JOURNEYS

Christ’s Work in the Global Marketplace

Kevin Pate describes how the Lord is at work in the hearts of the globe’s business leaders.

Business leaders, among the 270 in attendance, listen in to Kumasi Ghana to topics pertaining to Christian business practices and developing in Christ, as part of a Global Advance Marketplace Missions seminar held there. ©  

Kevin Pate, director of Global Advance Marketplace Marketplace (and author of this journey post), poses with a participant who displays his completion certificate at the Accra Ghana seminar. Seminars help encourage and train Christians leaders to more fulfill His calling in the marketplace. ©  

Another seminar event, this one in Lima, Peru. Global Advance Marketplace Missions puts on seminars all over the world, including India, Nicaragua, and Burundi. This year, the organization is to train and equip leaders at 25 international events. ©  

In the world of missions—the process of bringing the Gospel to the lost—we as Christians are called outside of the four walls of the church into the marketplace. Some travel to the unreached. Some to oppressed. God has called me to the Christian business leaders that are strategically positioned among the unreached and oppressed right now. Most of these men and women already profess a faith in Christ and are in need of equipping and training to be successful in their businesses and workplace ministry.

I am the director of Global Advance Marketplace Missions, a business-focused branch of the organization Global Advance. Global Advance is a Great Commission organization that equips and trains tens of thousands of pastoral and marketplace leaders each year by putting tools in their hands and vision in their hearts. In Global Advance’s short 20-year history, the organization has trained more than 450,000 pastoral and business. Utilizing U.S. Christian businessmen and women, Marketplace Missions puts on two-day seminars that are predominantly focused on communicating the best practices for business and Biblical principles. They are meant also to uplift and to give developing world business leaders the frame of mind they need to keep paving a path with Jesus Christ, even while corruption and greed pervades around them. Many times we encourage those that they feel like giving up because the circumstances are too great; just through encouragement like that, they do indeed keep going.

Since joining Global Advance Marketplace Mission in May, 2007, I have ministered in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ghana, many cities in India, Peru, Nicaragua, and Burundi. I will add Russia and China to that list this year. Global Advance Marketplace Missions will train and challenge business leaders at 25 international events this year.

Our focus is to go to locations in the world where Christian business people are hungry for best business practices, Bible-centered training, and want to have an impact on their nation for God. Many times we go places where people struggle to make a few dollars a day. We go to people that are trying to have profitable and sustainable businesses, and who are trying to rise up out of poverty using business acumen and a trust with God to make that possible.

That essence of trusting God with resources and inspiring others’ to re-invest those resources into His kingdom is one of the centerpieces to our Global Advance Marketplace Missions seminars.

It is an exciting process to be able to reach into people’s hearts in this way. On one of the first trips I led at Global Advance, we were in Accra, Ghana, and I could literally see the light come on in the attendees eyes as I explained a businessperson’s role in God’s Kingdom. I got “goosebumps” as Vincent, an African businessman told me of how God had intervened in his business during a business “emergency” concerning a $250,000 bid for products. Stories like Vincent’s inspire me as I continue to try to inspire others. I am filled with joy and am strengthened in my faith when I hear of others sticking close to His truth even in the midst of evil. In 2007, our team of U.S. business people was blessed to hear the testimony of Maxwell, a cement contractor with a large business in India, and how he put into practice the Biblical principles of integrity and hard work and found favor in the midst of bribery and corruption all around him.

The beauty of our ministry is that we are not only teaching godly business principles, we are also teaching good business practices, so that businessmen can see growth even in the stagnant economy of their particular nation. By doing this, we are paving the way for businesses to be more profitable and in turn have more to feed their families, give tithes and offerings to the local church, and give to mission-focused organizations.

While profit for God’s Kingdom is one goal, we also want to see an increase in personal faith; we hope that business people connect their faith and their work as one. As we teach them to pray about all aspects of their business and get God involved in their business – their awareness of what God wants to do and can do through their business skyrockets. As we cast vision that each Christian in the marketplace is a minister – they are impacted to build relationships with their employees, customers and clients, vendors and suppliers to eventually win them to Christ. When we convene these groups of Christian business people it is usually the first time that Christian business people have ever assembled in their city or region and there is an excitement and energy that only being united in Christ can bring.

Our hope and our prayer is that as these business leaders grow in faith as their businesses grow, we will see a multiplying effect that will ultimately spurn an expansion of the Kingdom.