What would happen if God gave us new eyes to see where he was already at work, and where we could join him in his ministry of connection already present in every seemingly “secular-only” workplace?
What would happen if we really began to act like we believed the kingdom of heaven was already near, and that we could be facilitators that helped people to see it?
What would happen if we could turn every Christian in the marketplace into a “smiling icon” able to live and give the Trinitarian life of God?
Amazing things. And I think we’re on the cusp of learning how to let all that happen “day to day” in the workplace if we simply gave the Holy Spirit of God a chance to do His thing within us!
Let me explain.
I used to worship with icons in the Greek Orthodox Church as a boy. But I never met “The Smiling Icon” until I got the opportunity to visit an ancient church in Meteora, Greece years ago. It’s a place in northern Greece where churches and monasteries are built on amazingly steep rocky crags that soar straight up into the sky.
I climbed the steep, narrow walkway to get to a little jewel of an ancient church. It was there I saw the ancient depiction of the gospel writer Luke pictured above. He was not just another cookie-cutter Greek icon. Unlike so many icons I grew up with in the Greek Orthodox church, this icon wasn’t sad, sober, somber, dejected, or corrective. He, like most of us, looked like no ministry “professional.” He was just a friendly guy. He was an image of God with a sublime, winsome smile. He looked happy. He looked fueled by the Spirit of God.
And his look of happiness did not just depict the happiness he had from God. It projected it.
And over the years I’ve come to realize something astounding, and it’s the reason I’ve stepped down from being a pulpit pastor to becoming a marketplace minister.
I’m not supposed to simply worship with icons. I’m supposed to become one. And a smiling one at that. One that has the power to detect, unleash, project and release the Holy Spirit wherever I go. Even and especially in the Marketplace.
I — and you — are actually made by God to be “icons.” You see, the Greek word, “eikon,” from which we get the English word icon, simply means “image.” We’re all made to be “icons” — images of — God. And what might the workplace become if we simply chose to “be” in the Marketplace what we already are in Him — possessors of and projectors of the incredibly infectious Trinitarian life of God?
Imagine what we could do!
For one, we could be like Daniel and Joseph were to their bosses, or just like Jesus was at the wedding at Cana. The “wine” at the wedding was better simply because a Spirit-filled person was there. The output of our workplaces could be better too — because we’re living and giving the Spirit of God.
Secondly, we could spread the Spirit of God by being “hotspots” of His life and joy. All people are images of God and all of them have a spiritual homing antenna whether they realize it or not. The afterglow of our joy in the Spirit can begin to ignite the “spiritual” homing devices in others. Both Peter and Jesus demonstrated that the power of the Holy Spirit can communicate via the hem of a garment or a passing shadow (Matthew 9:20, Acts 5:15). We can help them feel the joy.
Thirdly, we can all become official or unofficial marketplace “ministers” of our workplaces — pastoring them, shepherding them without them even knowing it. We could do this not only for believers but for nonbelievers as well. We could learn how to have “woman at the well” water cooler conversations with people like Jesus did. He was able to turn a conversation about physical water into a spiritual epiphany. We could learn how to have “conversations” that count wherever we go.
With the blogs and e-mail links provided on “The Smiling Icon Marketplace Minister” blog, we hope to equip you with multiple ways of doing just that.
We’ll address timely topics from an evangelical and apologetic stance. It will arm you with thought-provoking biblical concepts to help you realize and utilize the power of the Spirit you already have in the Marketplace.
We’ll seek to help you learn how to see places He’s already working in your sphere of the Marketplace, and help you build on that. We’ll seek to help those who are already living at work on purpose to do more than just show their faith. It will help us learn how to infect others with it — in joy producing ways that let the Spirit take the lead.
I no longer simply worship with icons, even smiling ones. I want all Christians to become Smiling Icons as well — and start living and giving the Trinitarian Life of God in the marketplace.
I am seeking to become one and start a movement that brings hundreds and thousands and millions to Christ, one Smiling Icon at a time in the workplace.
I invite you to join me.