How does a Harvard-educated entrepreneur end up founding a cutting-edge, marketplace ministry? I guess, like everyone else whose mid-life spiritual transformation drives them from corporate power to Kingdom PURPOSE.
His name is Jesus! “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Meet Chuck Proudfit. See this link for a great overview of his background and ministry journey (highlighted below). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/cutting-edge-of-marketplace-ministries.html
Chuck started working at Procter & Gamble fresh out of Harvard. How many entrepreneurs start a laser-printing business in their sophomore year and sell it to Harvard when they graduate? One — Chuck. 🙂
No wonder P&G, Cincinnati-based consumer products giant, picked him to fast-track. Maybe even he chuckled — no pun intended 🙂 — when one of his first projects was to fit fewer sheets on a toilet paper roll. At some point on his corporate adventure, he had a “meltdown.” Surely there must be more to life.
As most entrepreneurs do, he pursued the “more” through career advances. Running a large division for Gallo wine in California. Becoming a high-level manager for LensCrafters back in Ohio.
Little did he know… The “more” he yearned for could not be found in his next promotion. As his success in business accelerated, so did his search for spiritual truth. He finally discovered it, he says… in Christ.
He was eager to apply his new faith in all areas of life… including his work. But he discovered something surprising: “The local church doesn’t deal much with everyday realities for the working people in the pews.” That’s why — more out of “exasperation than inspiration” — he founded the Cincinnati-based marketplace ministry, At Work on Purpose (AWOP).
Since its 2003 founding, AWOP has become the largest city-wide marketplace ministry in the United States. It seeks to ignite the faith lives of workplace Christians, envisioning the day when every working Christian embraces work as worship. http://atworkonpurpose.org/about-us/frequently-asked-questions/
AWOP supports working Christians ranging from marketplace leaders to faith-based entrepreneurs, to corporate chaplains to the self-employed. Additionally, they serve local churches and affiliated ministries, helping them strengthen their members’ workplace ministries.
What makes AWOP different is their holistic approach to integrating faith and work among their 5,000+ members in the Cincinnati metro area. They foster workplace evangelism, but move far past this to include ethics, social responsibility (e.g., advancing industrial reforms) and citywide engagement (mobilizing marketplace leaders for citywide transformation).
Case in point. Chuck saw the Catholic/Protestant and African-American/Caucasian divides in Cincinnati. He and his team succeeded in recruiting a diverse membership representing a slice of Cincinnati at large.
AWOP also hosts monthly executive roundtables, helping owners/executives initiate positive workplace changes and industry reforms, environmental stewardship, and practical outreach to the poor and unemployed. Check out their innovative outreach efforts… WOW! http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/cutting-edge-of-marketplace-ministries.html
What do you think?
What does At Work on Purpose inspire in you… for such a time as this?
Please post your comments below.
Diana Furr, a.k.a. Abba’s Girl
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