July marks the seventh anniversary of Marketplace & Development Enterprises. Celebrate with us as we look back at our history and forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
As an offspring of SEND International, Marketplace & Development Enterprises is a young company with a rich history. SEND’s vision has been to see churches planted among the unreached. As a result of this passion, missionaries were sent to unreached communities throughout the world. In many of those places it became readily apparent that to truly engage the community, or in some instances to be allowed to stay in the community, the team had to provide some service. Teams began doing so in a variety of ways—some more effective than others.
In October 2012, SEND’s international director invited a number of its members and supporters to a summit to develop a strategy for “business as mission” (BAM). At the end of that summit, the participants affirmed “that Marketplace and Development Enterprises (MDE) is an essential strategy in engaging unreached peoples to establish reproducing churches. And we see an urgent need to grow our capacity to mobilize, prepare, and support workers in MDE initiatives in collaboration with other like-minded partners.” In 2013, Mark Canada, was appointed to move this initiative forward.
SEND realized that to create a truly new enterprise that employed new strategies and methods it might be necessary to create one or more new entities. After spending a significant amount of time researching and praying, it was decided that a new entity was in fact best, and Marketplace and Development Enterprises was born. While sharing the same focus on church planting among the unreached, MDE has its own unique mission, values, strategies for partnering, recruiting members, supporting members, and engaging communities. We are excited to see how God has allowed and will allow us to partner with his disciples to make disciples for his glory.
Our vision is to see thousands of mature Christ-followers taking the presence and message of Christ to the millions who have little to no hope of experiencing God’s love or hearing truth in their communities.
We believe this is often best done through relationships built in the natural setting of the “marketplace” of a community. Relationships that are developed by working alongside people — either as a fellow employee or as the owner of a business.
Our goal is to help connect those Christ-followers with opportunities and resources that encourage and enable them to use their vocational skills and passions in unreached communities for the purpose of teaming with others in planting healthy, reproducing churches through the natural relationships that flow from working and living in authentic ways in those communities.