Though business and ministry seem independent from one another, for many Christians, business is just another facet of a lifetime of ministry.
Business and Ministry Initiatives will host its fifth annual Business and Ministry Conference Tuesday, March 24, at Southeast Christian Church’s Crestwood Campus. The conference is for Christian business leaders and professionals seeking ways to integrate their faith into the workplace and beyond.
“One of the things I’m hoping to see at this year’s conference is for business professionals to commit to be all in when it comes to integrating business and ministry,” said Bruce Zoeller, founder of The Christian Advantage and Business and Ministry Initiatives.
Business and Ministry Initiatives hosts events around Louisville to engage local Christian business leaders, including the Louisville Prayer Breakfast and the Christian Business Meetup, as well as the annual conference.
From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., business leaders from all over the area will enjoy breakfast and lunch, network with other professionals and local ministries and nonprofit organizations, participate in engaging breakout sessions and hear a powerful message from keynote speaker, Bill High.
High is chief executive officer of The Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. High’s mission is to change the way people view and practice generosity. In addition to his work with The Signatry, High co-authored the book “Giving It All Away” with Hobby Lobby Founder and CEO David Green.
Zoeller said that business leaders have a unique opportunity to be what he describes as “Gospel patrons.”
The idea comes from author John Rinehart’s book, “Gospel Patrons.” In his book, Rinehart talks about a man named Humphrey Monmouth.
Monmouth was a London businessman in the early 1500s who helped William Tyndale translate the Bible into English. At the time, the Bible was only available in Latin, the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. Tyndale was determined to publish a Bible that could be read by “the common man.”
In an article published by The Gospel Coalition, Rinehart wrote:
For six months he housed Tyndale and enabled him to work diligently on the translation. And when it was done, Monmouth leveraged his business connections with other merchants to use their ships to smuggle the contraband Bibles throughout England. Both men paid a high price for this endeavor. Monmouth ended up in prison. Tyndale ended up dead. But together they lit a flame that still burns in our generation.
Monmouth was a “Gospel patron” because he leveraged his wealth and position to partner with Tyndale in doing work that would help others know and follow Jesus, no matter the cost.
The word “patron” is used in Romans 16:2 to describe a woman named Phoebe, who supported the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys.
“My hope is that the men and women who attend this year’s conference will be inspired to use the resources God has given them to advance God’s Kingdom by becoming a Gospel patron,” Zoeller said. “One of our breakout speakers, Gregg Dedrick, talks about the 3% rule. If 3% of a population feels convicted about certain principles, it will start to permeate the rest of the culture. I wonder what difference that would make in Louisville in the next five, 10 or 20 years if business leaders decided to join together and be the 3%.”
Zoeller said conference speakers will help people explore ideas of what it looks like to be a Gospel patron in their own spheres of influence.
During the conference, attendees will have time to network with nearly 40 local ministries and nonprofit organizations, such as BSideU4Life, Isaiah House and Re:Center Ministries, which can help connect businesses to God’s work in the Louisville area.
The conference is $99 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. Register online at www.businessministryinitiatives.org.
For more information, contact Laura Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.