Regardless of the industry in which they work, all leaders can integrate their faith into their business practices. Whether they lead a nonprofit or a consulting firm, leaders around the country are finding creative ways to put their faith into action. Below are just five remarkable leaders using their skills, platform and experience to make a difference in the world.
Pete Kelly, Apartment Life
Pete Kelly spent nearly 25 years working with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), a ministry for college students, but now he leads Apartment Life, a unique organization meeting a need many people feel but don’t know how to address: loneliness. Apartment Life builds communities within multifamily residences like apartment building, bringing people together through events, service and support. Community is “good for the soul and the bottom line,” Kelly explains, because people with connections to others within their apartment building are much more likely to renew their leases, increasing residents satisfaction and retention, not to mention improving the company’s online reputation. Built on the biblical command to “love thy neighbor,” the organization not only enhances people’s lives but helps businesses succeed.
Guy Rogers, Pinnacle Forum
Guy Rogers is the CEO of Pinnacle Forum, which exists to bring together leaders to encourage one another and live out God’s unique calling on their lives. Rogers is leveraging his decades of experience across multiple industries — small retail business, education, political and nonprofit — to help fuel a movement of leadership within the body of Christ to transform the culture of corporate America. Rogers says Pinnacle helps combat the common “lone ranger” persona cultivated within corporate leadership, defined by self-reliance and independence, which can often leak into leaders’ approach to ministry. By building authentic, transparent relationships with other Christian leaders, Rogers believes they can more successfully integrate all aspects of their lives: vocation, family and faith. Equipping these leaders through mutual discipleship, transforming individual relationships with Christ, Pinnacle aims to change the culture at large.
Larry Andrews, Partners International
Larry Andrews, CEO of Partners International, spent 27 years in the corporate business world before God called him to faith-based work, but that experience and skillset did not go unused. Andrews utilizes his business savvy and managerial expertise to connect indigenous leaders around the world with the resources they need to do ministry in their own contexts. Partners International focuses on capacity building, which allows its nearly 60 ministry partners across 40 countries to carry out their missions in a sustainable way. Regardless of the nature of his vocational role, Andrews says he has always expected to be in ministry in some way. “I felt a conviction that every place I would go in life, I would serve, and there would be a ministry for me,” he said. Partners International has seen more than 35,000 churches and outreach groups planted and 1.4 million people come to Christ since its founding.
Tom Cooper, New Horizons
Tom Cooper’s story is one of overcoming obstacles and climbing the corporate ladder only to wonder what the point of it all was. Having been on his own since he was a teen, Cooper worked hard to graduate college and build up companies, until he took one rapidly growing high-tech company public and felt God tell him to slow down and finally focus on Kingdom work. After resigning, Cooper held off on jumping back into work and enrolled in the Halftime Institute coaching program, which gave him time to work through his anxiety from the corporate world and reflect on God’s call on his life. This eventually led him to New Horizons, where he could live out his personal mission of serving at-risk kids and single mothers. Rather than taking a role with Big Brothers Big Sisters, where he’d been involved for years, immediately after resigning from the corporate world, Cooper took time to determine how to better integrate his faith and his work, listening more to God than to the bottom line. “I went from praying for a great quarter-end to praying to hear God and how I can best serve the Kingdom,” he says.
Stan Dobbs, Lionheart and Apartment Life
Stan Dobbs is the Founder and CEO of Apartment Life as well as the CEO of Lionheart Children’s Academy. While attending seminary, Dobbs developed a passion for serving apartment communities and noticed the need for help creating real communities. He launched Apartment Life in 2000. As CEO of Lionheart, he is creating a place where hardworking parents can feel supported with quality, affordable childcare that focuses on education and nurturing future world-changers. In 2016, Lionheart won an award from a Christian business pitch competition, The Lions Den DFW, for best business model. Dobbs has interwoven his leadership skills, business knowledge and personal calling to impact the world in two different industries for the Kingdom of God.
To learn more about how business, faith, and ethics serve as a framework for decision making with these CEOs and many other leaders, read our latest whitepaper here.