Reaching Zacchaeus

A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:2-10

Mission fields come in all shapes and sizes. Some are far away; others are our own backyards. Some involve those who have obvious needs; others involve those whose needs are hidden. Yet, Christ calls us to reach out to all people in his name.

alana-wcAlana Walker Carpenter of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Toronto, has a unique calling—a ministry to the often-affluent business leaders on Bay Street, Toronto, and beyond. For some of us, this presents a challenge because it’s easy to look at the exterior of the affluent: the expensive suit, the fancy car, the big house. It’s easy to look at those things and imagine, “If only I had those things, I would be happy.” But even the Beatles knew that you can’t buy love… and you can’t fill your soul up with stuff. The well-dressed lawyer may be struggling with the end of a marriage. The banker may wrestle with addiction just as much as the homeless person he passes on the street. All of them are made in the image of God.

That’s where Intriciti comes in. Through Intriciti, Alana is living out her dedication to encouraging Christians in the business community to live out their faith where they are—to be fully followers of Jesus whether they are in their churches or corner offices. Over the decades, many churches have seen a steady decline in the numbers of people coming through their doors. Offices have not. People stream through their doors faithfully not just once a week, but every morning, eyes glued to smart phones, calendars bursting with meetings and deadlines. Missionaries in the workplace have no shortage of people to care for.

“People want to be known for who they are, not what they have,” says Alana. There is a longing in all of us to be connected with God. “There is poverty of spirit and poverty of possession.”

For her, reaching out to those whose marriages are falling apart, whose health is failing or even who are dealing with the death of loved ones is a privilege. And providing a safe space for the business community to come, to pray and to take steps to bring themselves and others closer to God is imperative.

“People have losses here too. Dreams, relationships, jobs… Grief is a journey,” says Alana.

Looking out her office window are the glass towers of downtown Toronto, a collection of offices and condominiums. Alana’s hope is that by building connections between people who live and work in those spaces, she can develop a vibrant community of faith where many least expect it. It is letting the light of Christ into many of the places that it rarely gets to shine. It is encouraging people of influence to walk more firmly in their faith, to partner with each other and with other people and organizations that need their skills and ultimately, to welcome more people who desperately need the love of Jesus into his kingdom.

One thought on “Reaching Zacchaeus”

  1. What a wonderful story of ministry and evangelism! May God work powerfully through you, Alana. I drove by your church Monday while I was in Toronto. I used to work in the financial industry during summers while I attended University of Toronto. The need is great!

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