Home > Uncategorized > Marketplace Ministry

Marketplace Ministry

I wanted to kick-start the year with something positive, and found this in my files from five years ago. It has never been published here…


Several years ago, a long-time customer came into our bookstore and brought with her a new purpose and a new motto for our business, “marketplace ministry.”   It was a fresh vision and a reminder that we should try to be more present in the public square, in civic life, and less dependent on churches which so often let us down.

The phrase “marketplace ministry” also reminded me of this quotation:

“I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace, as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a high cross between two thieves: on the town garbage heap; at a crossroad so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew, in Latin and in Greek…. At the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse and soldiers gamble. Because that’s where He died. And that is what He died about. And that is where churchmen ought to be and what churchmen should be about.”

 

This quotation belongs to Scottish theologian Dr. George MacLeod (1895 – 1991).  According to wikipedia, MacLeod is also the founder of the Iona Community, an ecumenical movement committed to social justice issues and “seeking new ways to live the gospel of Jesus in today’s world.”    Most of its activities take place on the Isle of Iona and its interdenominational liturgies and publishing are developed by the Wild Goose Group, the name taken from an ancient Irish symbol of the Holy Spirit.   (Apologies to “dove only” readers!)    Its books and music resources deal with social justice and peace issues, spirituality and healing, and innovative approaches to worship.

Someone years ago taught me that so much of what the church considers “outreach” is actually “indrag.”   We need to find ways to engage the concept of “marketplace ministry.”   Evangelicals have long neglected issues of social justice or relegated the ‘social gospel’ to mainline churches.   But that is changing.   And perhaps the thing we need to do in the center of the marketplace is to live out the gospel with visible demonstrations of Christ’s love, not just taking the quotation above as a call to loud street preaching.   Is there someone in your sphere of influence to whom you can give “a cup of water” to today?

Advertisements
  1. January 5, 2013 at 1:11 am

    I’ve visited Iona briefly on a trip to Scotland. Beautiful. Peaceful.
    I believe there is a divergence of thought between Kingdom ministry and Church ministry.
    I give kingdom a capital K as it is reflective of our King and LORD God. On the other hand, the Church gets a capital C because it sometimes takes itself too seriously and forgets we’re in it for the King.
    I like the sentiment of Mr MacLeod and am encouraged that more and more believers are beginning to recognize walking with Jesus is outside of the church wall. I do not capitalize believers because we are works-in-progress and humility suits our path very well.
    Blessings!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Your Response (Value-Added Comments Only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: