Last week I shared the story of Michelle, a student in a course I taught last year at a graduate school in western Canada. She was transformed by the understanding of a theology of work and the concept that her work was her ministry. She had written me after the course saying that she had turned the keys of her company over to the new CEO, Jesus. Skip back to Part 1 if you didn’t have a chance to read it or see the video IBEC produced with her story.
Such life transformation was in and of itself rewarding with its potential Kingdom implications in Canada. Michelle owned a large company with offices in several major cities in western Canada. The impact within the context of her employees, clients, vendors and the wider business community could be gigantic.
I could not have imagined the rest of the story!
I returned again this year to teach the “Strategies for Business as Mission” course. On the first morning with my new class, Michelle’s daughter came bouncing into the room to greet me (she is a student in the same college) and exclaimed, “Guess what!” I knew I couldn’t.
Here’s the rest of the story.
Jana started with the current “story” first and then brought me up to speed. “We are moving to another country”, she exclaimed. As it turns out, the entire family had been to an impoverished Central American country four times in the last year. Their vision – to bring the poorest of the poor, many living off the garbage dumps of the capital city, into viable jobs and a relationship with Jesus. Jana, explained, “Dr. Sharp – we ‘got’ what you were saying and we have been acting on it in Canada and now we are going to act on it overseas. Jesus loved us and gave us life. We knew we wanted to create jobs as a way to love the people and live like Jesus and make disciples.”
An involvement like that would have been enough for me, but she continued, “People all over the place in my mom’s company are learning to live and love like Jesus.”She went on to say, “My mom’s business is up for sale and our whole family, including me, are moving to Central America – it is what Jesus would do!”
Business as Mission is for all of us. It is for all professions. In the marketplace of life we can live out the Kingdom of God – we can love and live like Jesus. Bill Job explains it simply. It is “walking with God at work.”
Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures