Before 500BC the nations with the biggest militaries ruled. From 500BC to 1500AD the nations were ruled by religion. Religious leaders influenced military leaders or kings. Examples of this are Islam, Confucianism, and the Crusades. During 1500AD – 1950AD Governments (city, states, politicians) ruled, influencing the military and setting limits on religious practices. Since 1950AD business has become the major influencer of political leaders, who in turn oversee the military and religious leaders.
Missions need to grasp the heartbeat of the marketplace while maintaining our biblical values and evangelistic goals. The minds of people seek prosperity, and the marketplace is where they find it. The heart of the marketplace is commerce; that is where people are. It is where they learn their values and gain their satisfaction. It is crucial that we meet people where they are in life with godly values and satisfaction. People need someone in whom the life of Jesus is incarnated to come alongside them, so they may see for themselves the way, the truth and the life.
Many of these people, in both open and closed countries have erected their own barriers. Many are hostile toward Christians and Westerners. Yet we know if the church is to see “every tribe and language and people and nation” represented before the throne (Revelation 7:9), it must break new ground. Business as usual won’t do, and that is the point. We need to attempt some mighty unusual business.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.