I had lunch last week with Jeff Abbott. He’s a young, entrepreneurial businessman who left his job as president of a large corporation to work with a group called Convene. It’s a group that brings together Christian business owners and CEOs – business leaders who love Jesus – to run their businesses better and learn from each other, but also to make sure that their businesses are honoring our Lord Jesus Christ.
I joined the group a few years ago when I was working at Forest Home, and I learned so much about the business of ministry. The ministry needs to be supported by solid business principles so that we are able to have the resources – human, fiscal and intellectual resources —to do what God has called us to do. What’s so great about Convene is when I’m in the room, I feel like I am the stupidest person in the room. Everyone else there is smarter than me. What a great place to learn; what a great place to ask questions; what a great place to find answers from people who have been there before!
Let me tell you a little bit about how this group influences business. Todd Mattson owns a company called Pro-Line Racing. They make aftermarket parts for radio-controlled cars. It doesn’t sound like there’s much of a market, but it’s a successful company, and Todd has done very well. Todd and Amy are a young family raising their kids as best they can with Christian principles.
Todd decided that he wanted to demonstrate his core values to his company, so a few months ago, he shut down his company for a day, loaded everybody up on a bus, and took his entire company workforce down to Tijuana, Mexico to Casa Hogar Belen, an orphanage for about sixty young children who have been abandoned by parents trying to flee across the border as they migrate to the North. It was amazing to see this expenditure of resources for Todd to do one thing, to say to his company that he is a believer, he is a Christian, and he wants to make sure the people of his company know his core values.
At times I wonder if our ministry gets in the way of our core values. I wonder if sometimes we are so busy doing the work of God we forget who God really is. One time a reporter asked Mother Theresa, “Do you have a prayer request, one thing that we as a nation can pray for you about?” Without hesitation, Mother Theresa said, “Pray for me that I not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus, even under the guise of ministering to the poor.”
I pray for us at AMF that we may not loosen our grip on the hands of Jesus in the midst of all our ministry.