My Read of the Month:

Title: Anointed for Business: How to Use Your Influence in the Marketplace to Change the WorldAuthor: Ed Silvoso
Published: 2002
Genre: Church growth/discipleship
Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars

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.

My Read of the Month:

Title:  That None Should Perish
Author:
Ed Silvoso
Published: 1994
Genre: Prayer Evangelism/Spiritual Leadership
Ratings: 3.7 out of 5 stars

There are two evangelists that I highly esteem, one is Reinhard Bonkke and the other is of course, Ed Silvoso.

In this book, Silvoso doesn’t present a set of formula or steps to win a city. What he does present are key principles and a biblical framework for any church or leader. This is good as it prevent prayer evangelism to be seen as a programme or job description as a Christian.

Not wanting churches and leaders to merely see prayer evangelism as part of church growth, Silvoso dedicates a large chunk at the beginning of his book in highlighting the need for unity of the Body of Christ among local congregations of a city.

He explains that unity is imperative for any city to be truly transformed. Reading this part did make me realise how much we as believers (including myself) in Singapore fall drastically short in this area. 

Clearly, there’s a real need for a unified platform for local churches and their members to gather in one collective and concerted effort.

Some might argue that there are events staged on a national level. But my take is that there isn’t really one where something really happens. Almost all events have no real sustaining impact to our unity or city. It seems to serve us believers more in creating a false reality that we’re one Body so that we feel less guilty. 

Therefore, I find Silvoso’s book both timeless and prophetic; a deafening war cry for the Church to rise up and beat in rhythm with the heart beat of God of intercession. And to put aside petty differences for the fulfilling of the bigger picture of the Great Commission as we approach the latter days.

Who should read it: For church leaders and missionaries.

Have Faith In What He Has Called You to Do

If you want to see what you’ve never seen, you have to do what you have never done.

Because if you do what you always do, you’ll continue to see what you always see and you’ll never see what you have never seen.

Ed Silvoso