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Global marketplace becoming a mission field

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- In the mountains of Ecuador, Scott Tye's small office serves as more than just a satellite for his business, which is based in Allen, Texas. And it does more than provide an income for eight of his employees.

Tye recently hired a young Ecuadorian couple to manage the office. Their goal is to eventually serve as missionaries in another country.

"They were looking for several businesses that they could use to provide a part of their support," Tye said.

By hiring them, he is helping to do just that, as well as expanding his business in other countries -- all for the sake of Kingdom work.

IMB President Tom Elliff sees Tye's efforts as recapturing the first-century model that led to the expansion of the early church throughout their known world.

"Traveling along sea-lanes and roads, on the back of commerce," Elliff said, "followers of Christ began to carry the message far and wide."

A new office at the International Mission Board called Global Strategic Mobilization (GSM) is assisting Tye and others like him who work in the global marketplace. GSM focuses on identifying, connecting and equipping Southern Baptists for greater involvement in fulfilling the Great Commission through their work across the globe.

"We want to do all we can to get the Gospel to the nations through whatever doors God opens," said Scott Holste, IMB vice president in charge of initiative, so that "marketplace professionals in our churches are poised to join with IMB missionaries and others to help finish the task."

Elliff sees GSM as a way of advancing IMB's purpose of helping Southern Baptist churches fulfill their mission of reaching the world for Christ.


"GSM will become IMB's means of challenging corporate leaders and employees, as well as other marketplace professionals, to place their lives, businesses, resources, international connections and their energies on the altar for the fulfillment of the Great Commission," Elliff said.

" ... effective ways to complement the incredible knowledge, training, skill and passion of our IMB personnel who are already in place around the world."

For more information, go to imbgsm.com, a website to help Southern Baptists learn how to connect their vocations more deeply with God's global purposes. Resources will be posted regularly on the website. More immediate information is available on Twitter: @imbgsm.

Training materials currently are in development to help SBC churches equip their members as Kingdom workers around the world.

Provided by the communications staff of the International Mission Board.

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Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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