Cornerstone University Welcomes Area Pastors for "Our Father's Business" Series
Photo courtesy of Michelle Praniewicz
by Jordan Grooters (B.A. ’17)
On Monday, April 3, Cornerstone University business students and area business professionals gathered on Cornerstone's campus for a continuation of the "Our Father's Business" chapel series. "Our Father's Business" brings Christian business leaders to campus to allow students opportunities to hear from successful professionals. This event was a panel discussion entitled "Business: Secular or Sacred?," featuring panelists Pastor Kyle Ray who serves as Lead Pastor of Kentwood Community Church, and Pastor David Wisen of Harvest Bible Chapel in Spring Lake, MI. The panel was moderated by Lori Cook, TV personality Maranda from WOOD TV8.
The panel discussion centered around how being a Christian affects one's choices in the business world, and how to incorporate business aspects into your decisions when leading a ministry or church. Sometimes, it can be a difficult balance to motivate your employees and set a standard for performance, while still extending grace and mercy in a Christ-like manner. "Truth without Grace is brutality," said Wisen, "but Grace without Truth is hypocrisy."
Cook spoke about decisions in the workplace and how they reflect upon our lives as Christians. She told of an experience in which she was having a conversation with several coworkers about life and the future. "Suddenly, I realized that it was like I was leading a small group," she said. "You might be the only church that some people ever see."
Ray expressed that when it comes to making decisions, choosing to follow Christ might not always make sense to onlookers. "The way of a Christ follower, to the outside world, will always seem slower or more complicated," he explained. "Seeking outside counsel takes time; prayer takes time."
The group went on to discuss topics such as dealing with bribery, salary audits and stereotypes in the marketplace from a Christian perspective.
"After several semesters of business classes, it has been integrated in my mind that work is both sacred and secular," says Mikayla Henke (B.S. '19), a management and marketing student. "Ray and Wisen told us to 'Think like a businessperson, act like a chaplain,' whether your job is in ministry or in business. It was a refreshing morning of new insight, and freedom in knowing that our work as Christians is always ministry, but can and should be done to the best of our abilities and efficiency."
The event ended in a Q&A period in which the panelists encouraged the students to seek answers through prayer and scripture, and to seek a mentor relationship with a Christian colleague.
"The goal of the 'Our Father's Business' series is to be intentional about integrating Christian faith with various business disciplines so that no matter what vocation students enter upon graduation, service to the Lord, becoming more Christ-like and living out Kingdom principles are preeminent in our motivation and actions," said Dr. Brad Stamm, chair of the Business Division and professor of economics. "That is, we have a reason to do business and not an excuse."