Marketplace Multipliers: Asia-Pacific and Beyond
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our normal routines, the realities of its ongoing impact in the Asia-Pacific areas are increasingly and especially heavy.
Early in September 2020, Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, met with many of The Wesleyan Church Asia-Pacific leaders for a time of encouragement and teaching. From Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, India to the Philippines, Cambodia, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, leaders gathered over Zoom to learn and pray about how God might use marketplace multipliers in the Asian Church amid this difficult season.
Dr. Schmidt shared the vision of the marketplace multipliers movement:
I’m also convinced that if we’re going to have a movement of God that closes the gospel gap — that gives every person an opportunity to make an informed decision about Jesus Christ … disciple-making must happen within the walls or the boundaries of the church — but it must also happen beyond the walls of the church. The church has left the building!
Global Partners is dedicated to contextualizing the vision of celebrating every time a disciple makes a disciple and a church multiplies itself until there is a transforming presence in every zip code — every city, every chiefdom, or train station. We long for the transforming presence of Jesus to be everywhere in the world!
Dr. Schmidt shared that marketplace multipliers are people who are working every day in certain businesses, companies, or work settings — seeking to integrate their faith with their work. They want their faith in Jesus to be evident in the excellence of their work and in how they personally go about that work, so their coworkers would see the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
Sharing from the stories of Ezra and Nehemiah — Dr. Schmidt reminded the group gathered of true kingdom partnership.
God did something very particular through their lives. Ezra was a pastor/priest type, a teacher of the law. Nehemiah worked in the government — a very secular context and yet his faith shone forth. They were both instructing the people, reminding them that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” I’m convinced that if Ezra and Nehemiah hadn’t partnered together and used their gifts — they would have never experienced this great moment of significance and wouldn’t have experienced the joy of the Lord and the strength that this brings.
Ezra was to give leadership to spiritual revival and reform — this was his calling. Nehemiah was moved to give leadership to economic and political reform that needed to take place. The nation of Israel would never had had their temple and community restored without Ezra preaching, bringing about spiritual revival and then Nehemiah giving leadership to the rebuilding of the city, while reinforcing that spiritual revival.
Our cultures and churches often tend to separate the contributions of pastors and marketplace multipliers — Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s — rather than recognize how powerful they are when they serve the Lord together. They were equally devout, equally called, but were in different realms of kingdom work. There is power in this partnership.
Dr. Schmidt ended with a challenge, “When we as the Church recognize that God has called those who are clergy and those who are laity to serve together, what difference might this make in the life of the Church?”
The leaders gathered were especially encouraged by the testimonies of Ms. Yaremi Alicea and Mr. Earl McJett. These two “Nehemiah leaders” shared how God was using them to be a witness for Jesus through their vocations.
“Asia-Pacific is home to over four billion people, the vast majority of whom do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Asia-Pacific Area Director Ben Ward. “Wesleyan leaders across Asia-Pacific long to see a transforming gospel presence in every community. To see this vision become a reality, we must raise up marketplace multipliers in every country.”
To learn more about how you and your church can join the Marketplace Multiplier movement, visit wesleyan.org/mm.