Faith and work

Faith and work

Martin Luther once described a farm girl milking a cow as the fingers of God. Through her, God fed his people. Almost every day, I hear stories of Defenders that God uses to love and care for his people.

When we approach our work filled with Christ’s perfect love, it becomes an offering of gratitude to God and a service to others. So many of you have been placed in leadership positions and serve from a place of humility and gratitude. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned as I’ve observed, listened, and asked questions of those of you who lead and love in the work you have been called to.

Our actions as leaders are powerful. C. Esther De Wolde (’86), CEO of Phantom Screens, reminded me that people we lead have families they return to each night, and our leadership affects how they see themselves and how they see the world.

Jay Schuiteman (’96), partner at Ground Effects Landscape and Garden Center, reminded me that leadership can affect how employees interact with their children and treat their spouses.  It can affect their service at church and the attitude they bring into their neighborhoods—it is not something to take lightly.

Tammy Walhof (’86), director at Lutheran Advocacy, showed me that the heart of leadership is honoring the image of God in another person.  Shame on us if we get in the way of what God is doing or push too hard for selfish motivations that drive success for us, but not them.

Aaron Baart (’99), Dordt’s dean of chapel, shared that the very best thing we can offer our spouse is this: Spend time with God and become more of who he has created you to be. The same applies for all those we lead at work. Our vision will be transformed by Christ, and our greatest breakthroughs will happen as we are renewed and recreated by God. As Christians, we must also spend time refining our craft and developing our skills—Christians ought to be the best teachers, vintners, farmers, and designers. We should define industry standards, not settle for mediocrity.

Denny Van Zanten (’81), senior group vice president at Pella, showed me that servant leadership begins when we look to the ultimate servant, Jesus Christ. We must lean upon the transformative power of Christ, who has come to make all things new. As Christians, created in the image of God and breathed into with the power of the Holy Spirit, excellence is the truest reflection of our God, who has invited us to join him in the unfolding of his good creation. 
Thanks for leading by example.

Brandon Huisman (’10),

director of alumni and external relations