Not many consider the corporate world a mission field. Mark Carter does.
“I believe the next movement of God is going to be in the different spheres of the marketplace,” said the former senior sales rep. now college minister. Since July 2013, Carter only has to drive two minutes west from his UBC office to find 24,537 University of Arkansas students studying to enter that marketplace.
“A highlight for me this year was launching a girl into (the business world) who was a senior and laying hands on her just like I would a missionary,” Carter said. “I sent her out to Walmart, the largest corporation in the world, to the glory of God.”
Carter laments the ‘it’s the minister’s job to do everything’ mentality. “Most of your congregation will not be vocational ministers,” he said. “The majority of them will spend 80-100,000 hours of their life in the workplace. They should be sharing the gospel just as much as I should. ”
Changing that mindset means training leadership. He chose 13 students this summer to cover basics like spending time with God and sharing Christ “where you live, where you work, where you play.” Carter calls this “workplace theology.”
Student leaders get one-on-one training, but the 2003 Razorback grad wants new student involvement, too. New students get plugged-in through Tuesday night teaching in the chapel, Sunday morning adult Bible study, and/or weekly life groups hosted in student residences.
Do students want to serve? They can work with internationals at the U of A, build relationships with children at Grandview Apartments, or share the gospel overseas. However, Carter said he’s “leery” of short-term missionaries who exhibit a one-time bold witness on foreign fields while neglecting their own Jerusalem.
“I’m not opposed, of course, to sharing the gospel overseas,” said Carter, who shared Christ recently in the desert of Africa. “What I’m leery most of are people so missionally minded that they don’t even know who their classmates are.”
“I’m trying to change the mindset,” he said. “The ministry is outside the four walls.”