Why discipling in the marketplace is so hard
My friend, Os Hillman, has become a guru to those in the
marketplace who are seeking to incarnate Christ there. He wrote the definitive book on how to do it,
9 to 5 Window. But as good as his
ideas or those of others may be, Jesus-followers face a hard slog making disciples
there. Here’s why:
No abandon – Jesus’ model of disciple-making required his
disciples to leave security and comfort behind.
This was necessary to focus the mind and set up disciples to depend
completely on God.
Little dependence – Dependence on God in the marketplace is
largely a function of a person’s boldness.
But the constant potential for a conflict-of-interest is also
there. What’s good for the Kingdom in
your eyes may not be good for the company in your boss’s eyes.
No immersion – to get a Kingdom mindset, Jesus threw his
disciples into the deep end. They left
their jobs behind and were immersed in ministry 24/7. They were forced to grapple with Kingdom
issues in a steady stream of real world situations with their friend and mentor
there to debrief them in real time.
This is not to say that disciple-making can’t happen in the
marketplace – it’s where most of us live and breathe. We need to incarnate Christ everywhere. At the same time, to emulate Jesus’ model, we
may have to leave the marketplace for a time to have an infusion of the Kingdom
and make a paradigm-shift, before returning to minister there.