Andy Mason, author of the book God With You at Work, is spearheading a movement to help fellow leaders engage God's presence and bring the culture of Heaven to their workplace and transform the cities in which they live.
"Jesus didn't die just so we could get to Heaven, but to bring Heaven to Earth," said Mason, a 43-year-old native of New Zealand, in an interview with The Christian Post about his book. "Because, if Jesus died for all creation to be fully alive, there must be cities and nations to disciple. To do that, we must be engaged with the economic engine of the city. And that means connecting with business people.
"My job as a business person is to realize that I'm not just here to create lots of money and give it away," he added. "I am here to do wonderful service through the process of serving people really well to transform cities, and use business as a tool to disciple employees and help them live well, not just attend church."
Such a posture has opened doors for him to minister in contexts outside the church's four walls and he regularly imparts to every business person he meets a renewed theology of work and vocation.
Mason calls his initiative "Heaven in Business," which is now part of Bethel Church's Global Transformation Institute which exists to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to bear on all spheres of society.
Wherever Mason goes he often sees people shift away from the American "work-like-there-is-no-tomorrow-so-maybe-you-can-retire-and-rest-later" to a eternally-minded attitude that this earthly life is not all there is. And God Himself is showing up in miraculous ways, which he shares extenseively in his book.
While most Christians would agree that they do not want to compartmentalize their faith to a set of religious activities on a specific day and time of the week, Mason told CP that the greatest joy for him is to see those in the marketplace start walking in peace and conduct their affairs from the place of resting in Him.
So whenever he enters a business he likes to say, "Peace to this house," as Jesus instructed His disciples to do in Luke 10:5. In biblical days, he noted, the house included the business and the whole family.
"Jesus did not just come for us to die and go to Heaven. He came to represent the Father and restore the original mandate which was a man and a woman in a garden and everything they did in context with what they did with God the Father, working with him in the cool of the day," Mason said.
"Before the Fall, work existed and it was good," he explained.
In light of what Christ accomplished at Calvary, work, too, has been redeemed to its original purpose and nothing when done unto the Lord should be mundane.
"Work is the very nature through which I work out and grow in my relationship with God, it is about doing life with God and it being the vehicle through which I get to do and learn everything about that," Mason said.
"Adam knew nothing about anything other than what the Father taught him and even that God would give him the power to name the animals, it just blows my mind."
On one such occasion he and a few of his colleagues went to visit a company in Redding, California, that was expanding. As they prayed over the firm's president, who was a Christian, they prayed for God to bless him, give him wisdom in his decisions, inviting Heaven to invade his operations.
"As we did that he received a phone call from the office," Mason said.
He returned amazed.
While they had been praying and inviting God's goodness to come this man's business, "they got a request to quote 25–100 mechanical panels per month. Normally, they do 3–5 per year," Mason said.
"Half of my employees know the Lord," the business president said, Mason recalled. "They're going to say, 'That is God' and the other half are going to say, 'That is spooky.'"
Spooky or not, Mason continues to help teachers, salesmen, government officials and professionals in all walks of life find out what doing life with God in their respective gardens looks like today.
Mason's passion to see the transformation of cities was born, in part, out of the reason for why he came to the United States in the first place.
As a business consultant who has a degree in agricultural science and extensive experience managing farms and other businesses in New Zealand, Mason often felt a particular urge as a Christian to bridge the practical and the spiritual. The sacred-secular divide some believers make about faith and work, in his view, ought not even exist.
In 2008, while still in in New Zealand and in many respects successful in his work and serving his church, Mason had a nagging sense that significant changes were coming but did not know what. When exploring the possibility of changing roles professionally or in ministry did not result in anything substantially different he surrendered the matter.
Not long after that, however, in three separate prayer times God spoke to him about leaving everything behind and moving to another country.
He would soon find himself making the long flight across the Pacific Ocean with his family in tow, headed to Redding where he enrolled in Bethel School of Ministry.
While there, God healed up many of the metaphorical cracks in his spiritual foundation about what it means to be and live as a child of God. Over the months of school the Lord stripped away mentalities rooted in the idea that his identity was based on his ability to perform, a mindset with which business people are well-acquainted.
Out of that revelation of his sonship and how supernatural activity flows from understanding who he is in Christ, he started to ask himself several questions. What would it look like, he wondered, to see the Kingdom of God invade the business realm? And how could he personally co-labor with God in the restoration of His creation?
If nothing is impossible with God, if one's dreams do not require Him to show up, Mason believes they are probably too small. And for the big dreams, Mason has required a bold faith for God's physical blessing to break through. But, he emphasized, that kind of faith is not to be confused with what is often derisively referred to as "prosperity teaching."
"I believe in a prosperity gospel as much as I believe in a poverty gospel. Both of them are wrong," Mason said.
"The poverty gospel is stupid, because how can you help anybody with no resources. And with respect to the prosperity teaching, my understanding of it is that it's way out of context, it's about me, my confidence, security and well-being.
"When you become a follower of Christ you lay down your life and you serve Him, and anytime I walk away from that I walk away from the heart of the Gospel. The Cross is central, my life is no longer my own," he said.
And again, he asserted, there is more because the heart of the Gospel is about Good News, Earth, and peace to all mankind.
"So anywhere there's conflict, anywhere there's adversity, anywhere there's lack, anywhere there's difficulty and challenge, that is Christ engaged bringing solutions," Mason said. "And you can't bring about solutions without great resources. So the greater the connection with the heart of God for the challenges and problems of the planet the more resources you will need to do something about it."
For more on Andy Mason and his book, God With You At Work, click here.