Compassion WorkPlace Stories: Void of Donald Trump

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Don’t you get tired of hearing the latest news about how Donald Trump is doing in the polls? Then you won’t want to miss these refreshing and inspiring stories about Compassion in the Workplace.

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I like to keep up on the news. My best time to do this is when I’m sweating away at the gym on some aerobic torture device. At times I’m not sure what’s worse: the pain of what it takes to try to keep in good physical health, or hearing about the latest antics and poll ratings of Donald Trump’s campaign to become our country’s next president.

If it’s not news about Donald Trump, then it’s some late breaking report about the most recent terrorist attacks, natural disasters around the world, or local crimes of rape, murder, drugs, or armed robbery. Yuck.

I do want to know about what is happening in my community and around the world. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that everything is rosy. But, what seems to be notably missing from the majority of our news is stories that inspire and motivate us to become people of greater character.

One of the things we are passionate about at Kingdom Way Ministries is coming along side leaders in business, and believers in the WorkPlace, to help them envision what it looks like to leverage their work and leadership for God’s glory and His ministry purposes.

That is the purpose of this Tipping Point. Last week in my post, I wrote about 4 Ways to Create a Culture of Compassion in the Workplace and Why It’s Needed. In this one, I would like to report some positive, encouraging news. Here are 3 real-life stories to inspire us to selflessly show the Compassion of Christ in your spheres of leadership influence at home, at church, AND at work.

Meet Kip Miller, President/CEO of Eastern Industrial Supplies, Inc.

In addition to being a successful, Premier Distributor of Pipe Valves and fittings with 16 different locations in and around South Carolina, Kip has created a culture of compassion at Eastern Industrial Supplies that is impacting and changing countless lives in his company, community, and around the world.

In 2002 Kip led the charge to establish a driving focus of their business / ministry called Eastern Cares. The program focuses on “4C” areas of Caring that remind me of Jesus’ strategy to bring the good news of the gospel to the world as mentioned in Acts 1:8.

It starts by caring for the needs of their own company, then their community and country, and finally to caring for and changing culture around the world (in Acts 1:8 terminology: Jerusalem and Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world).

At each of the 16 Eastern locations there are what Kip calls, “Care Champions.” These are paid positions which places each champion in charge of spearheading and overseeing many compassionate acts of service taking place throughout each location.

Blog posts on the company website share some of the incredible, life-changing stories that are taking place, while openly giving credit to God and even referencing portions of scripture.

Habitat for Humanity projects, Special Olympic Events, charity wrestling matches, serving in homeless shelters, and special project teams serving in a children’s home in Tanzania are among the amazing projects mentioned in these blogs.

It seems evident that many of the projects have a direct correlation to something that the associates are deeply passionate about themselves, which creates a culture of empowering ownership.

Even more incredible to me, however, is that Eastern has created a payment plan allowing its associates to be able to serve more freely. To encourage their employees to serve, both locally and overseas, Eastern implemented a company wide policy that “pays every employee to care.” Each person is allowed 5 paid days per year to serve in a community project, or on a missions trip, of their choosing. WOW!

Can you imagine the incredible cultural transformations, for Christ’s sake and the good of others, that would take place in our companies and churches, our communities, our country and the world if there were more committed Christian business leaders like those at Eastern?

After learning of Kip’s story, I discovered that it intersected with the life of another godly business leader whom I am well acquainted with. Years ago Jim Dismore, my predecessor, friend, and advisor to KWM’s board, developed and implemented similar care strategies while he served as the CEO of Ultimate Support Systems in Fort Collins, Colorado.

With the goal of empowering and equipping other leaders to tangibly demonstrate Christ-like care and compassion towards their employees, vendors, and customers, Jim crafted a seminar called The 5 Principles which he conducted around the world. He created practical tools (see bullet / links below) to help business leaders work through the process of transforming their companies to reflect the love and light of Jesus Christ:

(For a limited time you can download any of the above for free, though any donations you would be led to make would help KWM–a 501c3 organization–considerably in our vision to “make work and ministry one” and advance our mission (see here)

If you would be interested in hosting one of our workshops / seminars in your church, company, or community, read more here.

It was about a decade ago when Jim did some work with Kip and Eastern Industrial, that he was able to pass on the vision of what a Christian owned company could look like, which shaped, at least in part, what Eastern has now become.

Meet a Modern Day “Widow’s Mite Giver” and Her Dentist

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a friend who owns his own dental practice. I can’t recall how the conversation started, but I’ll never forget the stirring story he shared with me.

He described one of his patients, an elderly, widow lady who is supporting herself and her grandson on a meager social security income. After receiving some dental work, she had racked up a $3000 bill.

Sensing that she might have great difficulty paying it, my friend asked her if her only source of income was her social security check. After discovering that it was, she assured him she would pay whatever she could each month until her bill was paid in full.  I love this part–and you probably already sensed this was coming. My friend looked at her and said,

“Consider your bill paid in full.”

She began to weep immediately in response. To display her depth of gratitude and elation, she shared that the Sunday prior she placed a check in the offering plate as it came by. Her grandson quickly piped up, “Grandma, you shouldn’t be doing that. We can’t afford it!” In great faith, she calmly replied, “The Lord will take care of our needs.”

As my friend listened to this story, he began to tear up, and said, “Well, the Lord is using me to meet this need in response to your faith and prayers.” After hearing this touching and inspiring story, I exclaimed to my friend, “Way to go man!  That is awesome! Thank you for sharing that with me.” Then I asked,

“Who do you think received the greater blessing: the Lord, that widow, or you?”

Meet a “Mystery Mail Man” from Wisconsin

So maybe you’re not a dentist or a CEO of a large company. But how you view people, how you view your work, and how you do your work really matters. It matters to God. It matters to others.

My family and I will be leaving in a couple of days to go to Wisconsin. I can’t wait. Not only am I looking forward to some down time, I am looking forward to seeing my family and greatly anticipating the opportunity to minister on Sunday in the church (Amy Chapel) that had a significant impact on my life growing up.

Our preparations included shipping some Christmas gifts to my mom and step dad’s home. Somehow we got a couple of the digits to the mailing address incorrect. The only way we know this is because of an anonymous mail man who realized there was no such address and tracked my mom down (somehow) to see if the packages were intended for her.

Now think about that for a minute. He could have simply said to himself, “I’m too busy. I have too many packages to deliver. I’m just going to return these to the sender.” Instead, he paused long enough in his busy day to realize that these were probably gifts being delivered for Christmas and that people were counting on him to deliver them.

Now I don’t know if that mail man is a Christian or not.  But, to me, that is a great example of someone who went above and beyond what was expected of him because he had some level of compassion and care for others that motivated him to do so.

These are the kinds of stories we need to hear. These are the kinds of people we need to be. These are the kinds of companies and company leaders our culture desperately needs. Will you be one such person? Will you lead one such organization for the glory of God, the spread of the gospel of Christ, and the good of all human kind?

To swim against, and change, the currents of a culture that is swiftly moving faster and faster away from God, you are needed for the cause of Christ, compassion and His kingdom! What is God leading you to do next?

One Simple Idea

Here’s one simple idea you might want to try if you’re traveling over the holidays with your family. It was one of the many creative ideas that has come from lovely wife of almost 25 years! We are giving each of our 3 kids a small amount of money for our Wisconsin road trip.

The money isn’t to bribe their good behavior for the 17 hour drive! It’s not so they can have something to spend on themselves as we travel. We are giving them this money to be on the look out for how they can use it to show compassion and care to someone along the way. I can’t wait to see what God does.

Question:  What ideas do you have to raise awareness of the need for compassion–or create the opportunity for acts of compassion/care–in your sphere of leadership influence? I would love to see and dialogue with your answers as you share them on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn through one of the tabs below.

Merry Christmas! Praising God for each of you!