Phil Pringle offers guidance on this important ministry.
Contributed By Melissa Chen
The Marketplace Ministry elective began powerfully on Wednesday, May 26, opening with the C3 band from Sydney leading the crowd in rousing praise and worship. Phil Pringle spoke at the first of two sessions for this elective.
Pringle explained the importance of having a church ministry dedicated to influencing and leading people in the secular world to God, “We need as many influencers in the church as we can, who have sound and sane business practices.”
He started by challenging pastors attending to embrace these ministries by expanding and enlarging their concept of what a church should be.
“Some people are small-minded. Don’t be small-minded. The walls of the church need to be enlarged so all these ministries can be under the covering of the church. You need to release them into the world, then hold them accountable for growth, and don’t oppress them.”
“Make these ministries responsible for the growth of the church. I tell my ministry leaders that I’m not responsible for growth in the church, they are. I ensure that they can do this by putting round pegs into round holes, not square pegs in round holes.” Even though some businessmen might be too busy to attend church service regularly, Pringle explained, pastors ought to understand and help them get as much as possible out of the few times they do attend.
Every month, Pringle hosts a “Pastor’s Table”, where he gathers the influencers in society— such as the businessmen, the politicians, the media people—and shares his visions, dreams and plans with them. In this way, he explains, he lets the marketplace ministry grow the church through its influence.
“Influence is based on success and integrity,” he described, “it doesn’t work without one or the other.” A successful person without integrity will not be trusted to teach or mentor, while a “truthful person who is always on time and keeps his word,” but who is stagnant and unsuccessful will not be sought after. “If Bill Gates and Bob Lil’ John both came to speak, and tickets were priced at $50 each, I can tell you right now which ticket you’d buy,” he joked.
“The history of the Bible is based on powerful men—they were kings, leaders, businesspeople. It was not written by a holy man, sitting on top of a mountain, writing down good ideas that come into his head.” He gave examples of such leaders, like Abraham, Moses and Solomon who were either businessmen or very prosperous.
Despite the biblical proof, many Christians were raised in a culture that equates holiness with poverty. “The Bible is a rich man’s book!” he retorted, “If you follow what is written in this book, it’s gonna lead you to success, not poverty.”
Pringle encouraged the attendees to become “marketplace ministers” who would “take in the world, and bring it to God.”
“God loves to take what was in the world, sanctify it and use it against the darkness.” Pringle concluded by explaining the four principles of leadership: vision, goals, strategy and team. The four interconnected principles stem one from the other.
“Without a vision, you can’t be a leader. You need a God-vision, not just a good vision; you need a God idea, not just a good idea,” Pringle said.
From the vision, measurable goals are created. “That are some goals that you need, like how to improve the weak areas in your life, and some that you desire, things that would be nice.”
With the goals clearly stated, a strategy can then be formed. “The Bible tells us to see the end from the beginning.”
Lastly, you have to share your vision with your team. “If you’re a boss, then you already have a team that works for you. But some of you run a sole business. ‘I don’t have a team,’ you say. Are you married? If you are, then you have a team! Even if you aren’t, you have a legal person, a banker and an accountant. That’s your team.”
“You need to regularly share your vision with your team. You need to remind them. If you have a vision, and you run with it, people are going to help you on your way.”
The session had a lasting impact on Charles Chee, 29, a career consultant. “Vision is really very important. Very often, teams do not know their leader’s vision. They follow the rules and directions given, but have no idea what the vision actually is. If we can catch this and bring it back to our workplace, the results will be awesome.”