My First International Christian Business Conference!

Just reading the title of this post makes me feel weird! I am not that guy in my mind. I am not someone that gets the opportunity to teach a group of Christians one third of the way around the world. I have so much to learn myself…I could not possibly be able to teach anyone, right? Even if the subject of the conference is Christian Business, something near and dear to my heart, I do not feel qualified.

Christian business conference

Regardless of how qualified I feel, that is exactly what I had the opportunity to do a couple of weekends ago. I was given the opportunity to teach a small group of Christians in Chandigarh, India about Christian business and taking their faith into the marketplace. Before I give you more details about the event itself, let me tell you a little about how it began.

My Passion

I started this blog only eight months ago. I started from scratch. I did not have a platform ahead of time. I did not have a name in the Christian business world beyond my fairly small circle of influence. All I had was a passion welling up inside of me that had to get out.

This passion is for Christian business – using our businesses and/or leadership positions to do ministry for eternal impact in the business world. This passion is what has driven me to attempt to run my business with an eternal perspective for the past eight years. This passion has brought disappointment and victory, but it has also brought opportunities I never would have imagined before.

First Contact

After several months of blogging about Christian business, I received a comment on one of my posts from Pastor Rajeev in India. We exchanged emails and began communicating about our similar passions.

Rajeev mentioned another contact here in the U.S. named Scott Pitman. Scott is actually a car dealer like myself! He owns a very successful Suzuki dealership in Wichita, KS. More than that, Scott is a prime example of a Christian using his business as a platform for ministry. Check out his foundation’s website (Walking in the Reign) to learn more about what he is doing in Wichita as well as Haiti and India!

The Invitation!

Anyway, I talked to Scott about Rajeev and got some information on the work Rajeev has been doing with Scott’s help. I continued communicating with Rajeev about his ministry and mine. One day, he asked me if I used Skype.

I told him I did. He went on to ask if I would be interested in using Skype to teach some of the business people and professionals in his church about Christian business and marketplace ministry. I was shocked at first (reread the first paragraph of this post!), but then I realized God was certainly working in this. There was no other way that someone like me would get this opportunity – except by God!

My Fears

We made necessary preparations, including a practice run with Skype, and then set the date. The closer the date got, the more nervous I got! Surely something would happen and it would get canceled or postponed…maybe they find out I am not really qualified! More likely, they will run across someone else with better skills and more knowledge. Maybe I should even find someone for them and suggest they make the switch!

Maybe you would not have thought all of these things, but I did. I must have asked Rajeev ten times to give me a better feel for the cultural differences, his expectations, the make-up of the audience, etc. I wanted to know more so I could feel more secure. Unfortunately (or not), he just kept saying that I would be fine and that God would take care of it.

Successful Christian Business Conference!

Finally, the day came and the conference went without a hitch…that is if you ignore the 20+ times our internet connection failed! Even so, it really did go smoothly. We were prepared for the hiccups and God paved the way for a smooth presentation (with Rajeev translating). It was truly a remarkable experience.

Christian business conference

Audience in India in prayer.

I cannot explain the excitement that was pulsing through me as I sat in my office in Georgia watching a group almost 8,000 miles away in India sit attentively listening to what I had to say about running a Christian business. The teaching lasted three hours straight (1.5 hours of material and the same amount of time spent in translating!). They never took a break, but sat quietly on the floor soaking it up.

Future Opportunities?

They ended the session with a couple of questions, including the request for further teaching. Rajeev also has another church or two that wants to do the same session in their nearby churches! I honestly do not have any idea where this is headed. Nor do I need to! I am much more inclined to just trust God at this point and see where He takes it!

My Take Aways

Here are some take aways I have from this experience:

  1. Don’t underestimate God. He can do more than I can imagine. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
  2. These things do not depend on my ability, but on His will. (Proverbs 21:31)
  3. Learn and grow as I wait on Him. He will use the knowledge I gain. (Psalm 37:34)
  4. Moses did not get off the hook just because he felt unqualified. (Exodus 4:1-13)
  5. Be faithful in the small things and He will give me bigger ones. (Matthew 25:21)
  6. Relax and trust Him. Worrying is not productive. (Matthew 6:27)

What is God preparing you to do?

Are you being patiently faithful?

Do you see a take away I missed?

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  • Rajeev

    Praise The Lord !! We are Blessed and Looking forward to Encourage and Equip Others too Other Places .. Thanks Bro Chris .

  • Dave O’Connell

    Chris,

    Good for you!  You are taking what you know, looking for and seeking opportunity, and stepping into what, in our eyes, might seem to be the unknown.  It is exciting to see you partnering with others and leveraging technology to make a difference so many miles away.

  • fat2fitproject

    I got goosebumps and a little teary eyed reading your post this morning.  God continues to amaze me with how he works and what he can do through people that are committed to him.  I know you well…..and while you may not be where you want to be……you are available to Him to use….and that’s all that matters…….God is going to do far bigger things through you.  I’m just honored to have the chance to watch and see what he does!!!

  • Wow, what an absolutely amazing testimony God is so good.  Did you have a recording?  Also great last points to leave us all with, I will definitely be subscribing to your blog.

    http://godinministry.wordpress.com

  • Thanks Dave! You are right about the unknown part! It is a little nerve-racking the first time, but I know God is in control. I am thrilled to see where this goes!

  • Thanks David. That means a lot to me!

    I am in awe over what He is doing in both of our lives…what a thrilling ride this is! You keep up the great work as well!

  • Thanks Florence!  I think we did record a couple of clips.  Here is one…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3seOXrvD6U&feature=youtu.be

  • Thank you for your transparency. It inspires me to keep moving forward even in the face of my own insecurity and doubt. What is God preparing me to do? A blog ministry, some ebooks and a speaking ministry. Really? Me? That’s what I ask Him daily. Am I being patiently faithful? Um… sometimes. I get discouraged easily some days. But, I need to keep my body healthy and strong, continually feed my soul, and I am better able to be patiently faithful. How do you do that, by the way? Do I see a take away you missed? Not exactly, but I would like to stress the role of emotions more simply because that is an issue with which I constantly wrestle. Emotions are great gauges, but we can’t let them drive the car. If we focus too much on our emotions (how we feel), we will end up either not doing what we know He wants or trying to do too much in our own power. Thanks again for the inspiration. It really helps me move forward in His will.

    • Great points, Kari! Thanks for sharing. Keep moving forward!

  • Jrbdanish58

    Chris,
    How amazing and so typical of our God.  Your passion touched me because I have had a heart for ministry and business working together for the past decade.  I fondly call it “BusMin”.  God gave me a revelation of how it all started in the Garden with work and worship in the same place.  Continue to “press on”, your impact will always be greater than you know. Glory!

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  • Bradley j moore

    Great story, Chris. What a fantastic opportunity and experience!

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  • Dev Horn

    Chris – thank you for this inspiring report!  I’m so glad to hear that it was a success.  Rajeev is my partner in mission work in India, and he is an example of this new generation of ON FIRE believers that is using technology to shape the future in northern India (where less than 2% are Christian!).  Skype (& other similar technologies) is opening WINDOWS out into the world!  I know the group there was blessed by your teaching, and I just want to personally thank you for doing this.

    ~Dev Horn; Co-founder, True Life Mission – India

    • Thanks Dev! I am excited about the opportunities there and I am looking forward to the next one!

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  • Mekala s rao

    Bro its wonderful and convicting to see your faith.