Written by Tanur Badgley (PoP’s Creator & Host)
I was blessed to be going through a discipleship program one-on-one with PoP’s podcast manager, Tom, for the past nine months. Tom is pursuing his master’s degree in Christian counseling and living as an example of the kind of faithful Christian I want to be.
Tom was a major influence through my teaching life in San Francisco to now and is responsible for faith being so fully alive in me.
One reason I respect Tom is probably because of how similar our lives are and how we have both taken similar leaps of faith.
Tom has moved to the Philippines, married his wife Pia, PoP's People Relations Manager, and the two of them have had their first child together. You can read about their story in the last PoP Newsletter, The Impact You and I Can Make, written by Pia. I, too, moved back to Thailand, got married to my Thai wife, and, opposite of Tom, I sponsored her visa, and we have moved back to America together. Just last week, she got her Green Card!
I have realized that these one-on-one Wednesday night discipleship sessions with Tom are causing me to shift my identity.
I am a follower of this big mission of becoming and living as a Christian. But now, I am becoming one of the few that have been leading people into and on that mission.
There have been noticeable changes in my level of influence that have involved people in significant ways.
I have been bringing my faith into my business.
I see how God is piecing together a team of Christians and equipping me to lead as the CEO alongside my two partners, who also happen to be my housemates.
For the past two months in our real estate business, we have undergone a hiring push to outsource the core processes of our business. We have hired a team of eight Filipinos to share in our company. We are intentionally establishing a culture that fosters individual voice and creates a family vibe where everyone is sharing in each success journey. There is a recent story from one of our most recent and 7th hire Geri - a mid-'30’s woman from the Philippines - that exhibits how discipling through faith is moving mountains.
Geri has been working through an agency from the Philippines that is contracted with one of the biggest real estate companies in Tennessee.
During the interview process, I got to talk with Geri’s former manager and have learned that the two of them side by side developed a department of the company that generates 30-40 deals at a time.
Since her manager left the company, Geri has taken on the lion’s share of the work. Geri’s success comes with the price of having her agency take half of her pay and a toxic corporate work environment that consistently demands 60-hour workweeks from her.
After Geri accepted our offer, her company fired back with a rate increase of 100% higher than she has been getting and direct employment with the company. Their offer was 80% higher than ours. Our startup company could simply not compete in terms of dollars.
As Geri was seeing if we could match the offer, we espoused the other benefits that money cannot buy. Like being the right hand to the CEOs of a fast-growing company, a leader in a family-driven holistic culture of a full Filipino Christian workforce, and (with a leap of faith) the possibility of financial freedom through eventual profit sharing when we reach a fully outsourced company.
I knew Geri was a woman of faith.
She would be a great fit for our company, but Geri has been dealing with major health issues squeezing her financially -- her mother-in-law passed away this week, her husband requires gallbladder surgery, she pays for her mother’s diabetes medication, and she is about to give birth to her second child in December which requires a C section.
As we expressed our sympathy and went back and forth, Geri understood that we are not going to compete with this corporate offer. I had the fear that we were going to lose her, but I needed to stand up for the values of our small startup company.
I asked Geri to do two things before she chose the right offer.
1. Go on a walk with herself for an hour praying and reflecting in solitude and 2. Seek out a mentor to bring this conversation to.
Three days later, Geri told us she was going with our offer!
When I asked how she reached her decision, she said it was because she reached out to her mentor - her former Bible study leader from the group Geri had to leave. After all, her current job no longer afforded her the time.
This mentor advised her of Matthew 6 from the bible. This is where Jesus talks about the birds of the air and the flowers of the fields, how they survive without doing anything, and how we are so much more special in God's eyes than these.
With a little faith and trust in God, Geri understood that she will be in good hands.
Hearing Geri tell us this miracle while sitting with my wife gave me a rush of relief and joy. It feels splendid to lead with the kind of faith that establishes the principles and beliefs our team will live by.
The next morning I wrote a poem that captures the synchronicities I am experiencing from discipling through faith:
I trust you, God.
I see how I learn and grow.
I know how far in front we go.
I spit ideas. You clarify them through my pen.
I lead a team.
You show me how far I’ve been.
This life I live is becoming something I give.
I don’t need rehearsals or notes anymore.
I have absorbed the principles I communicate.
I give everything to fate so that you can create.
I trust in you as I close my eyes and meditate.
A life well integrated is great.
The life of an entrepreneur is ever newer.
You will find me cleaning up messes while my wife is shopping for dresses.
I interview and grow, drop-in shows, who knows how far this podcast can go.
I am excited to experiment.
And when my time has come, I am ready to drop all of it with no regret.
Oh, what a meaning the disciples construe.
Continue to show us what big Faith can do.