Evangelical church growing rapidly, finances only setback

By August 20, 2007

Peru (MNN) — A month before the quake shook Lima, Peru, Global Advance was there training church and business leaders. 

More than 500 people attended the joint conference took place in late July. "It was a truly landmark event in that we saw pastors praying over business leaders for their success in the marketplace as they lifted high the name of Jesus, and we saw business leaders praying for pastors and for church leaders," said David Shibley of Global Advance. 

According to Shibley, it was truly moving. "One of the business teachers who went with us said that was the most awesome experience–seeing this joint strength of both church and business leaders," he explained. 

In the past it has been difficult for the growing Latin American church to receive the financial support it needs. Shibley believes that teaming up with Christian business people will begin to remedy this problem. "It's very crucial, I believe, for the fulfilling of the Great Commission, that Marketplace ministers be equipped and trained and that they be shown how to honor Christ in the workplace and how to move assets for the advance of the Gospel," Shibley said. 

This is not the only conference like this. Global Advance already has planned trips for Uganda, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Liberia this year, and Nicaragua next year.  We are seeing nation after nation widely open their doors for the equipping of both of business persons as well as those in church ministry," said Shibley.  

After the Protestant reformation, Christians began seeing every believer as a minister, and Shibley believes this is key for business people to remember.  "As market place people see themselves truly as ministers of the Gospel in the arena and the sphere where God has placed them, tremendous things begin to happen for advancing the Gospel. And certainly in the marketplace there are tremendous opportunities for evangelism and discipleship that go far, far beyond the reaches of the church itself."

"They believe in seeing people won to faith in Christ, and they're very committed to the task," said Shibley of the Latin American church.

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