CompassThis is the first of six lessons designed to encourage, edify and equip a Leadership Team in the formation of a Workplace Ministry group. It has been written with the local church setting in mind. However, it should serve the same function in many different settings. Two examples come immediately to mind:

  1. A business owner training a group of employees, peers or partners.
  2. A community leader training a group in his/her town or neighborhood.

The delivery of this material should be adapted to the trainer and the audience. My encouragement is to provide the material ahead of the training, expecting everyone to prepare for discussion by completing the assignment. Some time should be reserved for members to share Workplace Ministry goals and prayer requests.

Opening Encouragement

If there is an executive sponsor, have them answer the question, “What is the desire of your heart for this ministry?” If there is no executive sponsor, then the teacher should share his/her heart for the team.

Spiritual Exercise

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. John 18:20

Gathering together “in My name” means we are here for His agenda and His concerns. Take a moment to lay down your expectations for this time of study, and turn your attention to Him. Not only will He be in our midst, but He will have something to say. Our surrender positions us to hear and recognize His voice.


Father God, we have gathered together to hear from Your Son. We proclaim that we are here for Him and His agenda. We recognize that the One through Whom all things were made is in our midst. We bow before You and Him. We give our full attention to being together in His name – Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Guide us in our discussion and open our hearts to Your desires. In Christ’s name. Amen.

God’s Desire for the Workplace

Most people spend most of their waking hours in the workplace. It is the place where we engage people in commerce and conversation, and where we find community and cooperation. The Workplace is the place where ideas, philosophies and worldviews are expressed, discussed and debated. The workplace is where we live.

There is Another that lives there. He created the workplace; and He intends to abide and reign there. Where God’s people go, there also goes God. It is inaccurate to call the workplace “secular”, unless the workplace is “void of God”.

Ah, but that might be our problem. Perhaps we – even Christians – have decided that God does not desire to be a positive force in the workplace. The time has come for us to realign ourselves with His desires for the Workplace.

Furthermore, the desire of God’s heart for ministry in the workplace is about Him. After all, it is His desire. We are blessed that He would invite us to join him. Our participation in His work is predicated on our discovering His purpose, plan and power for the calling we have been given. That is the intention of this teaching series; to answer three important questions:

  1. Why are we here?
  2. How do we do this?
  3. What can we expect?

In this first module, we will explore God’s desire for the workplace. We will learn that He has given influence and authority to Christians in the workplace for this critical season. We will discover a model for Workplace Ministry created to encourage, edify and equip Christian Leaders to become disciple-making transformation agents in their spheres of influence.

Biblical Foundations

Maturity in the Workplace

If you have a sphere of influence in the Workplace, then you have been called for this critical season. God has invested more in you than you (or anyone else) can see at this moment. He desires to prepare you for your kingdom assignment in the Workplace. As this graphic demonstrates, it is important to recognize that Christians are at different levels of maturity in their walk with God.

Click on the image for a more readable copy.

No matter where you are on the Workplace Ministry maturity curve, God is calling you to more. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2Peter 1:3). We must lay hold of that for which Jesus laid hold of us (Philippians 3:12). Furthermore, we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for God working in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).

Get this: His good pleasure is to give us His kingdom (Luke 12:32). Isn’t that what we want, too? So how do we get it?

Becoming a Disciple Maker

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Matthew 28:18-20

Here in the Great Commission, we find the Bible’s prescription for joining God in His work. Is there a more important assignment? Consider the authority that has been given to Jesus Christ. Dare we refuse Him? To do so would be disobedience – even rebellion. So, where do we start?

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4

We begin by trusting the LORD, doing good, dwelling in His promises, and finding our sustenance in His faithfulness. God has placed, in every Christian Leader’s heart, the desire to fulfill the Great Commission. He has promised to give it to you; under one condition: You must delight in Him.

One very important note: The meaning of “delight” in Psalm 37 is not what you might think. The Hebrew word translated “delight” here is anag. It means “to be soft”. That’s right, soft; like clay in the Potter’s hands.

So you see, we must be surrendered to God to know and participate in the desires of His heart; the desires that He has placed in ours. Let’s continue.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5

“Commit your way to the LORD” is another way of saying, “let God establish your way” and “do things His way”. We will look at a few of His ways (including His way for making disciples) later. For now, it is enough to know that His ways are the best ways. If we will surrender to His desires and commit to do things His way, He promises to do some amazing things.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:6

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Where does this light come from?

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

The light is the glory of the Lord. It comes out of us as we are transformed. The Holy Spirit is our transformation agent – both for ourselves and those we will disciple. There is no coincidence with God’s children; you are here by divine appointment for your transformation.


To be transformation agents, Marketplace Leaders must themselves be transformed. Following the discovery of God’s desire for our ministry, a period of transformation is necessary to prepare us for the good work associated with that desire.

Click on the image for a more readable copy.

As you can see in the graphic above, transformation is like climbing a mountain. It is a process that occurs as we behold the glory of Christ (in prayer and meditation, in Bible study, in other believers, etc.) and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from one level of glory to another. This new level of glory is simply a condition where more of the glory that Christ has given us can be seen; and more of His character is getting out of us onto others.

It is interesting to note that the Greek word for transformed – metamorphoo – is only found in two other places in the New Testament. The second is in Romans:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

The transformation process involves the renewal of our minds, and a move away from conformity to the world. Reckoning the truths of God for ourselves is one way that we can participate with the Holy Spirit’s work. Beholding the glory of the Lord is another. In both cases, our transformation is evidenced by the increased manifestation of that glory.

Understanding God’s intention in the transformation process may already be stretching your paradigm of the normal Christian life (that’s a good thing). It may seem too fantastic to be possible; but, it doesn’t stop there. Let’s look at the third occurrence of metamorphoo – found in Matthew 17:

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. Matthew 17:1-2

Do you see it? Jesus was metamorphooed on the Mount of “Metamorphoo“. Could this be possible for us? Well, I haven’t seen too many Christians glowing like Jesus, but it has to make you think, “What’s possible?” Perhaps God intends for us to have a greater impact on our surroundings. Consider the following:

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2Corinthians 2:15

Paul is not speaking of super Christians, but of every Christian who ministers out of the transformed life.

One of the most inspiring quotes I have ever read speaks volumes about the potential in those that will lay hold of the truth regarding our transformation:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992

Whether you feel it or not, there is a desire planted deep in your heart to make a difference for God’s kingdom. As the passion of that desire grows, you will become a disciple-making transformation agent. Heaven knows we need you; for there are some serious issues in the world, and the church that resides here.

The Problem: Double Chaos

We are in the midst of the most culturally significant time in the history of this world – and in the church that resides here. Consider the chaos that has gripped human society – moral failure in every arena, the splintering of the family, economic depression, etc.  This chaos will affect every single person on the planet – including those in the Body of Christ.

Chaos can be a good thing. Persecution dispersed Christians from Israel in the 1st Century. The United States of America became a superpower out of the chaos of WWII. By God’s mercy, the chaos we are experiencing will turn many from their idols.  But where will they turn?

In many places, the church has become a subculture to the world around it. We have failed our Lord’s desire for us to be in it, but not of it. We should not be surprised that we are suffering along with them; the same chaos has now taken hold of the church:  Moral failure, the splintering of family and fellowship, economic depression, etc.

Consequently, the children of God in many nations of the world are experiencing a “double chaos”; a chaos of society and a chaos of the church.  This “two-fold chaos” will test our faith and shake our foundations.  Perhaps this chaos is God’s mercy for the church. Perhaps He is trying to get our attention. Perhaps He wants more for us.

God’s Response

God has not been caught by surprise; nor has He given up on us. He has been preparing a people for such a time as this!! Who are these people? Who will God use to lead the next spiritual awakening in the church? Who best understands, and embraces, the dynamics of change? Take a look at what some influential leaders have to say.

I believe one of the next great moves of God is going to be through the believers in the workplace. Dr. Billy Graham, Evangelist

God is marshalling his people in the workplace as never before in history. God is up to something. The next spiritual awakening could take place in the marketplace. Henry Blackaby, Pastor and Author

Indeed, as with 1st century Christianity, it all begins in the marketplace, where the disciples of Jesus daily rub shoulders with the lost. Bill McCartney, Founder: Promise Keepers

The work of the church is what is done between Sundays when the church is scattered all over the metropolitan area where it is located – in homes, schools, offices, on construction jobs, in market places. Dick Halverson, Pastor, U.S. Senate Chaplain

In today’s global community, the greatest channel of distribution for ‘salt and light’ is the business community. Bill Pollard, Chairman, ServiceMaster

Spirituality in the workplace is exploding. Laura Nash, Business Ethicist, Harvard University

God has begun an evangelism movement in the workplace that has the potential to transform our society as we know it. Franklin Graham, Founder: Samaritan’s Purse

God has positioned leaders in the Workplace – investing influence and authority in them – to lead the spiritual transformation of their families, fellowships and other spheres of influence. He has called them to an adventure of disciple-making and transformation.

Who are the most influential people in your community? Are you one of these people? Will you answer the call?


Marketplace (aka, Workplace) Ministry: Typically refers to evangelism or other Christian activities that are targeted towards the secular workplace, as opposed to homes, churches, or specialized venues (e.g. crusades). It can also refer to particular parachurch organizations that focus on such ministry. The term probably entered circulation in the 1980s, though groups with similar emphases (e.g. the Christian Business Men’s Fellowship) have been around much longer.

The term “Marketplace Ministry” does include ‘evangelism’. However it is much broader than that. It speaks to the fact that any Christian can fulfill their desire to serve God in the workplace. This can assuage a lot of guilt in those that want to “go into fulltime ministry” as they realize they are already in “fulltime” ministry. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

The terms “marketplace” and “workplace” are interchangeable. We have chosen the latter; believing it to be more descriptive of “where people work”. In either case, it is important to recognize that workplace ministry is as old as the Christian faith.

Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well. Matthew 6:56

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:16-17

Some Practical Advice on Ministry Programs

Once you have established a strong Leadership Team, you will be ready to consider the many workplace ministry programs that are available. Some offer a broad range of program offerings, while others aim to fill a niche. The Leadership Team must be careful to select a solution that applies God ways for making disciples and transforming communities.

Enlisting a ministry consultant is a wise first step. This individual will provide experience, expertise and objectivity. They will help the Leadership Team develop vision, goals, plans and measurements.

It is not unusual to enlist the help of multiple Workplace Ministries. For example, one may provide a church business directory; another, teaching resources; and a third, hands-on ministry opportunities. The Leadership Team – with the help of a ministry consultant – is responsible for coordination of these resources.

Closing Thoughts

We live in perilous times for our families, for our spheres of influence, and for the church. God has allowed – perhaps even orchestrated – the chaos we now live in, to create an opportunity for disciple making and transformation. He is doing a new thing – because a new thing is needed. He is moving in the Marketplace; positioning and commissioning His children to lead a spiritual awakening and restoration movement.

The timing of this movement is providential. We must begin now and proceed quickly. The Lord desires to bring spiritual transformation to the church through Leaders in the Workplace. Those that answer God’s call will make a kingdom difference in the Workplace.

If you are willing, the Lord will begin making you into a committed disciple maker of those who will make disciples, who will make disciples, and so on. That is our hope and prayer: That disciple making will once again become a major focus of the church.

Furthermore, those that join in this adventure will find that these truths apply to every area of their lives – from the office to the home, at church and at the ball field. Every area of responsibility will become an opportunity to walk in the purpose, plan and power of God.

You have now taken the first step in becoming a disciple-making transformation agent. You have responded to the Lord’s commission. Will you continue? For such a time as this, will you:

  1. Let your light shine – for His glory?
  2. Do God’s work – in His power?
  3. Allow God to make disciples through you?
  4. Help lead the spiritual transformation of your community?

Whether you desire to leverage this guide or not, you must now consider yourself on notice that God did not invest in you unwisely, or without an expectation of return. Trust Him to give you the desire of your heart. Begin the adventure!


  1. Review the Bible passages for this week. Study and meditate on those that may have challenged your understanding of the Christian life. Ask the Lord to give meaning to them for you. Prepare to share what you have heard from God.
  2. Make note of any truth that has made you free to serve the Lord more completely. Be prepared to share these with the group.
  3. Prayerfully consider the opportunity of this adventure with God. It is not for the faint-hearted, but for the courageous. It is not for the fearless, but for the humble. Write down your thoughts and response to God – including what you believe to be the desire of your heart for ministry in the Workplace.

Humbly yours and forever His,