Sometimes you can see it. Sometimes you can feel it. When both happen, you know something special is going on. When Jim and I announced Marketplace Impact to our friends, former co-workers and business contacts this past month, excitement was everywhere. There were wishes for success and questions about our venture. Beyond the warmth of that glow, we experienced excitement from those that wanted to share their faith but didn’t know where to start.
This was not totally unexpected. Jim and I see a repeatable pattern as we share with people and introduce the content, tools, and framework that we have. Most have a strong desire to share their faith but not really sure where to start, mixed with skepticism that a practical approach for living out their faith exists. Finally, their eyes get wide followed by the words "when can I start" after seeing the vision of the journey.
Excitement becomes real when desire meets fulfillment. We have taken a two-step approach to helping people live out their faith. The first step is Living on Purpose - Foundations. This devotional study and tools are designed to get people to understand what sharing and living out their faith means and how it can happen in a very natural way. The second step is Living on Purpose - Immersive Cohort. This is a journey that is heavily influenced by the devotional and combined with a framework of lifelong self-improvement tools. It is designed to be completed in a 3 or 4 person cohort where they help each other grow across six faith-walk areas of the journey. Ultimately, most people resonate with the reality that living your faith is not a “turn on a light switch” event, but rather a lifelong journey. The framework is designed for continuous improvement and your cohort will be lifetime support friends.
As I reviewed these materials myself, I spoke with my niece. My initial intent in talking to her was to validate the worth of the tools and the potential desire people may have to use them. She and her husband are strong Christians and have started their own business. They have tried to live out their faith at work and have looked everywhere for courses, books and seminars to help them find their way. They found a few things but haven't found any one thing that really helped them get where they wanted to go. Ultimately, they started their journey by piecing a few things together. My discussion with her convinced me that there was a strong desire for tools and materials offering practical approaches to help people live out their faith.
A story my niece shared demonstrated how they integrate their faith with their work but want more help doing so. A staff member had some issues with a customer that led to complaints. They reviewed the situation, discussing how their staff member had handled it. The staff member believed she would be fired, but my niece’s goal was helping the staff member improve. Afterwards, the staff member was shocked that she still had a job, saying, “why are you so different from my old employers?”. My niece replied, "we run our business according to our faith which teaches us about forgiveness and walking with someone when they need help". My niece shared briefly about her faith, leading to more in-depth conversations. This strengthened their relationship with staff and improved outcomes for their customers - a win for everyone involved.
My niece took a "normal" work coaching opportunity and took the opportunity to really connect personally with this staff member. There is no better way to truly live with a purpose. Changing oneself to “live on purpose” is not easy and it takes work, but results in seamlessly integrating your faith with your work and all of life. The outcome is something that is not easily described, but easily seen and felt. It enhances your relationships, your outlook on life and your expectations of things to come. As a Living on Purpose participant told us after she completed her journey, “I will live this way the rest of my life”. Now, that is excitement!!
If you are interested in sharing your faith at work and personally, we would welcome a chance to talk with you and/or your church to explain our approach in more detail. Please reach out to us at email@example.com or at our website www.marketplace-impact.com.