Church for Monday: Are we ready?
Dr. Douglas Melton, Director for the Entrepreneurial Engineering Program at The Kern Family Foundation, says that a person with an entrepreneurial mindset is an agent of change and designs the world of tomorrow. It is my contention that God strategically positions believers for influence in business, education, government, media, arts and entertainment, family, and religion. Then God sends us on His mission as agents of change in the world around us. God, the Ultimate Entrepreneur who has fashioned everything out of nothing, has formed everyone uniquely in order to co-create with Him redeemed futures for humanity (Jeremiah 29:11). If we pay attention to the beckoning of the Holy Spirit, we can act in an entrepreneurial manner and partner with God in His work in the world.
I have come to understand that the church cannot transform its communities if it stays disengaged from society, playing “church” with its own Lego blocks. If you are reading this book, I’m sure you agree and are one of the change agents I’m describing. You, too, believe that the body of Christ is called to be a living, prophetic, tangible model of the Great Commission. That statement is one you’ve, no doubt, read before. However, the second part of that statement is one you may not have heard and it is what this book is about—the church is called to be a living, prophetic, tangible model of the Great Commission by integrating faith, creativity, and mission in the marketplace.
When we disciple people for the whole of life we usher godly transformation into all spheres of society. Thankfully, the churches that are missionally engaging their communities are on the rise. If your church hasn’t started on that journey yet, don’t fret. The New Testament church saw itself as a disruptor. It accepted the call of Jesus to enter all sectors of society across the world, not just on Sunday but also on Monday, in order to share the gospel with love and courageous innovation. Following the New Testament model, the contemporary church should be emboldened to live faithfully for Christ in the public arena, not because everyone understands the church, but because the church understands the need of everyone: a need of a Savior from wrecked existence and a need of a Healer from human suffering.
After more than a decade serving as a full-time pastor and equipping different churches for mission in the marketplace, I have observed that a church that trains for mission-at-work and closes the perilous Sunday-to-Monday gap is not a “how” church but a “why” church. That type of church has a mindset that is not about methodology, but about the praxis of Christology, about modeling itself after “the Word becoming flesh and blood and moving into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 MSG), in order to practice a corporate, contextualized expression of the Great Commission. As we will learn, this kind of mindset helps churches love their cities well through three priorities: first, translating the gospel for those who we’ll call the unchurched–those who have little or no church experience; second, deploying disciples who attend to the whole of life in all sectors of society; and third, strategically placing disciples in the marketplace to impact the economic health of their communities.
Churches for Monday enter the marketplace to innovate and practice public faith as both a gathered and scattered community. They prepare believers to partner with God in His mission, not only abroad, but also in their own backyard, even if they live in developed economies.
A church that equips for Monday fosters the creative streak placed in every image bearer and seeks sustainable ways to flourish the communities spiritually, socially, and economically. It translates the gospel for the postmodern world, develops whole-life disciples, and strategically embeds itself in the marketplace to grow the economy (Jer. 29:7).
An excerpt from the book “Church for Monday” by Svetlana Papazov
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Dr. Svetlana Papazov is a thought leader, author, professional speaker, and senior pastor. She is the founder of Real Life Church and Real Life Entrepreneurial Center, a first of its kind model of church and business incubator that connects faith and entrepreneurship. Her new book “Church for Monday” (Available Now) talks about the Church that equips believers for work on Monday and fosters the creative streak placed in every one of us from God, practices corporate public faith by uniting worship on Sunday with the mission on Monday.