Most workplaces have plenty of technology, brainstorming sessions and idle chatter over the water cooler, but Hope Community Church wants local businesses to bring something else to their company culture: Christian principles.
Last month, more than 45 business leaders attended a workshop hosted by the church at the Go Realty office in Cary.
“The idea is (that) work is worship, and work matters to God,” said Gary Vet, pastor of adult ministries at Hope Community Church on Buck Jones Road near Cary.
Dr. Dan Davidian, a church member, talked during the workshop about how he incorporates prayer into his staff meetings at Sedation Dental Care in Raleigh.
“I’ve always been a believer and started meetings by reading inspirational thoughts,” Davidian said. “As I progressed through my journey of faith, we began praying.”
He said employees tell him and his wife, also a dentist in the practice, that praying has become an important part of their day. Potential employees come in for a trial day and have the opportunity to participate in a staff meeting to understand what to expect.
“I just bow my head and start praying,” Davidian said. “Once praying starts being part of the culture of the office, others step up and get on board.”
Derek Noether, who works as a senior director at Quintiles, wanted a way to meet regularly with other believers from work. Now a group gathers before work; the group has grown from five members to more than 35.
“It’s cool to see the spirit show up and the direction that the group went toward,” Noether said.
Hope Community Church offers resources that Noether uses for discussions that open in prayer.
“God doesn’t always call us to big things; sometimes it is the small things we need to do well,” Noether said.
Chris Chuang, chief operating officer at Bandwidth, also spoke during the workshop about the company’s foundation based on faith, family and fitness, and how these values are infused through many aspects of the company.
“We are encouraged to grow in mind, body and spirit,” said Chuang, who participates in a 90-minute lunch program for employees who commit to work out during that time.
Bandwidth employees who don’t use the time to exercise get a 60-minute lunch.
Recently, the company invited a personal trainer to come in.
“One guy lost 150 pounds,” Chuang said. “This gets our hearts aligned with what God wants us to do in this market.”
A member of the audience asked the speakers whether they worried they would turn people off by openly sharing their faith.
“When you live faith openly, people are attracted to it,” Davidian said.
Chuang echoed that sentiment: “People are drawn to others who have convictions.”