Pastors in the Marketplace

God is raising up a generation of people who understand that ministry is not something that happens just within the walls of a church.

I’ve always had a weakness for cars. They are like one of my love languages. When we lived in Alabama years ago, I would take my car to a place every week to get it cleaned, and the guys there did a beautiful job. The young man who owned the shop knew I was a pastor and ministry leader. He would tell me often, “God has called me to be a pastor. I’m eventually going to sell the business and go to Bible college and seminary. I have a lot of prophetic words over my life. Will you pray for me? I want to be faithful.” For months, he told me this, and I began to get to know him.

One day the Holy Spirit spoke to me and taught me something I had to share with this young man. So the next time I saw him, I said, “You are a pastor. Let me pray for you now, and I’ll ordain you.” He had tears in his eyes. He had never thought of his employees as his church members. Every car his company washed was touched with the presence of God inside and out. He didn’t realize he had more lost people coming through his business every day than any church does. 

He was meeting and influencing people with the kingdom as a business owner. He was a pastor in the marketplace. Many people have dreams of doing something unusual and influential in the marketplace but don’t realize that it qualifies as ministry. If you have those kinds of dreams, they may be pointing to your destiny, so too are the things you weep over when you watch the news or hear someone’s story.

If you could do anything without any fear of failure, what would you do? A special sensitivity to injustice, immorality, poverty, conflict, certain needs or problems, or anything else may tell you a lot about what you are called to do.

As you can see, pastors aren’t just in the four walls of a designated church building, they are in car dealerships, tech companies, grocery stores and the film industry. If you can name it, I guarantee you, there is someone who doesn’t know how loved they are. Maybe Abba has called you as a marketplace pastor. Are you ready to say “Yes” to the call?

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