International (MNN) — A lot changes in 20 years. The idea for the
worldwide web was born. Technology
advanced to support communication–and a global community began
David Shibley with
Global Advance says that's true for them, too. Twenty years ago, they began equipping church
leaders for ministry.
Today, Global Advance hosts and sponsors over 100 Frontline
Shepherds Conferences around the world. These events are catalysts for church
planting and indigenous missions efforts. The goal is to ignite a vision within national
pastors and church leaders for the advance of the Gospel.
However, they found these newly equipped pastors quickly bumping up
against economic realities. The men still had to find a way to earn a
living, and the principle of tithing was still taking root. Shibley say they began to think on a broader platform. "Jesus
called us to be salt; He called us to be light. The button that one pushes to
transform a nation would certainly have to include the business
Global Advance began Marketplace Missions, with the idea of creating a kingdom-building
teams consisting of top-level executives and entrepreneurs from the United
States conduct 2-3 day conferences for business leaders in developing nations
around the world.
Marketplace Missions conferences emphasize both the
spiritual and practical aspects of doing business God's way. The
goal of the training is to encourage networking in the business community, generate new capital, greater integrity, and
spiritual and economic renewal.
As a result, Shibley says, "We're seeing the beginnings of a tremendous new mission force in
the world of believers in the marketplace."
To supplement these conferences further, the team launched the
Global Advance Business Institute in March 2007. Its
purpose is to provide business leaders with MBA-level teaching to help them
excel in the marketplace.
It's interesting to note that the marks of the global recession haven't
slowed Global Advance's vision–quite the opposite, in fact. Shibley says, "When we tie God's agenda
to a genuine call into the business arena to be salt, to be light, to be agents
of transformation, tremendous things happen even in the midst of the very, very
challenging conditions." It's about getting the body of Christ
together, and letting the Holy Spirit change their community through them. What will the next 20 years bring?