International Christian Ministries exists to disciple and equip the leaders of the church. But the goal is not simply better-equipped pastors, but more focused pastors and leaders who align to the purposes of God. The measure of success is impact on the marketplace, not miracles in the church. Discipleship that does not have as its purpose to impact the marketplace is not effective discipleship.
Growing to become more like Jesus is one way to understand discipleship. Too often the focus is on "character" rather than "commitments." Galatians 5:22 (NLT) 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness... Part of the transformation process is becoming more like Jesus in our character. But that is not all. God calls us to become more like Jesus in our commitments. Jesus had a Kingdom of God commitment (Lk.4:43). In fact, it was his major commitment and he admonishes us to have the same commitment (Matt. 6:33). If we are committed to the Kingdom of God it means that our focus, our time, talents and treasure are utilized for that purpose. Your heart follows what you are committed to.
Unfortunately, the world is ruled by a prince who wants to distract us from committing to the Kingdom of God. He uses every possible opportunity to move our focus from the Kingdom of God to self-interest. Mark 4:19 (NLT) 19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. This shift from the Kingdom of God to the kingdom of self, leads to a church that focuses on attracting members rather than equipping saints. Rather than a message of sacrifice there is a message of prosperity. Rather than a message of giving it is a message of receiving. Rather than miracles in the marketplace we "perform" for the crowds in the church.
If we really want to be like Jesus we would focus on the marketplace and the message of the Kingdom of God. In the church, we would shift from a message of what we get, to how we might be effective ambassadors to the community around us. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NLT) 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
For every miracle in the church, we should see forty miracles in the marketplace. That is roughly the ratio of miracles that Jesus did in his ministry. If you want to be like Jesus you need to see the marketplace as the place for living out your faith. ICM seeks to help pastors and leaders align to the commitments of Jesus by helping them Disciple Marketplace Leaders.
ICM is committed to discipling leaders who equip their congregations to be salt and light to their communities and to the world.