Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Day for Missions - Marketplace Ministry

For the last week I have been in in Gryfow Slaski, Poland on a mission trip with my nearly-16 year old daughter Kiera.  This is our second year on this same trip.

We stay at this beautiful facility that was once a mafia-owned hotel.  We do a conference for pastors, many who left the mafia to help rescue others from the grip of the very things that were a daily part of their previous vocation - drugs, alcohol and gambling, to name just a few.

I am not a pastor.   But I am, what I will call, a marketplace minister. What that means is that I use my God-given talents and resources to help His kingdom grow.

I am a strategist by trade. I help companies grow. With growth as a focus, there are many tools that can be used.   And I have found that these tools can also be used to help churches grow.

Last year, I shared social media with a group of church leaders. The message was all about relationship and engagement, and the role that relevance plays in increasing both, in real life and online.

The graphic here shows both the Polish version and the English words behind the concepts.

The ladder represents the various level of communication that we have with one another, both personally and in business.

Tomorrow I will be teaching a message extracted from the book The Dragonfly Effect.  The book is about storytelling, using social media.

The book helps the reader to understand how to use Social Media to effect "seismic change".

My job is to make it relevant and practical for the 50+ pastors attending a three-day conference here.

When you think about it, just about any pastor could benefit from ensuring that every time they give a sermon that they use the Dragonfly Effect tenets as a checklist:
The church as a whole has done a poor job of ensuring that their message is relevant and practical.   After reading this book written by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith, it struck me that storytelling may be the answer.

When churches do use social media, the communication is often about the church itself and their hours, location and their staff and programs.  And they use impossible "churchy" language.

But if the church would just tell some of the stories of those who have found new life, I think that more people find God himself more attractive.  Most believe He is angry with them, or at the very least, grumpy.

God's message is simple.  Unconditional love is quite literally at the heart of the Word.

And if you ever wondered what your life's purpose is, check out Psalm 139.  Your own story was written before the foundation of the earth was formed.

Back to marketplace ministry.

Giving of our time and our talents, and yes our treasures, is what ministry is about.

On this trip we have adults, some pastors and many of us not, and we have teens/young adults. There is a role for everyone.

You don't have to know how to preach, or even how to pray or lead worship, but if you can do face painting or make balloon animals or even teach about social media, there is a role you can play.

Even just sharing your story can be ministry. Last year I shared my own personal story with the women attending the Pastor's conference.

If you have an opportunity to go on a mission trip, my advice is, do it.  You too can be a marketplace minister.

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