In October 2016, I was laid off from a job that I had for five years. Job loss is always difficult, but the challenge with this particular loss was that the fact that I also worked at my church. If I had been a less seasoned believer this life event could have caused a crisis of faith for me.
However, I have been a Christian most of my life, and a serious one for the last 15 years. I have worked in various positions at churches (both volunteer and paid) for over twenty years. Painfully, I have learned to separate the difference between God’s sovereign will, God’s permissive will and the free will that every man or woman has been given. Learning the distinction has allowed me to be able to accept that what one individual believes as “good” often varies in extremes from person to person. For example, one of the reasons that I am in this graduate program is because I was told that I would be transitioning from administration to a communications position. However, that job offer was rescinded due to budget cuts. Again, although these were decisions made by individuals, their decisions could have drastically affected my walk of faith.
However, I refused to let that happen. Instead I chose to learn from the experience. I now understand that good must exist for me beyond the walls of the church because unfortunately although we are learning from one book (the Bible) the interpretation of right and wrong is not the same for each person.
During the transition of losing my job, I was writing a book called Super Kingdom Admin. It was very difficult to finish it because I the experiences that led me to write the book were connected to a job I was about to no longer have. However, I pushed through my own emotional turmoil and finished it so I could define “the good” for working in administrative capacities in church organizations. Over time, I learned that there was a lot of confusion about how to serve a leader well administratively. So, I now teach workshops to help others who serve in full-time, part-time, contract and volunteer positions. This is one of the primary areas of focus of “the good” in my life right now.
The second area is that of business. After being laid off unexpectedly, I decided to start aggressively pursuing clients for a marketing/branding business that I discontinued because of my time-consuming role church role. I quickly learned that business has changed. Social media has many clients feeling as though “stardom” is a commodity that can be purchased by buying “followers” or by pulling “publicity stunts” to create videos that they hope will go viral.
I find myself constantly explaining to new entrepreneurs that they want natural, organic growth when it comes to their followers. Although there are a number of reasons why this is true, many of the businesses end up not heeding my advice and suffering because of it.
Branding helps define the rules of “the good” for every organization. Branding helps them define their organization’s brand promise for their clients and for themselves. It also helps them hire the right people. It has helped me as well as I accept clients and business partners.
Other than politics, I believe these two areas: religion and business both leave large gaps in defining “the good.” I am on a mission to close the gap for religious organizations through my book and workshops, and for businesses through my consulting company Rain Drop Brand. The business side has been particularly challenging. My skill set is project management and recruitment. I have been able to put the right contractor on the right project to achieve success, but I have had a greater challenge in finding the right business partners. I often find people who want to make a lot of money and are great at acquiring clients, but want to keep the majority of the money for themselves and pay my company/contractors very little. I am on a mission to build my company in such way that I never have to work with any of those people again because we have no consensus on what it right or wrong in regards to wages and compensation.
I believe that this is a great dialogue in an area of “alternative facts” and I look forward to applying the information I have learned in this section to both my religious endeavors and branding business.