Invitation to Connect – Researching and Networking God’s Marketplace Activity

We are, as the Church, the Body of the Living Christ, called to action as witnesses to the glory of our Heavenly Father by our good works, to be inspirational salt and light to the world, loving one another by ministering to the needs of the Church, and embodying God’s love for the lost. The Church has not only its own collective knowledge, wisdom, will, and resources, but the knowledge, wisdom, will, and resources of God, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, to transform the world, including every overarching institution, false ideology, and social and cultural construct. It is to this aim that…

I am trying to network globally with anyone interested in the topics of Christian faith, economics, marketplace ministries, discipleship, and development. This is an open invitation to connect with me via LinkedIn. If you do not have a LinkedIn account or have access to me there (for my Facebook readers), join any of about thirty prominent LinkedIn marketplace-oriented groups and you can find me through my regular posts.

My interests lie in continuing the conversation, especially toward mobilization strategies, concerning the role of the marketplace functioning as a vital component of God’s Kingdom and for advancing God’s Kingdom via missional initiative(s). I am interested in soliciting and collecting case studies on any type of Christian marketplace ministries or initiatives including workplace discipleship, marketplace discipleship (not exclusive to a particular workplace), workplace prayer groups or prayer chains, focused academic programs, workplace Bible studies, Christian business or community development initiatives (including investment models, micro-economic development both domestic and international, and so on), or pretty much any model that connects any of the above.

One goal is to establish a network that can facilitate matching people, ministries, education, and needs to advance marketplace evangelism and discipleship, the alleviation of economic suffering and injustice, and intentional movement toward the biblical model of shalom for all.

 And now, a little more about my research to date and about me:

About Eden’s Bridge: The Marketplace in Creation and Mission and the Author, David Doty

For the last twenty or thirty years, it has become increasingly obvious that God is moving in the marketplace. Many marketplace-related ministries have sprung into action including workplace Bible studies and prayer groups, executive discipleship programs, economic development and skills training programs by missions and urban renewal ministries, and so on. A great deal of literature has been produced, especially on principles-based Christian marketplace ethics, the theologies of work and stewardship, and development work among the poor (both domestically and internationally).

What has been missing is a theological understanding of the marketplace, specifically in Biblical and missional perspectives. According to Victor Claar, economics professor and co-author of Economics in Christian Perspective, my newly published book from Wipf & Stock Publishers, Eden’s Bridge: The Marketplace in Creation and Mission, makes both the theological and practical cases for the marketplace in creation and the mission of God.

The central thesis of Eden’s Bridge is that the marketplace is an institution of God, modeled implicitly in the creation narrative of Genesis 1–2 and vital to God’s mission in the world for the advancement of His Kingdom.

Eden’s Bridge accomplishes three important things:
1)     It articulates the first biblically-based theology of the marketplace;
2)     It validates the careers of Christians in the marketplace as divine calling, liberating Christian workers from the false notion of “secular” vocation;
3)     It challenges each Christian worker to consider how their vocation glorifies God and contributes to advancing His Kingdom.

 Given the imperfection of a fallen world, there are no perfect answers to current issues in the marketplace. But, Eden’s Bridge aims to challenge the status quo. It asks readers to press more deeply into the Bible and their knowledge of God and His ways to bring about positive change in and through the marketplace as glorifying witness to the goodness of God and to advance the mission of God (the missio Dei) in the world.

Outcomes that I envision are 1) the empowerment of marketplace Christians toward a rising witnessing and discipling movement in the marketplace, 2) the opportunity to coordinate intentional advancement of God’s mission through the marketplace with regional, national, and global ministries, and 3) pursuing additional research toward that coordination and the revelation of God’s intentions in the marketplace and in economic justice in our day and looking forward.

Re my personal history and the making of Eden’s Bridge: I have held business management and administrative positions in a variety of industries through my thirty year career. Half my career has been as an entrepreneur, starting and owning three small businesses. In the midst of that career, God called me to complete an M.A. in World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary (2006). I came to write Eden’s Bridge as a convergence of those two paths. The book is the result of eight years’ research and the opportunity to complete it came after Teresa and I shut down our last business in February, 2010, as a result of the recession. I believe God called us to the Atlanta area last fall to facilitate bringing this message to the church globally. We have been excited to connect to the church on many fronts, especially through North Point Community Church in worship, through C3G, and the Men’s Prayer Group.

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