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Commissioning God’s people for the Workplace

Guest post by Joe Galindo - Excerpt from:  Kingdom Business Transformation: Structuring Leadership to Transform the Marketplace by Joe Galindo and Greig Detering

I would encourage you to think about the following idea. It’s a simple concept, and it might not be that difficult to implement it in some of today’s churches. Here is the concept: Take every business owner, entrepreneur and business leader in your church, whether it is 10 people or a 100. Consider each to be a "strategic plant" for your church body. Then plan to come along side of them with the following objectives in mind:

1) Equip them and train them for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two in the word of God and the strategic principles of God, especially where it pertains to doing business with the mindset of God

2) Encourage them in their strengths and giftings they are currently practicing within their business operation instead of trying to bring their gifts and expertise to be a part of a church program 

3) Pray on site for them. Spend some time on site with them, encouraging and  coaching them with the end in mind that they are a strategic "church plant" who is multiplying the Kingdom of God through their marketplace calling

4) Release and Commission them after an appropriate period of training/equipping

5) Follow more intentionally the principles, processes and patterns that are espoused by Paul in Ephesians 4:1-17 and 1st Corinthians 12,13 and 14 on biblical leadership and unity of the body of Jesus Christ.
Could this be done? I believe that it could, but the question we have to ask is "Will we do it."? Whether you agree with the concept or not, I believe that this question should still be asked. As I have pondered this, it has led me to ask another question: "What church would not want to do this"? As I think about this, I find this concept wonderfully stimulating. If just 1000 churches across the country did this with 100 strategic people in each of their congregations, within a year or two, there would be 100,000 commissioned "business as mission" people out on the front lines seeking to multiply the Kingdom of God to employees and their families, clients, vendors, investors and business associates. Granted, a number of those 100,000 might already be operating as effective "business missionaries", but many of those could be "further encouraged" by this and even "commissioned" on site by their churches.  

So, what is holding us back from bringing forth this model more readily in our churches of today? Two things come to mind for me as I seek to answer this question. The first is the issues of divine order and the second is wrong thinking that is being practiced more so than we realize. In other words, repentance is truly the order of the day! We are in need of changing our way of thinking and moving from our current order of doing things to more of His divine order for doing things. My personal observation is that the typical North American conservative evangelical church operating model is in need of strategic and significant alteration. Please don’t take that as a slam against the "church". I think that the same is true of myself and most every believer that calls himself a follower of Jesus. Moving from wrong thinking to right thinking is not as easy as we think, and moving from "comfortable, convenient and under control" to the radical ways of Jesus and His disciples is always easier said than done. 

However, if we focused on the traditional church model of today, and what changes could be made along the lines of what I am talking about, it will most definitely not be easy to make significant alteration. The most obvious hindrance is that a very high percentage of revenue that comes in to a church is designed to cover three things: Facility expense, Staff salaries and Church programs. This revenue is used to either increase or maintain the existing infrastructure. Here is the reality that we must sooner than later examine. For whatever the reasons are, the DNA of today’s traditional church is often locked in to operating with an inward focus more so than an outward focus. For those churches who are multiplying by equipping and commissioning their marketplace people, praise God for you! Please continue on! However, my guess is that you are working against a system and an operating infrastructure that is like the slow moving oil tanker we mentioned earlier. If that is the case, then the key question once again becomes "what then shall we do to more effectively multiply the Kingdom of God as the body of Christ through those who are strategically placed in the marketplace?"

Most businesses, if not all of them, have no choice but to operate with a mindset that focuses on multiplication and distribution of their products and services. If they don’t build, develop and multiply these things in some form, then the revenue is affected, business activity goes away, and ultimately, the business itself goes away. Ironically, whether a church is growing and multiplying in the ways that God intended or not, it can still be funded depending on the donors and donations that bring the financial support into its operation. There are some churches that are thriving, yet their operating model is inward, and the new membership that comes into their church are transfers from other churches, with very few new converts, if any. Please don’t misunderstand me, we all have observed that there are some tremendous things that are going on in many of our churches across the globe, mine being one of them. However, would we not agree that many if not most of our churches of today, are very busy minding the ship at home and taking care of their people through their programs and activities. In addition, they are slow moving in nature and typically, they just can’t multiply as fast as the business and franchise models that I have observed and studied over the past number of years. So how do we more effectively produce what the scriptures talk about that is the fruit that is 30/60/100 fold, or as stated in John 15:16, how do we produce the "fruit that remains" in the work that we do and in the marketplace where we have been strategically placed?

I would highly encourage you to look more closely at the concept that I brought forth earlier in this writing. Why do I believe so strongly in this concept? For over the past two years, I have personally been involved with a national organization which gathers Christian business owners, Presidents and CEO’s for monthly forums. The objective of this organization is to encourage, equip and commission business owners to multiply the things of the Kingdom of God through their businesses and their business operations. Every one that I work with is incredibly on fire for God and it is extremely powerful for me to see them "impact their worlds" for Jesus as they seek the Lord in regard to their business operations. The monthly forums that we have often serve as a type of "commissioning" process for them which encourages them to keep doing what they are doing, or to help them move into the "newer wineskin" that God has been leading them toward. The "stirring one another to love and good deeds" as stated in Hebrews 10:23-25 has been taking place most every meeting since I have been involved with this process. Case History of Apostolic Community and Apostolic Business Process One of the CEO’s I work with has built a company that operates like a community and has proven to be a powerful example of what I have been talking about throughout this writing. First of all, without really intending to, he has built a leadership infrastructure that houses the 5 fold leadership model of Ephesians 4. He clearly operates in the function of apostle. His C.O.O, one of the Presidents, and myself operate in the function as prophet, mostly independently of each other, but on occasion in concert with each other. He has strategic leaders who operate in the functions of pastor (manager) and teacher (trainer). They have an established and consistent training process that either raises up evangelists (sales and marketing) or enables those who are there who are already operating as evangelists. Second, he has intentionally built an organization that multiplies itself through the products and services that they offer. I have been able to be a part of the process where he has tripled in size over the last three years, and yet they are still very clearly an operating community that could be a great model for kingdom business or a church to either emulate or support in some form.
Each year at his annual community conference where all of his employees and independent contractors attend, he shares his personal testimony with everyone in a powerful and pertinent way. In addition, he has hired a chaplain who serves many of his on site staff through counseling, bible studies and personal ministry. This CEO regularly looks to strategically and generously give to certain ministries that he is connected to either personally or those he has come across through his business operation.

So, what is the point that I am trying to make by discussing this case history? This CEO and his organization are practicing many of the things that I have been discussing in this writing. It is not unusual for him to be approached regularly by his pastors and other ministry leaders to donate dollars as well as operate in a leadership role in certain church activities and programs. Yet, we must ask the question if some of these traditional church activities are truly a good use of his time. Why? Over the time that I have worked with him and his company, it has tripled in size, their products and services are continuing to be distributed and multiplied, they have provided a community with an atmosphere of life, a number of employee salvations has resulted, and the growth and sanctification process of the believers who work in his company has certainly been taking place in unique and encouraging ways. The multiplication of the Kingdom of God is truly a reality with his business operation, yet he is constantly being asked by well intentioned church leaders to pull away from what he does best and participate in their "pastor centers" activities and programs. None of his pastors have ever been on site in his company to encourage, affirm and commission him in the remarkable things that God is doing in his company. I believe that if pastors would just take the time to go and visit on site some of their entrepreneurs (apostles), they would be greatly encouraged to see prayer, ministry, and multiplication of the Kingdom of God as a regular occurrence which needs to continue on!

Allow me to give you another example which will stir your heart and challenge you as well. One of the other CEO’s that I work with has established and operated a factory in China for over five years now. For nearly twenty years, he has had a sales operation in the United States that sells items their factory produces. This strategy was the key factor that launched the factory in the first place. Since the factory opened in China, there has been the following fruit with the Chinese employees whom they have employed: 

1) Over 30 salvations 
2) Their employees earn three times the wage that they previously had elsewhere 
3) Health Insurance for the employee and their family 
4) On site worship, praise and bible study at the factory on a regular basis 

These are two examples which effectively manifest the "multiplying DNA" of the Kingdom of God as described by Jesus when He said that "Kingdom of God is like leaven" and that it is meant to truly spread and multiply. When I look at these two kingdom business examples, I see the "Church" (as I believe God intended) operating and multiplying. If a typical North American church were to  produce fruit like either of these two examples, we would be applauding on Sunday morning! It is truly good fruit! Now is the time to produce more of it! However, the answer is not to try and bring examples like this into the four wall confines of the church operation, but rather for the people and the resources of the church to help facilitate the rising up of the "living stones" that are already strategically placed in the marketplace. 

So that brings us back to the key question of "what then shall we do?" If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, none of us would be excited about a church that is static in nature with little or no multiplication of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. If we are to have a biblical view of the way that the church and the things of God multiply, then we must come to grips with the truth that many of the things that we traditionally do are not necessarily the most effective multipliers of the Kingdom, and in some instances, even work against and hinder the progress of "His Kingdom come and His will to be done". 

There is another truth that many in the North American church culture must examine. I don’t believe that many of our typical "church programs" are the most effective way of multiplying the things of the Kingdom. I have been a "first hand observer" of business owners and entrepreneurs who are either frustrated or have retreated from the church culture of today. More "professional ministers" who build "pastor centers" or "teaching centers" is not  the answer for connecting with the people in the marketplace and more effectively multiplying the things of the Kingdom. Just take a look at what happened in the book of Acts. The powerful birth of the Church in Acts 2 was about relationship building and community building around the exaltation of Jesus as Lord. As mentioned before, it strategically was started by the Holy Spirit with twelve businessmen and then an additional 3000 business people on the day of Pentecost. Ministry to the sick, to the oppressed, and to the lost  became the operational mode of the day for these people of God right where they were placed through the business that they were doing and the everyday life they were living. 

Equipping, encouraging and empowering the followers of Jesus are the things that I see in Ephesians 4. Divine order is what I also see. Operating in the 5 Fold Leadership process is what I see as vital to those who will be participating in the greater things to come as we move toward the final days that Peter talked about two thousand years ago. Repentance is part of "preparing the way" for Jesus to return. Moving from wrong thinking to right thinking is more vital than ever during these times. Moving from words to actions is the challenge for every follower of Jesus, both in their individual identity as well as for the "church universal".  

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posted by Justin Forman | 12.13.2010 - 5:55 AM


What a great idea, long, long overdue. If church leaders would only realize the enormous talents God has placed in their membership to work outside the church walls, inredible things would happen for the kingdom of God.

Just as an aside, a friend of mine (and former pastor) was led by God to develop a DVD seminar on "How to Read and Understand the Bible." It would be perfect to use as a foundational series for either new member, small group or a men's ministry. Visit www.readandunderstandthebible.com to learn more.
commented by Anonymous Scott, 8:36 AM  

A great idea, but also a very old one. See Davida Foy Crabtree's 1989 book, The Empowering Church: How One Congregation Supports Lay People's Ministries in the World, for a good case study. This leads to the bigger question re: why more BAM people are not getting behind this idea, which has been proven effective and could readily be implemented in churches. Is the obstacle the church pastors? the people in the pews?
commented by Blogger Carol Christopher, 9:51 AM  

I think the greatest potential for growth of the church rather than parachurch is to empower the people to be light in the workplace. I am desperate for a church that supports me on the front lines in business every day. My church does an okay job of re-connecting me to God at worship but that is where the encouragement and equipping stops. I get more support from pagan consultants in solid business principles that are for the most part Biblical than I do from my church. Glad to find your blog. Keep on preaching to the choir who needs to stop singing in church and get out in the world.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:24 AM  

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