiences. We think that’s because there are great differences in people and how each learns, relates and responds to input in their lives. You will see from these practitioners, both mentors and mentees that different is not only okay but valuable as we each find our unique way to live out the heart of God in the marketplace of life. Approximately 2 hours.
Why connect theology and economics? We need to connect these two because lives of Christ followers should manifest the Gospel, making it tangible and visible.  In addition to personal holiness, we need to reach beyond ourselves and have an impact on the world around us. Christians are called to live out God’s creation purposes and be signposts of the glorious future to come. That includes activities like religious works, charity, and volunteering, but these take up only a small fraction of our lives; discipleship must be a whole-life endeavor. If we want to follow God’s call and live into our true identity as his stewards, we have to integrate our faith with the spheres of life in which we invest most of our time: work and the economy. This course, taught by Dr. Greg Forster will enable you to think clearly about these two issues, their relationship to each other and to all of life. 3.5 hours.