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INTEGRAL MISSION: In, To, and Through the Marketplace

Last week I (Michael) had the privilege of participating in CBM’s first Marketplace Ministry Symposium.  Together with a number of other CBMers, I spent 2 1/2 days at Tyndale University in Toronto.   The purpose of our time together was to pray, discuss, and determine CBM’s future involvement within the marketplace, and develop a plan to successfully launch and cultivate this vital ministry.  We began our time together by ‘looking back’ over the past decade of CBM’s involvement within the Marketplace.  Each person recorded significant memories of marketplace involvement on sticky notes and stuck them on a timeline.  This was a very enlightening exercise for me as a newcomer into the CBM team.  It was amazing to see all of the ways CBM has been involved in ministry that has touched into the marketplace over the years (See picture below). IMG_2761

Integral Mission: In, To, and Through the Marketplace.  CBM is committed to Integral Mission in every area of ministry and this commitment will continue as we develop our ministries within the marketplace!  Earlier this week I re-read Wordeed: An Integral Mission Primer (for a copy visit  In this book, Terry Smith (CBM Executive Director), explains Integral Mission this way: “Integral Mission weaves together our words & actions.  Through our words, we share God’s love and redemption offered in Jesus Christ, and invite people to respond by accepting the gift of a new life.  Through our actions, we contribute to the healing and positive transformation of people and communities through physical, spiritual, economic, psychological and social programs.  We believe that both parts are essential, neither takes priority over the other.  Neither one should be done independently of the other.  This is why we call our mission ‘integral’” (Wordeed, 92).

As our discussions progressed throughout the symposium there was an overwhelming agreement that CBM’s Marketplace Ministry engagement needed to build upon and strengthen our focus on global discipleship Discipleship is central to all the work CBM does around the world.  CBM’s commitment to integral mission and global discipleship is a big part of what drew Melanie and I to CBM.   Terry Smith, and a number of other key staff members, did a great job facilitating and leading our conversations in directions that brought unity and clarity to the group.  At the end of the 2 1/2 days we had developed 5 key sectors of Marketplace Ministry engagement that will help define and shape our way forward.

I won’t get into any details on these 5 key sectors; that will come at a later date.  However, I would like to share one final highlight from the symposium.  Gord Brew is CBM’s Manager of Communications and he is absolutely amazing at capturing consensus and then drawing it into picture.  Early on the second day, after hours of sleeplessness because his creativity was flowing, Gord came into the room and revealed a drawing (seen at the top of this post) that captured everything that had been talked about in such a simple way.  Allow me to explain this picture for you.  For CBM, Marketplace Ministry is about helping people find meaning and purpose in their work – This is LIFE GIVING WORK!  People experience Life giving work when they come to an understanding that their work matters to God, that their work is more than just a job, it is a calling and it is self-sustaining.  At the same time, Marketplace Ministry also seeks to help people see how their work connects with God’s work; that their work can make a difference for their family, for others in their community, and for others around the world – This is WORK GIVING LIFE!

The exciting part for Melanie and I is that we get to be involved in discipleship ministry IN, TO, and THROUGH the marketplace that will help people experience LIFE GIVING WORK & WORK GIVING LIFE!  As Melanie and I contemplate our marketplace involvement in Southeast Asia we are aware of the many challenges that we will face such as hunger, disparity, sickness, and environment.  However, we know that in Jesus we have Shalom (Peace & wholeness) and as followers of Jesus we are called to be agents of Shalom in a broken world.

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” – Col 3:23

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for our family!  The month of April has been full to say the least, but we feel so blessed to be a part of this exciting and vibrant ministry: In, To, and Through the Marketplace.  May will be a very busy month as well as the number of days until our departure continue to shrink.  Please pray that we will use our time wisely over these next couple months.

We would love to have you become a Partner-in-Mission with us!  We are very close to reaching our goal of 80% to be released to the field in early July.  Your monthly support will go a long way in helping us answer the call on our lives.  We are only able to follow God’s leading in our lives thanks to the monthly support of generous individuals.  If you would like to become a monthly supporter please contact Barb Keys ( or 1-905-821-3533) at Canadian Baptist Ministries.  You can also visit their website at to give online or for more information.

All donations of $10.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt at year end. 


Michael & Melanie

Kyla, Sean, Carter & Allie