My Read of the Month:
Title: Anointed for Business: How to Use Your Influence in the Marketplace to Change the WorldAuthor: Ed Silvoso
Genre: Church growth/discipleship
Ed Silvoso is one of the early proponents of the cultural mandate. I often draw divine inspiration from his teachings especially when I was fresh to the concept of “church without walls”.
Contrary from what the title suggests, this book does not teach about doing business or making money. This book focuses on embracing God’s business of making an impact by discipling a nation as marketplace Christians.
Being not only a spiritual leader and evangelist, Silvoso is also an experienced business person. Hence, in his book he is able to eloquently blend biblical teaching with his experiences in redefining “ministry”.
Silvoso advocates the universal call for all Christians to use their secular jobs as a ministry vehicle for the gospel to be preached to, and heard by those within our sphere of influence.
“Today, skylines do not consist much of church spires but of the buildings that house the corporations that breathe life into commercial arteries of a nation,” explains Silvoso, “it is right there where the kingdom of God needs to be established.” And he further adds that in order for transformation to take place, change has to come to the marketplace, and marketplace Christians must play a key role.
For instance in chapter 7: The Kingdom, the Church and the Marketplace, Silvoso points out that there were 40 major supernatural encounters recorded in the book of Acts. And interestingly, only one of them took place in a religious setting and the rest happened in the marketplace.
According to Silvoso, this highlights the truth that the Church should not be confined to a building or to a prearranged schedule of meetings. Therefore in order to start this change, Christians have to be released as ministers in the marketplace.
No longer must we take the regressive and passive approach in being satisfied in merely doing the Christian thing like going to church to do church but being a Christian who operates in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and applies God’s principles; being the Church and bringing God into the marketplace.
One part in the book not to be missed albeit controversial is found in chapter 2: Jesus in the Marketplace. Here, Silvoso debunks the traditional belief that Jesus Christ was poor when he was on earth. He presents evidence in the gospel to suggest that Jesus was well-to-do or wealthy. And inserts that Jesus himself was a businessperson in the carpentry industry and not a merely low-skilled carpenter that most of us are thought to believe.
Like most other books of a similar topic that challenges the nuclear church to recognise the call in the marketplace, this book does overly-focus the interest of the ministry in the marketplace and might downplay the relevance and importance of the ministry of the church in the process. In my opinion, both ministries need each other and have to work together strategically to effectively bring transformation to the city and nation.
Having said that, overall this book is a must-read for Christians to gain insights in how we as His people are to view and redeem the marketplace in a sustainable manner towards fulfilling the Great Commission effectively in this 21st century.
Who should read it: For pastors or church leaders, and Christian businesspeople or professionals.