“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Alfred, an owner of a company with one hundred employees, read the above verse and decided to act on it. He told his employees, “I attended a seminar that changed my life, and I’d like to try to share with you what God is teaching me. So once a week I’m going to shut down our plant for an hour, and I’m going to share what God’s Word says I should be doing for you. The meetings are voluntary, but everyone is welcome. From this point on, I want you to hold me responsible to be the kind of Christian employer that God expects me to be.”
The next Monday, when the plant stopped for the meeting, every one of Alfred’s employees was there. He began to share what he should be doing as a Christian businessman. Sometimes he would say, “I can’t implement this immediately or it would ruin our company, but eventually I am going to do this to the best of my ability.”
One of the programs Alfred wanted to implement was a benevolence program to help employees with special financial needs, such as medical bills, family crises, or special education expenses by providing company- sponsored grants.
To do this would first require reeducating the employees so that those who didn’t receive this benefit would not resent those who did. It also would require establishing an employee committee to oversee the fund and evaluate the candidates. But Alfred was determined to get it started.
About a year after the meetings began, Alfred asked me [Larry Burkette] to speak to his employees. At one point in my talk I asked, “How many in this room have personally accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?” Out of more than 100 employees, about 25 hands went up.
A year later I went back. This time I asked, “During the last year, how many of you have personally accepted Jesus Christ as a result of the influence of your boss?” Hands went up throughout the room. In one year, more than 60 people had come to the Lord through Alfred’s influence, and he didn’t even know it. Evangelizing his employees hadn’t been his goal. His goal had simply been to become more Christlike in his business.
The apostle Paul tells us we reap in the measure that we sow. Alfred learned that truth when he ran into some business and financial difficulties.
During an economic downturn, business got so bad he needed a large infusion of money in order to continue operating. The high interest rates at that time made borrowing out of the question. Word of the company’s financial problems spread to Alfred’s employees, several of whom got the idea of banding together to lend Alfred the money (almost $300,000) themselves. They raised the needed funds from among the other employees and provided Alfred with an interest-free loan.
Alfred was simply reaping what he had sown. When he began following God’s principles, he didn’t know that more than half of his employees would accept Christ as their Savior through his witness or that his employees would decide to lend him $300,000 interest free. He had simply sown biblical principles such as “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” and he reaped the benefits of those principles.
Employees, especially unsaved employees, have the tendency to believe what they see rather than what they hear. If what we do doesn’t match up with what we say, they will usually discount our words.
My prayer today:
Lord, help Christian men who work in the marketplace to be doers of Your Word and not just hearers only, so that we do not deceive ourselves into thinking we are following in Your footsteps. (Based on James 1:22)
Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the marketplace.