Kingdom Work is Constant for ChristiansOct. 2, 2012
by Sara Tirrito
All work done by Christians is kingdom work--everything from grocery shopping to accounting. In an interview, David Hill, MBA '89, said that was his message as he addressed the crowd at a Baylor Business Network (BBN) event in Hewitt, Texas, on Sept. 13. His presentation was titled "Real Christianity Works."
Hill was the first speaker for "Walking the Walk," which is expected to become a new speaker series hosted by the BBN. The series is meant to address the issue of living one's faith out at work, according to Kevin Ludlum, director of development for the Hankamer School of Business.
Hill, the managing director of Innovation Capital and CEO of Banc Assets, taught the audience about his 'real pyramid' model, which in part emphasizes the importance of incorporating truth and promise into a company's mission and also allowing familial, business and cultural relationships to merge. But the model is not only meant for businessmen or the workplace.
"What I really try to show people, and what God really showed me," Hill said, "is this isn't so much a device for investment banking due diligence, but a device for how Christians can activate their faith in their daily lives."
Hill said God showed him the model about three years ago, after some of his large investment banking deals "blew up because of the people" involved. When his deals have gone wrong because of people, it has been a matter of untruthfulness, or greed or a lack of disclosure, Hill said.
"Literally, God delivered this to me. I woke up at 4 in the morning and the pyramid was in my head in Technicolor as it is," Hill said. "It's exactly what God showed me."
He began trying to live the model out, which meant "ensuring that [he] was living in truth" and drawing together his familial, business and cultural relationships.
"We isolate those relationships in order to kind of protect the person we are in those environments. It's very inefficient," Hill said. "The problem you're having in your business may be solved by somebody you know at church. The problem you're having in your family may be solved by somebody you know at work. Merging that universe of relationships into a singular form is so critical because that's where you really find 'real-ationships'. That's where you embrace the fact that you are who you are, who God created you to be."
Embracing that fact is an important and empowering step in glorifying God, Hill said.
As many churches have come to focus on the importance of evangelism and mission trips, many Christians have struggled with figuring out how to use their God-given gifts in service, Hill said. Many people feel guilt or frustration because they are not comfortable serving in those specific roles, but Hill said he tries to emphasize that Christians serve with all they do. Some are called to mission work, but some are not, he said.
"They struggle with, 'I know I should be serving...but gosh it's hard, I'm uncomfortable, I don't know how to do it,'" Hill said. "And the empowering message is, hey, you're an accountant and you're a great accountant and God put you there. That is your calling. You're not called to go build orphanages in Nicaragua."
Kingdom business is a full-time thing for Christians, Hill said.
"If you're a Christian, everything you do is kingdom related," Hill said. "So if you're an accountant, you're a kingdom accountant; if you're a plumber, you're a kingdom plumber; if you're a CEO, you're a kingdom CEO. You can't turn it on and off."
Ludlum said the Sept. 13 BBN presentation was well-received.
"There was a current Baylor parent in the audience and he said, 'You know, this is why I sent my daughter to Baylor, is because this is the kind of environment that she is in,'" Ludlum said. "And that's meaningful to him and so it was really, really special."
Hill also covered the same topic on campus in Business 1301 classes taught by Blaine McCormick, associate professor of Management, and was interviewed by Mitchell Neubert, associate professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and Chavanne Chair of Christian Ethics in Business, as part of Leadership Cafe in his principled leadership class.
"You can have a lot of glib servant leadership talk from people who aren't playing in circles where you have to have a strong commitment to be that kind of leader," McCormick said. "I think Mr. Hill is, and I think the importance of him playing at the level he plays at and then modeling this with the students is really key in validating that idea ... I think he provided a role model for that in a good way."