A generalized term referring to the common gathering of, and interaction between people, often to buy and sell of goods, or in the economic and vocational realm of employment and everyday life.

It is in this commercial and recreational realm where our faith is revealed to the non-Christians as we relate with them. While we are not to be conformed to the world, or enter in to close, binding relationships with unbelievers we should engage with them, establishing the Kingdom of God in our sphere of influence, by raising a standard against anything that would set itself against the knowledge

Am I infiltrating my marketplace for Christ?

of God (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 10:5). The Kingdom lifestyle and ethos exhibited by the Church should affect all structures of society as well as the hearts and lives of believers as we rely on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to make a difference in our world (Jn 16:33; 2 Cor 2:14; 1 Jn 4:4).

There is an incorrect perception of a divide between the secular and sacred. Although a group of believers gathered for corporate worship is a very important aspect of the church, it is by no means the only dimension or responsibility. The words of Jesus to us all are, "Go into all the world and make disciples..." (Mt 28:19,20). While that embraces far-away places too (as typified by David Livingstone), primarily it means we all are missionaries in our local world, among those in our work environment and with whom we rub shoulders with in our day-to-day life. This is our primary place of ministry as we establish relationships and share Christ naturally in conversation and action with those currently unsaved. Witnessing is not to be an occasional activity but a consistent lifestyle, with our whole manner of life reinforcing the difference Christ makes. We should not be isolated and remain aloof but rather be involved in their world with integrity yet without compromising Bible principles. How will the lost hear about Christ unless we give a valid demonstration of what a Christian is and tell them about Him?

Friendship evangelism through regular contact with those interact with is very effective, as we share our lives and the gospel in word and Christ-like actions. Jesus said we should be salt and light, affecting those around

We are either a mission field or a missionary

about, making them thirsty to know Jesus and showing them the way to go (Mt 5:13-16).

See also: community, evangelism (friendship), influence, lifestyle, Livingstone (David), relate, society, witnessing.