Not too many years ago, Christians looked to their church for all the answers regarding the salvation of mankind. The goal was to bring unsaved people to church and then let the church – and the pastor – do the rest. As time has progressed, however, and there has been more teaching on Christians being the ‘arms and legs’ of the church, Christians are more aware of the role that they play in being a witness for God in their workplaces and communities.
The challenge is that many Christians simply don’t know how to effectively share their faith. Ross Walker is one man who does not fit into this category. Sharing the Gospel comes easy to him, and rather than keep his secrets to himself, he has released a new book, which helps Christians reach out to the unsaved people in their worlds.
Market Place Ministry is a book that all Christians should read, especially in an age where getting people to church is becoming increasingly difficult to do. Yet, these same people are interested in God and faith – but perhaps do not want to hear about God inside the church.
Ross Walker has been involved in market place ministry for almost 40 years and has made the observation that Christians who are unable to confidently share their faith will often remain silent at a time when “the rocks and stones are wanting to cry out that Jesus Christ is Lord”. (Luke 19:40)
“My personal observation over many years is that many Christians are reluctant to share their faith in the wider community outside the bounds of their church community and close friends,” Ross stated.
“While there may be many reasons for this, it is most probably due to the lack of priority that has been attached by church leaders to the training and equipping of Christian believers to share their faith. I had an encounter with God at age 22 and became a Christian. It was a life changing experience.
“Immediately after this, I had a burning desire to share the good news of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with the people I would meet from all walks of life and I began to do so soon after my encounter with God.”
Many Christians feel that their role is to defend their faith. Ross believes that the evidence of true discipleship includes always being ready to give an account of our faith; and that your testimony and reason for our faith is the key to sharing Christ with other people.
“This book is basically a series of snapshots of my life as I have sought to find effective ways to share my faith in keeping with every believers responsibility to take part in the Great Commission,” Ross said. “Jesus committed this ministry to Christian believers, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to change their world and we all have a role to play.
“The teaching and testimonies contained in this book are meant to be an encouragement to every Christian believer to step into the greater purposes of God for their lives, which includes being “the light of the world” and the “salt of the earth” people whose faith shines through their everyday lives.”
Born in North Queensland, Australia, Ross is a successful businessman and a current company director. Graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, he worked in the the Queensland State Government, before commencing work within thr private sector. He also graduated from Strikeforce Ministry Training Institute in 1997 with a Diploma in Christian Ministry.
Ross is currently the Principal of the Roscar Group of Companies, which has been highly successful in the project management of major event transport. He also has a successful technology business and a management consulting business.
“God called me into the market place back in the early 1980’s and I have witnessed the power of God touching lives in some of the most remarkable ways, a number of which could easily qualify for the Book of Acts,” he said. “I was an ordinary person who had a life-changing encounter with God and from Day 1, I chose to take the Great Commission seriously.
“God blessed me greatly in my state government roles and I had six promotions in seven years – being one of the fastest promoted in the history of the Department of Transport. Over the last 40 plus years, I have had extensive church leadership involvement including being an Assistant Pastor, several Eldership and Board positions, as well as Life Group Leader and Carer roles; plus many other aspects of church leadership. I love the opportunity to serve God.
“However, I agree with Bill Johnson, where he says in his book, ‘Walking in the Spirit’, that “Jesus did not go through what he went through so we could do church”. There is a much greater purpose!”
Market Place Ministry has teaching chapters interlaced with testimonials, describing market place situations where the principles being taught are then demonstrated, as people are led into an encounter with Jesus Christ. The book includes specific teaching on the principles and some proven techniques on how to share your faith in real life situations. The principles used have all been derived from the gospels of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, as well as many great soul winners for Christ.
Finally, the book describes many real life situations in market places, churches and other locations where all nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been used with miracles, signs and wonders following. These things are what Jesus said would follow when believers go into all the world and preach the good news!
“Many churches (including some whole denominations) have struggled with declining church attendances for years,” Ross continued. “How to present a never changing God to an ever changing world has become one of the most serious challenges for the church of Jesus Christ.
“However, if church leaders continue presenting the gospel in the same manner year after year and get the same results (including declining attendances), there is clearly something wrong. Within the church community there is tremendous benefit to be derived from modernising the message without compromising God’s Word or His ways and churches that have embraced this principle have experienced great rewards.
“However, for serious church growth to occur, believers need to be trained and equipped to share their faith by church leaders. The law of seedtime and harvest applies to every area of our lives, including church growth. If you don’t plant seed, then don’t expect a crop.
“It was not by coincidence that the sower was the very first parable Jesus taught and it appeared in all three of the Synoptic gospels. The underlying message is that the Word of God needs to be sown into the crowds of people we come in contact with on a daily basis. The fields are actually very ripe, ready for harvest.
“If this is not happening, then church growth will typically only occur when the more evangelical orientated believers within existing congregations invite their friends or through advertising campaigns, special events, and so on. When the church of Jesus Christ seriously recognises that it has a part to play in the Great Commission and trains, equips and empowers its people to share their faith and reach out to people ‘outside the church’, then it is the beginning of the pathway to growth.”
Market Place Ministry offers many practical examples on how to reach out beyond the church walls. This book is also being offered as an assistance to church leaders with their role of training and equipping the saints for works of service. It is effective for both the church leaders, as well as Christians wanting to make a difference.
Market Place Ministry is full of suggestions and advice on how to evangelize practically. Ross suggests that the number one ingredient is for Christians to have their personal testimony ready (as to how they encountered God) and then be prepared to share this when the opportunity arises.
“Pray and ask God to prepare the way for an encounter with someone in need of God in their life,” Ross suggested. ”When the point of encounter happens, look for the leading of the Holy Spirit in what to say and how to say it and you are on your way.
“For some people, their heart can open within a few moments of conversation. With others it may take years, but keep sowing faithfully into their lives until the seed takes root. Every person you meet is on their own journey through life. God treats them all as individuals, so recognize this and let your light shine through good works, genuine love, mercy, compassion and being there for people when they need a friend.
“Be ready to step into the shoes of the Good Samaritan whenever the need arises and you have the potential to change the lives of the people in your world – as God touches their lives through you.”
Market Place Ministry, published by Ark House, is now available globally.