Creating Movement in the Marketplace
I know I am called to business and the marketplace in this season of my life, after a somewhat unconventional journey to get here. In 2004, my wife Jo and I left marketplace jobs in the UK to work at Catch The Fire in Toronto, Canada, while also setting up an e-commerce business and launching an internet church. After a few years, in 2010, we were asked to lead a Partners In Harvest church in Victoria, British Columbia, and after hearing God say yes, we left Toronto to relocate to Victoria. This didn’t go according to plan, and in 2013, I wrote myself on unemployment as there wasn’t enough money to provide a salary. What followed was a steep learning curve, as the last time I was looking for work was in 1997 in the UK, and the internet had happened since! After 8 uneasy months, I landed a one-month contract as an IT consultant with the Government of British Columbia, which turned out to last 3 years. We moved back to Toronto in 2016 after handing over the church to a team we had raised up, and I am currently on a contract for a financial services company in downtown Toronto.
Honestly, as I transitioned into the marketplace, I initially struggled with feeling like a second rate citizen, but I have come to see that being in the marketplace is just as good as having a salaried position at a church. I know God’s heart is for those outside the church, just as much as those inside the church. Being in the marketplace positions me strategically to reach many people, as well as stretching me in different ways.
Like many of you, I go to work to do a job (I am paid in exchange for a service), so I have to be more creative and think outside the box to bring revival to the marketplace. But God has put me there for a reason. And I love it.
However, the job I receive payment for is not my identity. By that, I mean, work doesn’t define me. God defines me. I am a son, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and an heir to the Kingdom. I am careful to say that my job is a business analyst, rather than saying, I am a business analyst. Who I am is who God says I am, not what my work or job says I am.
Purpose, however, is different. My purpose is to create movement (and I'm good at it).
I have been pressing in to the Kingdom of God coming into my workplace. In my mind it looks like me giving prophetic words to strangers on the train, or commanding healing to the mentally unstable homeless guy shouting at everyone, and generally sharing Jesus with every person I come into contact with at work.
I am not there yet. I don’t have a clear picture of what God has for me, or what my marketplace ministry looks like, or even what revival in business looks like. But I am pressing in with growing excitement and anticipation, as I know God wants to reveal this to me. The marketplace is on God’s heart and we have great role models in Joseph, Daniel and Paul.
I have some building blocks, which I don’t have time to share other than a passing mention: connecting with Holy Spirit for 1-2 minutes before I enter the office; smiling; honouring; being thankful, kind, nice, friendly; doing my job as if I were doing it for God; pursuing excellence; living as a son; asking God for wisdom and insight; and bringing God into the conversation in creative ways.
Armed with prophetic words about what God is doing through me, I am seeking God for the supernatural Kingdom of heaven when I go to work, for revelation of what that looks like. I want to see what God is up to right now, in downtown Toronto, and what he has for the city. I want to partner with him, and with those who have similar passions. I am pressing in to see his Kingdom come.
My desire is that I inspire you to press in more, or afresh, or with renewed vigour. Marketplace leaders are just are just as important as church leaders. We have the same creative Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the love of our Heavenly Daddy, and we can be fully alive bringing revival in our unique way in the marketplace! Go for it, and dream how you can change the world.
Russell Smith, originally from England and having grown up with his missionary family in Nigeria, is an entrepreneurial inspirational leader to any given sphere of influence God places him in. Together with his wife Jo, they have 4 precious poppets who are wholeheartedly exploring a life of wholeness, loving life with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Russell and his family attend Catch The Fire Airport in Toronto, led by Senior Leaders Steve and Sandra Long, with Senior Associate Leaders and John and Patricia Bootsma.
In anticipation of our conference, we are starting a conversation around what revival looks like today through a series called Revival Now. Read More
We invite you to join us for our annual Catch The Fire Conference from September 27-30, 2017. Let's come together and share our revival stories!