Pastor Jeff Greer of Grace Chapel in Mason, Ohio has a heart for helping widows and orphans. But working with At Work on Purpose helped him develop another passion—marketplace ministry.
The leadership of Grace Chapel began ministry outreach in 1996 with the formation of Back2Back, an organization dedicated to holistic orphan care worldwide. In 2003, the church established Self Sustaining Enterprises (SSE) as an organization advancing Christ-centered entrepreneurial ventures focused on financial profits for ministry advancement.
The Grace Chapel campus is “home base” for SSE, and has opened its campus facility for faith-based entrepreneurial ventures. The ORCA Center provides flexible officing, incubation and acceleration for tenants and participants. On-campus ventures are as diverse as a gym and sports complex, a hair salon, and an ink transfer technology company. SSE calls these Christ-centered social enterprises “biznistries”, and Jeff Greer and Chuck Proudfit have co-authored the book BIZNISTRY.
Off-campus initiatives include a 60-acre economic development zone in Nigeria, and sponsored enterprises in a variety of countries, including Mexico, Haiti and India.
“I didn’t think I would find such joy in ministering to people in the marketplace,” says Greer. “We can help people succeed in business and engage them spiritually at the same time.”
Horizon Community Church
Pastor Chad Hovind of Horizon Community Church has been active for years with At Work on Purpose. He speaks at some of the larger Christian gatherings throughout greater Cincinnati, and national events like Glenn Beck’s Restoring Love in Dallas.
Chad is the author of Fast Track Bible; a creative, fast-paced summary of the entire Bible. Fast Track summarizes Genesis to Revelation in eight short chapters and can be read in one sitting.
Equipping his church congregation to focus on the challenging spiritual demands facing Christian marketplace leaders, Chad has developed the DVD series, Godonomics, as well as the Godonomics book. This six-part series creates a compelling Biblical perspective on stewardship within the marketplace.
Chad is committed to overcoming the sacred/secular conflict many of us feel between the weekends and the work week. He focuses people on God’s direction for work life, the importance of a strong work ethic, and the joy of sharing prosperity and wisdom with others.
As Chad points out, “some of the most important Christian leadership flows through the marketplace, and the Church must be strategically positioned in this arena.”
Parkside Christian Church
Greg Orcutt, an attender and Elder at Parkside Christian Church, had been involved with At Work on Purpose for five years when he was struck by a new possibility. The faith at work concepts he was learning should be available to everyone, everywhere—and the local church needed to be part of the process.
Greg began developing a Mission2Monday training tool at Parkside Christian Church, and then worked with At Work on Purpose founder Chuck Proudfit to formally publish the content.
Mission2Monday is a small-group study series that guides participants towards faith-filled lives at work. It offers a robust, biblically-based model for application in any job or industry. All video sessions include teaching from Proudfit, with interactive discussion materials and matching handouts for the group facilitator.
“This program has affected people to the point that it has them thinking on a regular basis, ‘How can God use me today?'” said Orcutt. “This wasn’t on the forefront of their minds originally, but now they’re beginning to change their behavior and build compelling spiritual witnesses at work.”
While Mission2Monday was birthed at Parkside Christian Church, it is now in use around the world through local churches, and in a wide range of independent study groups.
New Life Covenant
You might not know the term “bi-vocational” pastor in the marketplace. Sadell Bradley lives it. Bi-vocational pastors choose these positions as a second job, work to fund church programming, to serve a small congregations that can’t fund a full-time pastor—or some combination of the three. Sadell’s faith and experience readily connect her to both worlds: the church and the marketplace.
She is the Pastor, with her husband and Co-Pastor Sherman, at New Life Covenant Cincinnati. “God has put me through a series of what I like to call ‘spiritual management training’ situations,” said Sadell. “I’ve served in churches, as a campus missionary, for nonprofits, and in the secular marketplace. I believe working in the world gives me empathy for the people I serve, and helps guide my decision making.”
Her marketplace ministry resume is prolific. Sadell is currently the strategic director of Mortar, a business accelerator that trains and resources disenfranchised men and women entrepreneurs. Mortar has graduated 170 in various industries with different goals: some desire to increase their personal income; others want to build businesses that employ others. She and Sherman also served at City Gospel Mission, and currently own the poverty and diversity training companiesConsider the Poorand Good Fit.
At Work on Purpose has advised the Bradleys from both a ministerial and vocational perspective. Havingconnected them to networking opportunities and collaborations, At Work on Purpose continues to provideongoing resources.
“Working in business has given me great exposure as a Christ-following leader,” Sadell concludes. “I’m grateful not to have compromised who I am in the marketplace.”
White Oak Christian Church
“Sometimes, full-time pastors aren’t as well equipped to minister to and encourage business people,” says Rich Jackson, financial advisor at Jackson Wealth Strategies. That’s where Rich comes in. As a business professional, he works alongside the campus pastors at White Oak Christian Churchand is a member of their teaching team.
“I speak not just from the heart, but also from experience in the marketplace.” Rich encourages church-wide dialogue in breaking down walls, listening to church members tell their spiritual stories, and building awareness of ministering throughout the workforce.
Working with At Work on Purpose, Rich has learned how to connect others to Christ through work—teaching new purpose and excitement. He understands and shares church beyond Sunday; recognizing and embracing the workplace as an opportunity to minister.
“At Work on Purpose’s Mission to Monday series is just the starting point,” says Rich. His “calling” shares the hope of Christ with others, regardless of profession or position. A teacher, coach, engineer, soccer mom or bus driver—Rich believes ALL have a purpose. On Sunday mornings, he encourages the congregation to “people pastor”, and meet everyone where they are (or aren’t). Knowing that people, when they open the door, give him permission to enter their spiritual lives.
People who walk through Rich’s door expect financial guidance, not a spiritual encounter. In his business suit, seated behind his desk, Rich inspires another kind of guidance to the marketplace, as well as Christians in the local church.