The Church and The Marketplace

I think it is not wrong to say that in today’s age of globalisation, the Church is presented with a greater opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission in winning the nations for Jesus by engaging our global marketplace.

The marketplace is the battlefield for souls. Therefore, the Church of Jesus has the onus to position herself in a way that is seen not only in touch with the marketplace, but an asset to society rather than a white elephant.

As a country, the US not only creates jobs for the world’s economy, but their influence also impacts the social values of the world and stretches beyond the economic value. This can be observed how their MTV pop culture and Hollywood movies shapes the way our kids behave, and their Mac’s and Starbucks changes the way we eat.

The US has, indeed done well in achieving control and influence over the nations of the world even without waging in any war over the years.

Singapore’s emergence as a powerhouse

Taking the cue from our own country, it is a fact that Singapore cannot spread her presence or territory by waging wars in order to conquer more land from our neighbouring countries. That would be an out-of-date and a crazy strategy.

However, with the aid of our cash-rich soveriegn wealth fund (SWF) empires of Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Singapore of late has discreetly gained global prominence and influence with its investments in Merril Lynch, UBS, CitiGroup, British’s Barclays.

Temasek HoldingsFew people would realise how much these two vehicles (Temasek & GIC) have ploughed into Australia since 1995, buying many sensitive and prestigious assets such as Optus, Myer Melbourne and large parts of the old State Electricity Commission of Victoria.

With established strongholds in the marketplace, one is able to positively influence the people, culture, economy and the governments of nations.

The Church engaging the marketplace

Similarly, the Church of Jesus Christ- not referring to any organisation or church building but the Body of believers- should not just see extending the kingdom of God by means of geographical missions, but having a paradigm shift of doing missions through our global marketplace which would eventually transit towards geographical expansion.

Therefore, there’s a need for the Church to unite; tapping on our unique and diverse God-given talents to ride the waves of globalisation in adopting a similar strategy that engages the marketplace in order to spread God’s presence and influence.

The Church cannot forfeit her rightful place and role in the marketplace where she must be able to extend her influence beyond the walls of the church or it will be seen as irrelevant.

For too long the Church has been confined and conforming to the world, it is time that the Church demonstrates the power and presence of God in engaging and transforming the world. If this isolation continues, the Church will eventually lose her God-given authority and inheritence as the head and becomes the tail.

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Deuteronomy 28:12-14

To do just that, the Church needs to establish a stronghold in the marketplace. Through winning the marketplace, she wins the nation.

And in my opinion, that’s how the Great Commission can be relevantly and effectively accomplished; nation by nation with the presence and influence of God through the marketplace.