Some erroneous views have been articulated by some in the Marketplace Movement in regards to their relationship with the local church. Their teachings have either dismissed the proper role and function of the local church in regards to the marketplace or replaced it with a “mobile church” mentality in which a “church” or “congregation” exists “whenever two or three are gathered in His name,” thus legitimizing “church gatherings” in their offices and ministry or association meetings that are disconnected from typical local church congregations.
Because they believe that there are fivefold ministers in business, politics, the arts, etc., they place themselves as equals to ecclesial apostles and prophets, thus dismissing the need to submit to and function in the context of a local congregation.
Some can also possibly argue that marketplace ministers have even more authority in the kingdom of God because they separate the saints into one of two camps:
-Priests: those operating primarily as fivefold ministers in the ecclesial realm such as apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, teachers, and intercessors.
-Kings: Christians functioning in the marketplace such as business people, political leaders, etc.
This view falsely dichotomizes saints because Scripture teaches that all saints serve as both kings and priests (read Revelation 1:6; Romans 5:17; and 1 Peter 2:9 in which all believers are royalty and part of the priesthood).
Obviously, kings have more authority in a kingdom than a priest; thus, those who hold this view subtly believe that marketplace ministers have more prominence than clergy and full-time church ministers.
I believe that the aforementioned have a missiology without a proper view of ecclesiology.
Still others, who don’t understand that a kingdom has various jurisdictions, believe that, when we say that some serve in the ecclesial realm and others in the marketplace realm, we imply that the latter are not in the church. A proper understanding of the jurisdictions should help bring clarity in regards to this issue.
Furthermore, in regards to the Seven Mountains teaching, which deals with the realms of society not the jurisdictions of the kingdom: Religion is one of the mountains we need to conquer for the kingdom. Thus, the true church is not in the religion mountain because the church overarches all mountains as God’s hierarchy of the kingdom (read Isaiah 2:2).
Because I believe Scripture teaches that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, hope of the world, and the entity in which the purposes of God will be fulfilled (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 3:8-11), I am concerned that anything less than a proper ecclesiology will spell disaster for the fledgling marketplace movement.
To be fair, I believe many pastors have frustrated marketplace leaders because we have changed the nature and function of the church from coming together to rule (as Jesus originally meant it based on the Greek use of the term ekklesia when citizens came together to enact public policy for things concerning their city/state) to the term used for merely assembling together for worship, prayer and preaching (as used when based on the underlying Greek word translated to synagogue as seen in Hebrews 10:25).
The following 11 points should bring clarity:
I. There are five different jurisdictions (governments). The fact is, when we say government, we only think of civic government. This shows how we have been brainwashed into thinking secular government should rule over every aspect of our lives.
i. Individual responsibility: Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:20; John 3:16; Acts 17:30-31
ii. The worldview of modernists: genetic determinism, environmental determinism, psychological determinism.
b. Family Government
i. Genesis 2:24; Numbers 1:52; Joshua 7:13-14, 16-18; Acts 16:31; Matthew 28:19 (heads of households are baptized first); Ephesians 5:22-25; 6:1-4; Acts 5 (Ananias and Sapphira).
c. Church Government: Leviticus 13-15; Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 18:15-17; Ephesians 4:10-11 (Priests in Old Testament had to judge in matters of health, money, land, etc., which would be how we use the term kings today in the apostolic movement); 1 Corinthians 6.
d. Business: James 5:4; Isaiah 65:21-23; 1 Kings 4:25.
e. Civic Government: Proverbs 8:15-16, 20; Romans 13:1-7 (Primary role of civic government is to keep order and promote freedom, justice and peace); 1 Timothy 2:1-5.
f. Unbiblical Overlap: When any one of these five governments overreaches and lords over one or all of the other four governments. Example: today’s socialist concept of Messianic Statism.
i. Self-Government: “They tell me I can’t pray in a school or in a graduation ceremony.”
ii. Family Government: Inheritance tax, marriage tax, past welfare laws penalizing marriage, progressive income tax (1 Samuel 8:11 18), taking children away because of spanking them.
iii. Business: overreach in environmental laws, excessive zoning and fees for permits, excessive taxing, and excessive use of anti-trust laws (Microsoft breakup).
iv. Church: 501(c)3 puts churches under jurisdiction of the state; churches can’t promote political views. Churches have been closed down because of not admitting homosexuals as members.
g. Biblical Overlap
i. Self-Government: When you break the law, you lose your right of self-freedom and civic government incarcerates you.
ii. Family Government: If parents can’t take care of or manage their children and the Bureau of Child Welfare takes them away because of neglect, abuse, school truancy, or juvenile criminal activity.
iii. Business: Government can close down sweatshops or businesses that discriminate based on race or because of tax evasion or safety violations.
iv. Church: Civil government can intervene in cases where there is sexual or mental abuse, financial fraud, etc.
II. The ecclesial realm is the lead agent in the kingdom and influences all the others realms as salt and light.
a. Jesus called His church the light and salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14) that would storm the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18) and disciple the nations of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20).
III. The ecclesial realm equips the saints to fill the earth and take the lead in every realm and jurisdiction of the earth.
a. Ephesians 4:10-12 (Here the Bible teaches that ecclesial fivefold ministers prepare saints to “fill all things”(verse 10), which has to do with mature saints standing in the gap and replacing ungodly people and instituting godly systems in every realm of the created order.
b. This is where the church should train leaders for a particular realm and set up a ruling body as the ekklesia to penetrate, lead and transform it!
IV. Marketplace ministers may function as apostles and prophets in their respective realms, but are not necessarily ecclesiastical apostles, even though they are in the church.
V. Some have hyphenated callings. Thus someone can be a marketplace apostle called to oversee a congregation or be an ecclesial apostle called to lead in the marketplace. So it is not simple; it depends on your call. However, most people excel in either one or the other.
VI. An egalitarian idea can divide the church, because many marketplace leaders are considering themselves as equal to ecclesial apostles and prophets, thus creating mobile churches in their own businesses or associations. Consequently, their theology allows them to tithe to themselves and/or to their own business or ministry.
What also complicates this is the fact that, in some cases, marketplace ministers may indeed have more anointing, maturity, and authority in the kingdom of God than some who call themselves apostles and prophets in the ecclesial realm. Also, because we belong to a global church, a person gifted to be an apostle in one nation or region may not be equal to apostles in another nation or region. As in other words, the deacons in the book of Acts had more authority than most of the present day apostles, prophets, and evangelists! Read Acts chapters 6-8.
VII. Even though a marketplace leader may be apostolic, there is no clear scriptural or historical precedent to give them the title of apostle; thus they function apostolically but are not equal to ecclesiastical apostles in the kingdom mandate to disciple the nations, unless they are like Daniel or Nehemiah, who were called to both realms. It is hard to compare Daniel and Nehemiah with the present church because the nation of Israel was in captivity during their ministries. Thus, the body of believers was fragmented: prophets and priests had to work secular jobs to satisfy their captors and the whole situation wasn’t as cohesive in regards to function as when Israel lived in their own land.
VIII. There are no scriptural examples or precedent for the “mobile church” concept.
a. Paul always had with him an apostolic team or band that traveled with him to churches—they never called themselves a mobile church (see Acts 19:22; 20:4, 7).
b. Biblically, a church is not just a place where two or more believers are present, but is an extended family (Ephesians 3:15) made up of believers sent out with a mission and a cradle-to-the-grave ministry recognized and released by the leadership of their mother church, network, or denomination. Other characteristics are modeled both by Scripture and church history. (We need a hermeneutical community in regards to biblical interpretation so we don’t go off onto tangents with subjective, individualistic interpretations.) To summarize some of the biblical characteristics that describe the nature of the church:
i. Cradle-to-grave ministry made up of an extended family of families.
ii. “Called out” assemblies of believers that are sent out and recognized by a mother church through the laying on of hands of a presbytery of fivefold ministers and elders.
iii. Sent to a specific geographic area that can extend to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
iv. Has a leadership team of elders and deacons, with some elders functioning in one or more of the fivefold ministries.
v. A community of believers that administrates the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper, baptism, marriage and performs funerals.
c. Without this understanding, we will be forced to recognize Christian clubs in high schools and colleges as local churches, or two believers listening to a television preacher every Sunday in their house as a church, thus watering down what a church is and making present congregational meetings (real local churches) irrelevant.
IX. Marketplace leaders need ecclesial apostles they can relate to.
a. The law of the lid teaches that leaders need to submit to or work with other leaders with a leadership level either equal to or greater than their own (see John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, chapter 1).
b. When a marketplace apostle or prophet is in a local church, in which the overseer is a pastor and not an apostle, the pastor will generally not know how to relate to and lead prominent marketplace ministers.
c. Marketplace apostles and prophets should join apostolic churches that have a vision big enough to celebrate, recognize, and bless marketplace leaders in their congregations. One marketplace billionaire I know said that if he was to tithe to his local church he would destroy it because they wouldn’t know what to do with the money!
X. All believers function as both kings and priests. Read Romans 5:17; Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9. To separate this is dangerous and without biblical warrant.
XI. Although both ecclesial and marketplace ministers serve in distinct jurisdictions, both function together as part of the body of Christ in the multi-jurisdictional kingdom of God.