The future of the church will be decided by how effectively the people of God are equipped and supported to live out their faith in the world.
Over the years, local church leaders have come under pressure to produce meaningful Sunday events that aim to grow local congregations.This gradually made it difficult to prioritize the importance of weekday ministry beyond just the Sunday gatherings. The world of work, where Christians spend the remaining six days interacting with fellow Christians and non-believers, then remained unexplored, resulting in a Sunday-Monday divide that gradually calls for a significant shift in our ministry priorities, allocation of our resources and the models of ministry that shape our today's practice.
Jesus, for the most part, was not found teaching in synagogues, He spent the majority of His time teaching in a marketplace setting where He selected His Disciples. He used this pattern to encounter the unsaved world in the context of daily life, revealing the heart of the Father and the hope that lies in Him. The local church's vision should also go beyond the mere vision of simply growing the congregation to influence the marketplace by supporting the creation of Christ-centered businesses and reaching those employed in secular contexts (see partner of TOW 's observations).
Open Christian Ministries works with the local church to bring the gospel of Christ to the marketplace. Our goal is to equip the local church to fulfil its role as a catalyst for positive change and thus act as salt and light in the world. We found the local church best suited to bridge the Sunday-Monday divide in their communities by reaching beyond the four walls of a church. The Church's ability to create a stable and nurturing environment where new converts experience God's love and acceptance in tangible ways is unmatched. Only the local church can effectively provide the Jesus-based teaching and lifelong care that marketplace Christians deserve.
Our work with the local churches focuses on
helping church leaders explore how their responsibilities can be reconfigured to express the priority of equipping and supporting people for life in the marketplace.
encouraging the formation of workplace groups
Finding appropriate forums to discuss moral dilemmas in business e.g. corruption, patronage, forgerry, etc.
Producing marketplace preaching materials
Using current tech, including socialmedia platforms to reach the marketplace especially by engaging the marketplace Christians.
How do we select churches?
The process of selecting churches to partner with begins with setting our strategic direction based on identified marketplace needs. Each of our country offices establishes a strategic map based on our overall strategic plan and establishes relevant contacts within their areas. This includes making contact with pastors, elders, church volunteers and so on. Our local representatives present OCM's strategy to the churches they have established relationships with through different opportunities, such as emails, in-person meetings, ministerial fellowships and referrals. In some cases, proactive churches and para-church organizations have approached us with marketplace commitments. The church must also provide documentation verifying that it is indeed a church. Once all these steps have taken place and everything is validated, the actual opening process of the Marketplace Evangelical Center takes place.