When my journey started into market place ministry (a Christian outreach into the secular world), I wanted to help the non-believers know more about Christ and his love. I believe that market place ministry is God’s strategic plan to reach our world for Jesus! What I found is that I needed to reach this world through friendship and open arms – rather than through evangelizing. The secular world does not want to feel as though they are being judged, so the key is meeting them where they are at and walking a journey with them!
I then took this same philosophy into my world of working with human trafficking victims as well as in my Hospice Chaplaincy. What I found is that people just want to be understood and acknowledged for who they are – period! They want change, but often don’t know what that change will be, as they only know what they currently know. Helping clients and/or patients to seek forgiveness and then to ‘let go, let God’ is the key. Helping individuals to understand that they are forgiven by God and that their slate is wiped clean helps to lift the heavy weight of guilt. Once they ask for forgiveness, I have also cautioned my patients that when they get to Heaven, make sure they don’t start apologizing to God for everything they’ve done wrong. Because He will look at them and say, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” This brings peace for them to know that they don’t have to drag prior sin with them wherever they go.
Market place ministry is a ministry where you don’t walk as a judge, but as a friend who just happens to be a Christian! Wouldn’t it be amazing if all Christians could walk along beside the secular world without judgement? This type of ministry should be included everywhere: the workplace, the streets, the coffee shops and the shopping malls. But there is often a superiority complex within Christians that reflects the a superiority attitude. But, as we all know, God looks at the heart. And some of the people in the secular world have the most caring hearts I have ever known!
It is such a beautiful thing to watch transformation take place within a person who has always lived in the secular world. While working with human trafficking survivors, I have seen individuals embrace our loving, forgiving God as a long-lost friend when they are finally able to accept the forgiveness from the shame and guilt they held within them as their ‘previous friend.’ For patients in Hospice, it is beautiful when an individual who has never accepted our Savior looks up and says, “Do you think that God of yours would accept a scruffy old guy like me in Heaven as well?” As we all know in our world of ministry, it is precious to watch transformation take place before our very eyes!
As we read about the transformation of the church last week in Evangelism in Modern Britain, the author noted that each change that took place in Britain was due to someone striking out to create that change. So, it was interesting to read The Great Transformation, where the author looked at transformation through a different viewpoint. Polanyl explained that essential for the change from the premodern economy to a market economy was the altering of human economic mentalities away from their grounding in local social relationships and institutions, and into transactions idealized as ‘rational’ and set apart from their previous context. The author then noted that these changes implied the destruction of the basic social order that had reigned throughout pre-modern history and that the transformation brought about both a change of human institution as well as human nature. Yet, in the end, Polanyl predicted a socialist society, noting that after a century of blind improvement, man is restoring his habitation. I found this to be a powerful analogy.
So, the conclusion of this blog is that change is necessary for growth…both individually as well as nationally. As Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said: “Nothing is permanent, but change!”
 David W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, (London: Routledge, 2005), 88.
 Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001), 45.
 Ibid, 41.
 Ibid, 257.