John Resch’s consulting business is sometimes more about ministry than helping people develop business plans.

Last April, Resch was meeting with a client and professed atheist at a McDonald’s in Ohio around 11 p.m.

“I was spending so much time with him helping him develop his business,” said Resch, a Southeast Christian Church member. “Finally, he said, ‘Why are you the way you are?’ I said, ‘Do you really want to know?’ It opened the door for us to have a conversation about my faith, salvation and Jesus. He said, ‘OK, what do I do next? I’m ready. I don’t know what the next steps are or how this works, but John, you have helped me understand faith better than anyone ever has. I want to be saved.’”

They prayed together between bites of burgers, and Resch baptized his client days later at a Hilton Garden Inn.

“I said, ‘Hey can we borrow your indoor swimming pool?’” said Resch, 34. “It was cold. The lady working at the front desk was a Christian and she said, ‘I’m probably not supposed to do that, but for a baptism, absolutely.’”

That man is just one of scores of clients whom Resch has introduced to Jesus.

“My wife Monica and I feel we have a marketplace ministry,” he said. “Yes, we’re leading with business and expanding our company, but it’s a vehicle. There are so many people far from God that aren’t going to come to church when you ask them, so we can meet them at their needs.”

Bookstore encounter

Resch is a Louisville native and grew up Catholic, but he knew very little about God or the Bible.

He played football at Thomas More University and was deep into drinking, smoking, pornography and sex.

“I was trying to seek pleasure in all the wrong things,” Resch said. “I convinced my mom to buy a house so that I could live off campus and host parties.”

But an unexpected encounter changed his life during his sophomore year.

Resch wasn’t even supposed to be at a Borders Bookstore on that Friday night, but he and two roommates were waiting on one of their girlfriends to finish some schoolwork so they could go see the movie “Jarhead.”

“I’m just walking around the bookstore, waiting for her to finish her project,” Resch added. “I’m wearing a hooded sweatshirt that says, ‘Thomas More football,’ and Michael Collins is standing there and goes, ‘Do you go to Thomas More?’ So, he struck up a conversation with me. He said, ‘What do you study?’ I said, ‘Business.’ He goes, ‘No kidding. I own a business.’”

Resch was looking for a business internship at the time, and they ended up working together over the next year.

Chasing dollars

Resch majored in business because he wanted to make a lot of money, buy a nice house, drive expensive cars and live a luxurious life.

A year into their working relationship, Resch asked Collins for advice on how to fulfill that dream.

“I remember sitting down with Michael one day and saying, ‘OK, I really want to be a very successful business owner. I want to make a lot of money. What do I need to do? I’ll give you full permission. Tell me what you want to tell me,’” Resch said. “He looked at me and said, ‘John, go to church.’ It was one of those moments like, ‘I don’t think you understand my question.’”

He knew one person, a teammate named Eric, who went to church, and Resch began attending Grace Fellowship Church with him.

“We had such a good relationship, that is all Michael needed to say, and I listened,” Resch added. “My mom and dad could not have gotten me to go to church if they paid me because that’s where I was.”

A couple of months later, Collins and Resch went to a Christian business conference in South Carolina. The conference included a worship service where one of the speakers shared their testimony and gave an altar call.

“I had been to four conferences where they did that, and I blocked it every time,” he said. “I went and would sit there and think, ‘This doesn’t do it for me.’ One year after working with Michael and that team … I hopped up and ran down.”

Resch accepted Christ Jan. 14, 2007.

Collins baptized him the next week, and he quickly quit his sinful lifestyle.

Resch, who now has two sons with his wife, Monica, is a Man Challenge table co-leader on Thursday mornings.

“You see the ripple effect of influencing this individual the same way Michael influenced me, and you see them influence somebody else,” Resch said. “The different lives that are starting to change because of it—it’s an incredible story to watch unfold.”