- Baptist Beacon
Be the Church in the marketplace
by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – Joe, a taxi owner and driver in the Philippines, was recently converted to Christianity. While praying one morning he sensed God telling him to serve right where he was. Since he was a new believer and the marketplace was what he knew best, he decided to visit a local bar where he began to fellowship and pray for those he met.
Every day he would go into the bar, order a soft drink, and pray peace over the place, its employees, and the customers. After a few days of doing this, he befriended the manager, Brian, who was homosexual, a gambler, a drug user, drug dealer, and pimp with 35 prostitutes.
Their relationship grew and after some time Joe was able to lead Brian to Christ and even baptized him at a nearby beach. As Brian emerged from the water, the power of God came upon him, and he experienced instant transformation. His homosexual drives disappeared, he stopped gambling, and stopped selling and using drugs. He even stopped being a pimp which is what had been supporting most of his lifestyle.
Brian’s transformation was so unexpected that those around him knew something had happened in his life. So influenced by him, the 35 prostitutes also gave their lives to Christ and began reading the Bible together. Joe and his wife, realizing that all these individuals were going to need a church home, decided to move into a neighborhood near the bar so that they could minister to what everyone was calling, an unusual gathering of Christians. Joe’s wife baked rice cakes and prayed over each of them before distributing them among the neighbors and those who were coming.
One of their neighbors was Teddy, he was a lawyer and the actual owner of the bar. He later testified that when he ate one of those rice cakes something happened to him, and he became more interested in what Joe had been teaching the employees of his bar. Teddy decided to join the Bible study, and before too long, he too became a Christian. Because of the Bible study and Joe’s faithful teaching, Teddy began to realize that his current establishment was not pleasing to the Lord and therefore decided to turn it into a church.
Joe preached, while Teddy, Brian, and those who had already been impacted were the first members. Each of them continued to invite others, and before too long many of those who had once come to get drunk with wine were now coming to be filled with the Spirit.
This is a classic story of what God can and will do when lay people begin to take seriously the Lord’s call on their life to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). Too often we think that if we are not called to a pulpit in a church, then we don’t have the opportunity or responsibility to intentionally share the Gospel and develop disciples. Jesus has given the church (individuals, not buildings) the charge to go and make disciples.
Much of Jesus’ ministry was not in a synagogue, but in the streets. Most of Paul’s preaching was done in the marketplaces of multiple cities, and not only in the churches he was establishing in each city.
Furthermore, Jesus appears to give His disciples this charge to make disciples in their neighborhood, the marketplace, and in the city wherever they are at. Just like Joe, if we take seriously the commission that has been given to us to go be the church as opposed to simply sitting in the church. Then who knows what God will do and how He may use you to punch holes in the spiritual darkness of men and women in your community as YOU go and make disciples of all nations. God Bless You!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.