"You don’t exist to help professional ministry leaders fulfill the Great Commission. We exist to help you do it."
—Michael Oh, Global Executive Director / CEO of the Lausanne Movement
In order to fulfill the Great Commission, every believer needs to be a minister and every workplace a place of ministry.
—Bishop Efraim Tendero of the World Evangelical Alliance, welcoming participants of the forum to Manila
The last week of June, 850 individuals from 109 countries met in Manila for the Lausanne Global Workplace Forum. The aim: to produce breakthrough insights and mobilization for mission in and through the workplace, at all levels--white-collar, pink-collar, blue-collar and “no-collar” workplaces. This gathering was the first of its kind in Lausanne’s history, where the majority (65%) of participants were Christians whose primary place of work is outside of churches or ministry organizations.
Marketplace leaders need to come alongside pastors and the non-profit sector to get it right. Not one of those groups can do it alone.
—Bob Doll, Senior Portfolio Manager and Chief Equity Strategist at Nuveen Asset Management and Chair of Lausanne’s Board of Directors
To launch global conversation about the importance of the workplace to global evangelism, Michael Oh, Global Executive Director / CEO of the Lausanne Movement, published a startling article in Christianity Today entitled "An Apology to the Christian 99%, from the 1%."
As a leader within a global evangelical movement, Oh offered an apology to Christians in the pew. Here is a summary of what he's learned about faith and work:
1. You don’t exist to support our ministry; we exist to support yours.
I want to repent, on behalf of the 1%, for viewing the 99% of the church not in professional ministry as existing to support our ministry.
2. The Great Commission can’t be fulfilled without you.
The 1% of those who are in professional ministry will never reach the world with the gospel. The 1% cannot make disciples of all nations.
3. You may not be a minister or a missionary, but you have a ministry.
Some are missionaries, but all are called to be salt and light and to pray for the nations.
Some are pastors, but all are to shepherd people who are under our care.
4. We have given lip service to your ministry, but we’re going to do more.
And for those of you who are a part of the 99%: rise up! Rise up and take hold of your identity as a disciple and your calling to be a disciple-maker.
Take time to read the entire article on CT Online.
View the full Global Workplace Forum summary report and video
Several participants weighed in on the question in another CT article entitled, "Should Evangelism Be the Highest Priority of Christians at Work?"
Image: Lausanne Movement / Flickr used with permission