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Evolution of a Christian in business:
From a solitary life to impacting London and then the nation

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Light the Fire Again

By Keith Knight

Christians aren't selfish. At least, that notion certainly applies to Canada's Christian business community. They have a passionate desire to serve and to impact their communities.

There is a spiritual 'evolution' in the minds and hearts of Christians when they go through the process of connecting their faith to their work or profession. It's something that I have sensed over the past five years as executive director of the Canadian Christian Business Federation (CCBF).

Meet together: There is, first of all, a strong desire for those in business to meet together for mutual support and encouragement. More than 40 new chapters (groups) of business and professional leaders were formed across Canada over the past five years. Whenever I ask new attendees why they come out for a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m., their answer is remarkably similar: It's lonely out there and they want to develop a sense that they belong to a larger network of Christians in business.

Connecting faith and work: Once they develop that sense of belonging, and once they realize that their problems and struggles aren't unique, then they sink their teeth into looking at business issues from a biblical perspective. Topics such as developing a purpose and passion for their work, the importance of courage and risk-taking, and the notion of stewardship.

If we believe that all that we have comes from, and belongs to God, how does one reflect that when owning a store, a manufacturing plant, or serve as an accountant, real estate agent or lawyer? That's a five-year process. In fact, the CCBF provides a five-year curriculum of discussion materials that covers a wide range of business issues from a biblical perspective.

Impacting the community: And once they've figured out that there is indeed a connection between faith and work, and once they have put in place a number of strategic benchmarks within their own business and professional lives to monitor their spiritual growth, they begin to ask "What's next?"

That is undoubtedly the most exciting aspect of the work of the Canadian Christian Business Federation: While we delight in gathering together groups of men and women involved in business and the professions, and once we see them increasingly depending on God in their personal and professional lives, then we see them becoming engaged in their local communities and cities.

They are being equipped so that they can ‘give back’ to their communities, to use popular secular jargon. That vision is evident in large urban centres such as the GTA and the Golden Horseshoe. Christian business leaders there are becoming intentional when it comes to impacting their city for Christ. But that notion is equally alive in smaller towns and cities, where Christian business leaders get together to spruce up their downtown with a paint brush and a hammer, or where a chapter raises funds to help pay for the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house or for a local women;s shelter.

Imagine the impact of the local Christian business community on the City of London. Imagine a partnership between the church and business communities, impacting and transforming this city for Christ!

It is incredible to witness the spiritual transformation of a person and, subsequently of a business or community; moving from a solitary person who feels lonely, to becoming engaged in a broader group of Christian business leaders, to a community movement designed to impact towns, cities, provinces and the nation for Christ.

What began as a modest movement to connect people is now emerging as a Canadian movement to impact the nation for Christ. That is the vision: tens of thousands of Christian men and women across Canada who are unified and mobilized to impact the nation.

For the list of monthly breakfast meetings in your area, check the schedule on the home page at www.ccbf.org .

Keith Knight is the executive director of the Canadian Christian Business Federation. Further information can be found at www.ccbf.org.