Learn How to Grow Your Faith as an Entrepreneur
Does faith have a place in business? Moreover, is it possible to have a marketplace ministry, lean on God, and grow your relationship with him, while at work? In this episode, Pierce Brantley shares impactful stories from his life where God saw him through difficult, or perplexing times, allowing him to trust God to help him navigate problems and opportunities in business.
This episode covers the topics of faith, faith in business, marketplace ministry, prayer, spiritual gifts, talking to God, Holy Spirit, trust, Kingdom business and growing in intimacy with God.
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Calling: Awaken to the Purpose of Your Work – by Pierce Brantley
Welcome to Lunch Break a special weekly series of the Eternal Entrepreneur that gives you bite sized pieces of wisdom on how to build a functional faith and business. Each episode unpacks, a short, actionable topic you can put into practice this week. Let's get into it. Well, hello, eternal entrepreneurs. It is good to be back has been too long. This is Pierce Brantley. Co-host of the show and I am excited to talk to you all today. It has been too long. I have so many things that I want to talk about in fact, but wanting to talk to you all for quite a while. And so I have kind of a stockpile of things that's made it kind of difficult to think through what do I want to focus on? But there's one thing that has been top of mind for myself. And I have a feeling that it is for some of you as well. And that is the topic of faith and specifically faith in the workplace and the business. And I don't mean sharing your faith with others, although that's important. And I don't mean articulating your beliefs about what Christ has done, or that is also extremely important. What I'm talking about when I say faith, is does faith have a practical application? In terms of how it's exercised in the four walls of your business in the same way that someone who says does ministry heals the sick prophesies had does something vocationally or operates from the spiritual gifts, whatever those look like. Do those things have a place can even be utilized in a place that doesn't characteristically look like a place of ministry. And so it's a kind of a hard topic to navigate. And part of what makes it hard to navigate is, you know, I'm not a professional administry by any means. I didn't go to any kind of Bible school or study theology. And when we see folks who operate regularly in some kind of ministerial capacity, it kind of, while it's cool, it's a little bit hard to relate to. And that's important. I think Florida actually wants us to understand that because ministry is always in context of the life we live. And that's a good thing. So if you are not called to vocational ministry of some kind, that doesn't mean that you are somehow exempt from removed, from denied the things that come with being a child of God. And I think that's important because oftentimes we think that the gifts or even the willingness to be used by God has a certain context to it, but it doesn't, but this is often kind of a hard thing to navigate. Speaking of navigation, this last weekend, I was going up to Oklahoma to visit my grandmother. She's not doing too well. And I went up there with my dad and we were just talking about the good times with family up there and with tears in his eyes, my dad remembered a story from when I was a child. You see, my grandmother lived on the Lake Lake bridge port when I was young. And one of my favorite things to do there was to go fishing. I looked forward all year round to going fishing at grandmas. I was one of the best ways to kill time. This particular time we go there and the weather is awful. It is impossible for me to go fishing. And I am just really distraught. If I were to go out on the dock, I kid you not, the wind would have blown me away. I would have been like a kite and you never would've seen me again, scrawny kid that I was, but my mother seen that I was distraught. I said, Pierce. People have wanted to go fishing in bad weather before. And the Lord's done something about that. We can pray about that. We can talk to the Lord about that. And so she took me to this swing, this kind of bench seat swing that overlooked the entire Bay of this Lake. And at my mothers, our grandmothers little Lake house, we sat down and she said something like this, she prayed. And she goes, father, we know that you calm lakes. We know that you calm bad weather, and you also know that Pierce really wanted to go fishing. We believe that you can calm this weather. And I just asked that you would do that so that peers can go fishing. And that was the end of it. Very straight forward, very confident, but didn't last very long. So it was the end of the day. It's time to go to bed any way I can fish that evening, even if I wanted to. We go to bed the next day I wake up about five 30, 6:00 AM. So it's not completely out yet. And the Lake is like glass. It is perfectly, perfectly still. My grandmother had actually said that it hadn't been that still in over a month. It was a miracle, an absolute miracle. And I actually went on to catch a ton of fish, but more importantly, I had a story. A faith story that impacted my life and other people's lives to this day. And it's actually gone on to really influence how I perceive God being involved in our day to day, things that we care about. So about 10 years ago, I was a say a city entrepreneur. I was doing a type of marketplace ministry, where, and how is a bridge between churches and schools? I did this with an organization. And our team had to raise money. I, in order to do our everyday life, we had to basically get our own gas money on food money. We lived with us sponsored homes and they, the us a little bit of an allowance for the team. But I'm telling you, it's like less than a hundred dollars a month for things like gas. It just, it wasn't enough to make ends meet. In this particular time we were out of ins. So to speak and the fuel light on our little red Ford Windstar minivan was on and we needed to go do work at a school and none of us had any money. We just didn't. It was just reality. We knew that we had to do what we were called to do what we were assigned to do. We had to go do our jobs, but we didn't have the means to go make that a reality. And so before going to that school, we just prayed and we put our confidence in Lord and we said, Lord, we need gas. We don't even think we're gonna be able to make it to the school, let alone back. Would you please provide for us? Our faith is in you now at the end of that prayer, we didn't find any kind of cash in our pockets. No sponsors called us and told us to go back home and get a gas gift card or anything like that. But. We knew who we were doing our work with. And so we went to the school and the vehicle made it to the school. No one offered to fill up our gas tank there again, no cash was found in our pockets. And so we were kind of worried that we'd be able to make it back to the church because the fuel I had been on before we even got to the school. So we were worried, but we also had a lot of confidence that God could provide. On our drive back. And it was a little bit of a drive. We were at an intersection and I was worried about stopping at an intersection because if your car is going to idle for too long, then you're just wasting gas and we'd already been running on fumes for the entire day. And I really did not want to stop. I just kind of wanted to coast as much as was possible. While my head space is there while my thoughts are there. I hear over that there is money in the street. There's money in the street. There is money in the street and I'm like, what are you talking about? One of our team members was yelling frantically. And so we look out and all over the intersection. There are ones fives, tens, possibly larger denominations. I don't remember. There was actually money. In the air being blown by Augusta, when there was money going down into the, the city sewer drains at the sides of the intersection, there was money everywhere. There was no bank banks. There was no ATM smashed, you know, out the side of the road, there was no wallet, there was nothing but provision in the air and the atmosphere. And so while we're at this red light, we hop out of the car, we grab about 43, $45, something like that. Now for a tank of gas, the person who had called out what they saw grabbed, you know, five, 10 bucks for some toiletries that they really desperately needed. And we pulled over to a shell gas station and filled up and we went on our way. Not a problem. Didn't miss a beat. I love that story because we just chose to go about doing the work we knew we were supposed to do while simultaneously. Operating from a place of intimacy. And even that's probably too flower of language. We chose to be friends with God and we put our faith in him and the situation that needed a practical outcome that needed really systems and processes and ways of funding the Lord did without all of that. And I have a feeling that some of you right now are trying to navigate. How to both run a excellent business and at the same time, operate from faith and wondering if that is possible. And the answer is yes, if you're wondering it is completely possible and fun. And I would even say sometimes as necessary to put your faith in God. In situations that don't necessarily look stereotypical to what they would in typical ministry. And the Lord is perfectly happy to partner with you, to provide for you to increase your awareness of him in situations that look very uncommon. To normal lay ministry. And that is really, really, really good. All it takes is action, which is good because as entrepreneurs we're very good at taking action. The difference is our default action should be when we have an opportunity or when we have a problem within the confines of our business, instead of. Defaulting to worry, defaulting to some kind of looking online to find some kind of new type of innovation, or just trying to check something off our list. We present our state of the union, our status, our present state of the business to Lord and say, Lord, this is an opportunity or problem I have. What do you think about it? And is there something you can do about it? And the reason. That's such a good thing to do is because you know, with a little bit of grit, I think humans can sell pretty much any problem that's out there, but we are not primarily solved with growing a business or solving problems or taking hold of opportunities as kingdom, business owners. We are primarily interested in doing things in relationship with the Lord. That's where the good stuff happens. That's where the story happens. That's where the evidence of Christ in us comes forth. It's a joyful thing. I've got all these stories of the Lord working on my behalf because I invited him into it. And because I enjoy it too. So believe it or not. Operating from Fay is actually a lot more simple than it sounds in my experience. Faith is not a feeling it's just a decision to trust. We can often believe a lie about ourselves that we don't have faith because we don't feel like we have faith when the feeling never had anything to do with it. The trust had something to do with it. In the same way, if you and I were having a conversation together in a room and I closed my eyes, I couldn't physically feel your presence. It didn't change the reality of us having a conversation. The same is true with the almighty, the agency and the power and the all the good things that come from having a relationship with God. Oftentimes aren't felt sometimes they are, oftentimes they're not. And. Because we can be so pragmatic as operators we think, well, that should translate to my faith too. And I don't feel very full of faith. Therefore I have no capacity to operate that way. And so we don't bring those things to the Lord when we have full permission, invitation, even eagerness, even I'd say perhaps on his part for us to operate from faith. And so a big part of operating from faith in our businesses is actually getting over ourselves and realizing we have the capacity to do that right now. It just starts with taking action. So how do we take action as it relates to operating from a faith filled posture towards our day? So what I do. And it may vary for you. But what I like to do is when I have particular problems or opportunities that the Lord gives me, and I don't know how they're going to be solved. I make space to ask the Holy spirit how he would solve them. And then I trust as much as I can him to come up with the answer. And for me, I enjoy doing that. But. But what I do for living effectively assault problems, complex problems. And so I could operate from my own experience or mindset or capacity, but there's no joy in that. There really isn't. I much rather get a heaven-sent answer or have incent provision and be able to bank on that then to stress myself out or operate out of my own sort of consciousness. And solve the problem. And sometimes he wants me to do that. Sometimes Lord wants me to do that, but when I come to things that are quite obviously bigger than me, I see them as an opportunity to grow my own story with, with the Lord. And so I bring that specific tasks, that specific problem, that specific opportunity to him and say, how would you solve this nine times out of 10? I get something out of left field. That is better than I could've done out of my own capacity. And there's some kind of joy attached to it. There's some kind of significant story attached to it that wouldn't have happened otherwise, if I hadn't done so, so this is my challenge to you for the week. We're about halfway through the second quarter now, what are the things that have yet to be accomplished? And to what extent have those things that have yet to be accomplished? I've been dedicated to the Lord, either for his guidance, his admonition, his correction, or whatever that looks like. Have you given that thing to him completely. And here's something that I do think is important as a principle is once you have given it to him, you kind of leave it there and you really stay pot committed. So I'll leave you with a quick story that kind of encapsulates how I like to put this faith work into action. So at the beginning of my consulting career, say 12, 13 years ago, I say consulting, it wasn't really consulting. I had a new client. In fact, they were probably my first real client. They wanted me to do a project and I didn't have the software to do that project. And I didn't know what I was going to do because the software costs thousands and thousands of dollars. It's not like today where, you know, you can get a subscription of some kind. There was a, a price gate on this and I couldn't afford it and the project didn't cover it. And so I didn't know what I was going to do. And there was pirated software that was made available to me, but I knew intrinsically that I couldn't really, it would be kind of disingenuine. It'd be a lack of integrity to use that software. And then at the same time, you know, try and operate kind of a, a Christian business. Or just, you know, have proper integrity. And so I told this to the Lord, I said, Lord, I believe you've given me the opportunity, but I have a problem. I don't have the money to get this software. And as you know, the client can't cover it at the same time. I believe you've given me this opportunity. So I want to steward it. Well, Lord, I need the software license. So I let him know this. And I put my complete faith in the process that he was going to provide it for me because he provided the client for me. I just didn't have everything I needed for them yet. So this was about two weeks out. We goes by nothing about a week and a half a week goes by, pray again, nothing, no new money comes in. I can't get it. I'm wondering, you know, how am I going to solve this the night before? Again, nothing. I'm trying to get a little bit anxious, but I said, Lord, I know you've given me the opportunity. I just don't have the means. I wake up the next day still. No software has magically appeared. I don't have thousands of dollars to go get it. I get in my car and I drive to the client's location. And while driving I'm about three miles out. I say, Lord, I still don't have the software, but I still believe you are going to provide the software. You know, I need it today in a few minutes. Thank you for the opportunity I get to the client's location. I sit down, I meet with their creative director. And we're getting set up and I haven't told them I can't do the work yet. He looks up at me kind of nonchalantly and goes, Hey, I don't know that this is interesting to you or not, but we have an extra copy of this license for this software. We're not using it. Is this something that you would want? I kid you not guys, my mouth could have hit the ground. I was absolutely floored, but also not completely surprised because the Lord had given me the opportunity. So I knew I could park my faith, believing that God was going to help me accomplish that opportunity. And so the lesson in this, the action, and this is simply when we commit our work to the Lord and there is a necessity to exercise faith. Once we exercise that faith, once we show the Lord, we put our commitment and our trust in him. It's good. Unless he says otherwise to leave the ball in his court. It's kind of like some of those movies where you're just like, hold, hold, hold. Like you just have to hold in the midst of that. Short-term storm lowercase S the fact, the belief, the reality that God is going to accomplish what he said, he's going to accomplish through you. And when you do that, you'll get to see some incredible things happen. So I encourage you to do that this week with the things, the opportunities and the problems that you have in your own business. All right guys. That's all I've got for today. Love to hear your feedback on the episode. Hope you're doing well. And I'll talk to you soon. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed the show, do me a favor and leave a quick review. When you do it helps other entrepreneurs find this content and benefit from it too. See, next week.