The Marketplace Ministry Dedication Night saw businesses being dedicated to God for the advancement of the Kingdom.
By Yong Yung Shin
Living out one’s marketplace calling is not just praying for God to make you a rich and successful businessman and thereafter telling everyone that you’re a Christian. This was the hard-hitting but inspiring message for some 400 PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businesspeople) from Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church. He was speaking at the Marketplace Ministry Dedication Night at the Holiday Inn Orchard Centre on Mar. 2, an event organized by The Marketplace Ministry.
Kong told his audience the story of Daniel, the “equivalent of a modern-day Christian working in a pagan company in the marketplace with a succession of very ungodly bosses in a very hedonistic company in a worldly industry.” He pointed out that the attributes Daniel possessed allowed him to serve in the king’s palace.
First, Daniel had the aptitude (“the potential to be good at something”) for civil service. But just because one has the aptitude, it doesn’t guarantee that he or she will go very far in his career. Daniel honed his gift into a highly valued skill set, turning his aptitude into ability that outshone those of the pagan professionals, as found in Daniel 1:20.
According to a study done by psychologists at the Berlin Academy of Music, what sets a world-class musician from others is sheer hard work. Those who were music teachers had only 4,000 hours of practice, while those who were merely good had about 8,000 hours. Those who became world-class violinists had clocked at least 10,000 hours of practice. This translates into four hours a day, five days a week for ten straight years.
Beyond talent, Daniel also possessed an extraordinary spirit, so much so that King Darius put him—an exile in a foreign land with a different skin tone and religion—in charge of his entire kingdom. This was because Daniel served his pagan leaders with respect, humility and diplomacy.
Being excellent in one’s craft is important to one’s marketplace calling because only a person in a leadership capacity can authorize change that would allow the Kingdom of God into one’s workplace. Kong gave many real-life examples of marketplace leaders who were brilliant in their businesses and who were also ministers. He distilled some key truths for his audience: Become an asset to the society by serving the marketplace with the right Kingdom attitudes, and always seek God for the right marketplace strategy to get souls saved.
“You should be having staff devotion in your companies, sharing the Bible with your key staff and surrounding yourself with key managers who have the same heart to serve the purposes of God,” said Kong. “Don’t just think about how to make more money but how think about how many of your workers, contractors and employees have come to Christ because of your business.”
In closing, Kong challenged the participants to write down the vision they have for their businesses in 2012, and then he dedicated every company represented in the room to God through prayer.
The Marketplace Ministry will organize a Dedication Night every quarter to meet the many needs of CHC’s members who hold key positions in society.
Log on to www.themarketplace.com.sg for more information about upcoming events.