CompassIf the Lord has encouraged you to start a ministry to the Marketplace Leaders in your fellowship, workplace or community, then the following letter is for you. It was sent to Felipe Bernal, a business owner and leader of Marketplace Ministry at his church in Bogota, Colombia. Felipe is using The Map Maker to encourage, edify and equip the church staff and a core group of business leaders in disciple making and community transformation.

My hope is that you will use the following to explore, with God, the plan He has for you to lead leaders into a great adventure. I can assure you that the end of the journey is joyful, Spirit-filled ministry. Please let me know if you desire my help; and please allow me a few clarifying points before you begin the letter:

  1. Marketplace Ministry is more than ministry in the business arena. The Marketplace is defined as the place where people work;
  2. Leaders in the Marketplace include everyone that has a sphere of influence: From School Superintendents to Teachers, from Business Owners to Frontline Managers, from Sheriffs to Deputies, etc.
  3. There are a number of different approaches to Marketplace Ministry. Let the Lord lead you to the right one; let me know if I can help.

Now for the letter.


I am very excited that you are starting a ministry to business leaders; and you are considering The Map Maker as a resource. There are no coincidences for God’s children. He is the Great Orchestrator of our lives. I am confident that He will use you and those you disciple to transform many spheres of influence in Colombia. I am truly blessed to play a small part.

If you will allow me, I would like to share three things with you:

  1. How I would start a business ministry in a local fellowship.
  2. How I would use The Map Maker as a resource.
  3. The other resources which are available on our website.

Now, it is important to note that I have very little understanding of your culture – both church and business. Some of the things I recommend may not work for you and those you are discipling. Furthermore, I strongly believe that you should follow the Holy Spirit’s leading – not a program of man.

I suggest, therefore, that you consider the following prayerfully. Ask the Father to encourage you with what is on His heart, and warn you against the rest. Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions, or challenge my assumptions. I am also willing to be a sounding board for any ideas you have received from the Holy Spirit.

Starting a Business Ministry

I am assuming that, as a business owner yourself, you understand and appreciate the need to have a vision/purpose, plan and committed leadership team for your new ministry. I won’t take your time getting into those aspects. However, there is one critical success factor that many miss – the involvement of your Senior Pastor. Don’t move forward until you have his commitment to help you disciple the most influential members of your fellowship.

Now, on to some things that you may not have thought about: First, if you want to ensure God is involved in your ministry, then you must do everything you can the way God wants it done. Here are a few examples:

  • How would God have you organize and operate your ministry? There is a better way than the way most businesses are run. Jesus commissioned us to make disciples. This should be the heart of your ministry. I suggest that you are not making disciples if the ones you are making are not making others. That means you should be discipling your leadership team, and they should be discipling others. This does not have to be complicated or time consuming. While disciple making may include formal meetings, it is also as simple as sharing a truth you just learned with another (and encouraging them to share it with someone else, etc.)
  • Why does God want us to come together in groups? What does He hope to accomplish in them? Some would say, “To help each other be better business leaders; to grow our businesses.” Another might say, “To hold each other accountable.” These are valuable outcomes, but they are not the most important to God. He draws leaders together in answer to His Son’s prayer for unity in John 17:20-23. As leaders in the community and church, your business leaders are to be God’s example of what Christian community looks like. Therefore, building relationships must be a strong focus of your ministry.
  • Many of the business ministries I have experienced focus on one aspect of our Christian life. They are either all about teaching, or all about doing a work. God desires that we love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. An effective business ministry will give attention to all four aspects. There will be teaching. There will be opportunities for the leaders to practice their faith. There will be times of joy and sorrow – sharing together in these emotions. And, there should be community transformation projects, where the leaders will experience the power of God in a good work – a work that will glorify the Father and transform the community.

Please, don’t let this overwhelm you. It sounds like a lot, but God is up to the task. All you have to be is a willing instrument. He is working in you to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He will draw a strong leadership team around you. Together, you will do mighty things for the kingdom of God.

Using The Map Maker

The Map Maker is written in two parts. The first part is a parable that is short and easy to read. It is intended to encourage the Marketplace Leader that reads it to dig deeper (i.e., read Part 2 – the meaning of the parable). Like any other book, you can teach directly from The Map Maker. If you decide to do this, then I suggest you have everyone read the parable straight through. I can get you an electronic copy of just the parable; and you can distribute that to your business leaders.

Once everyone has read the parable, you can teach the “meaning” one map at a time. I can create a collection of assignments for each lesson, which you can hand out at the end of each teaching time. This is probably the simplest way to teach from The Map Maker. There is, however, a better way, if you have the time and/or help from others.

As you will notice at the back of The Map Maker, there are teaching resources available on our website. I will send you a few of the lessons – along with the instructions for using them. As you will see, there is much more here to encourage and edify your business leaders. The complete set of lessons can be accessed through The Map Maker’s Guide signup form.

One of the advantages of using these resources is that it allows you to spend less time in your meeting teaching the lesson. Instead, you can simply introduce the lesson (15 to 30 minutes) and leave it to them to study before the next meeting. At the next meeting, you can open with discussion of what was learned and how they have applied it; then go into the introduction for the next week’s lesson. This will give your leaders more time for relationship building and prayer at the meeting.

Just a reminder, these are just suggestions. I trust the Lord in you will lead you in how best to use the material with your business leaders. The most important thing is that you accomplish God will in the time you have with them. My approach (for what it’s worth) is to come prepared, but flexible.

NOTE: Regrettably, all our resources are only written in English. Please feel free to translate. If you do, I would like to make the Spanish version available on our website.

Other inLight Consulting Resources

If you go to our training resources page, you will see the additional resources that are available. The most interesting (that I have not already mentioned) are the Marketplace Ministry Tips. These are a collection of very short articles that I have written for a local monthly magazine. Please use them as the Lord leads you.

I also have a blog, at, that includes the tips and other posts the Lord has lead me to write. I particularly recommend the three “Back to Basics” posts. They are recently posted, and should be easy to find.

Please forgive any typos, etc. I wanted to get this to you today, as promised, and I have to run out to another meeting. I will proof again tomorrow and correct any big mistakes.

I look forward with great anticipation for our next communication.


As with Felipe, I invite you to contact me if you desire to start a ministry in your fellowship, at your place of business, or in your community. It only takes a few to begin. God can do much with little (think fishes and loaves). In fact, He enjoys working with those that trust Him for everything. It would be a blessing to help you find the desire of your heart in this regard.

God bless you with courage and wisdom for the days ahead. God bless you with the grace to surrender to His purpose, sacrifice for His plan, and submit to His power.


Humbly yours and forever His,

P.S. I am currently working on a series of lessons that the Marketplace Ministry Leader would use to begin discipling their leadership team. Be on the lookout for those.