Did you know you can become better equipped to fully and effectively serve God right where you are – in and through the business that God has entrusted to you? It all starts as you get greater clarity about what you value, find confidence about how you can pursue what you value, and discover your commitment to relinquish your control of the outcome to the Creator.
Long before I wrote my book, I noticed that the clients and associates who seemed to have the greatest joy and peace about them were those who saw their business as being directly linked to their purpose or ministry. I could tell they knew they were doing what God created them to do—and it was obvious they were determined not to compromise their goal to follow God’s will through their business.
That captured me, so much so that I sought to understand why that was. I turned to David Green, Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Inc., a longtime client and treasured friend, and he helped me see and understand it more clearly.
With that clarity came a revelation: I saw what they had seen in me! I realized I was not only using my unique ability at The Capital Chart Room LTD., but that I was doing what gave me the most energy and what I was most passionate about. Even more, I was doing what God created me to do in the place where I could give Him the most glory—in the marketplace.
Twenty years later, I was encouraged to write a book about business as ministry that became Bigger Than Business: Real-World Stories of Business Owners Living Their Purpose. In it, I present eight inspiring and thought-provoking stories of Christian business owners from six continents living out the purpose for which God created them in their unique business settings. I met them after deciding to travel the world to interview each one of these highly respected leaders in person. With total transparency, they shared their real-world challenges with me, revealing how they called upon and applied biblical principles and their unique abilities to persevere and overcome.
In the first chapter, you will encounter a U.S. couple, Michael and Debbie Rasa, whose poor decisions led to personal tragedy. Yet they provide a magnificent example in how they experience grace and rise to share what they have learned with others personally and through their business. Next, you’ll discover how entrepreneur, clinical psychologist, speaker, and author Dr. Robi Sonderegger took a business in Australia that usually serves one client at a time, and with God’s help innovatively leveraged it to serve hundreds of thousands around the globe.
In the third chapter, you will learn the meaning of “bumpuku” from a Brazilian with a Japanese heritage named Jorge Nishimura who, at one point, was fired by his own family. He ultimately used this experience to come back, as chairman, to help build and continue the family businesses. After that, you’ll find out how Alan Barnhart, with his co-owner brother, Eric, decided to cap their income and give away all the profit that was not reinvested in the company and its employees. It was a move that not only brought success to their business, but great contentment as well.
The fifth chapter, “Healing Hearts,” introduces you to an amazing woman, Grace Nyirabarinda, who barely survived the genocide in Rwanda and went on to help heal broken hearts and transform lives through the small sewing cooperative she leads. That story is followed by the incredible story of how a member of an Indonesian family, Dr. Suparno Adijanto, helped their businesses survive the Asian economic crisis, transform, and then thrive over the years, all the while clearing the path for others along the way.
In chapter six, you will encounter Frank Suchy, an entrepreneur who was born and raised in communist East Germany as an atheist, but whose heart burns today to help other business owners experience the peace and joy he derived from creating a business built and run on biblical principles. Finally, you’ll meet David Green, a merchant with a high school education who built one of the most successful retail businesses in the United States, Hobby Lobby, following a time during which he almost lost it all. You will be captivated by his desire to reach “just one more” with the gospel that has guided his every decision to grow his company and to obey God with bold choices such as to close on Sundays and to challenge a government law that threatened the religious freedoms of all Christian business owners.
Each story contains three components: the business owner’s unique and interesting story, the business wisdom that each person shares, and of course, each subject’s why. Learning how they have achieved their success is fascinating, and the business wisdom they share is enlightening. But it’s what drives them—why they do what they do—that reveals the heart of their stories.
These men and women represent a very small fraction of a worldwide movement of business owners who understand that God created them to serve Him right where they are—at the helm of the business with which He has blessed them. I passionately believe that Christian marketplace leaders worldwide have a unique opportunity to change the world in a fundamental and essential manner: fundamental because what the book’s subjects are doing is at the core of why we were all created; essential because their stories reveal the key to how humanity was designed by God to live and thrive together.
I’m confident you will find their stories, and the business wisdom they share, to be captivating and inspiring. Most importantly, I hope that these stories cause you to look at why you do what you do in a whole new way.
In addition to being an author and speaker, Jeff Holler is the founder and owner of The Capital Chart Room LTD®. The Capital Chart Room’s clients are some of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Florida State University, is a Certified Financial Planner (1987), and is a member of several key associations and councils serving business owners and entrepreneurs.
Jeff leads an adult Bible study class, and in addition to their church home, he and his wife, Charlsey, are actively involved in a handful of ministries about which they are passionate and to which they commit their time, talent, gifts, and service. Jeff and Charlsey are proud parents of two daughters and their husbands, and grateful grandparents of five grandchildren. Jeff enjoys competing in triathlons, shared experiences with family and dear friends, traveling the world and sailing near and far with Charlsey, family, and friends, snow skiing, and playing golf. Jeff and Charlsey live in Fort Worth, Texas.