ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP)–Nearly 300 chaplains, businessmen, pastors and church leaders gathered at The Cove Billy Graham Training Center near Asheville, N.C., March 31-April 3 to discuss an emerging evangelism movement among Christians in the workplace.
The four-day conference on the need to enhance evangelism and discipleship in the workplace through training and developing relationships among workplace leaders and pastors was held in conjunction with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries, Fellowship of Companies for Christ International and other workplace ministries.
The theme for the conference was “His Presence in the Workplace,” with conference speakers regularly underscoring the need for Christians to view their job as a mission field.
Leaders of the conference describe the movement of God in the workplace as “revolutionary” in winning people to Christ.
“God is rapidly moving in the arena of the marketplace,” said Kent Humphreys, president of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International.
“I believe in the next six months to a year, there will be a major explosion in the area of marketplace ministries. That is why we have to focus on training our Christian workers to view their workplace as a way to minister to those who don’t know Christ as their personal Savior.”
Humphreys, who has been involved in workplace ministry for more than 25 years, led a workshop during the conference on techniques Christian CEOs can use to transform their companies for Christ.
Os Hillman, a former advertising executive who now directs the International Coalition of Workplace Ministries (ICWM) involving leaders who seek to transform the workplace for Christ, spoke about the impact workplace ministries has had on people in the work force.
Hillman reported more than 15 professions of faith in Christ in key workplace arenas in the last 90 days.
“We are seeing transformation in the lives of people,” he said.
The mission of ICWM, he said, is “to experience the presence and power of Jesus Christ in and through our work and to view our work as a holy calling from God.”
ICWM consists of individuals involved in businesses, organizations, nonprofit workplace ministries and churches who desire to live by the power of the Holy Spirit and to see real transformation in the place where people spend most of their time — at work.
ICWM offers support material for workplace ministers including e-mail newsletters, an International Faith and Work directory, resource catalog and printed workplace movement media.
“It’s more than a group of believers who are simply trying to survive or who live by Christian principles alone,” Hillman said. “ICWM affirms that we each have a unique work that God has called us to do just as Christ had a work His heavenly Father called Him to do. This work comes only as a result of a fruitful, intimate and obedient relationship with Jesus Christ and by the power and workings of the Holy Spirit.”
Hillman described the current trends in workplace ministry as a “movement of God.”
“There is a genuine move of God taking place in the workplace,” he said. “Ten years ago we could identify only 25 national or international workplace ministries. Today, we can identify more than 900.
“God is calling men and women to see their work as a holy calling and a tool for workplace transformation,” Hillman said. “Through ICWM, we come together to discover how we can build together something that would be impossible to build alone.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: MARKETPLACE MOVEMENT.