After pastoring for 29 years, Mike Willich saw a trend that impacted him so much that it caused him to make a career change. He noticed that businessmen and women would come to church but didn’t connect or find a place to serve.
At one point, he had the City Manager attending his church, along with several business owners and leaders. He wanted to engage them so he started a group for business leaders.
Mike called this group, Business Leaders Engaging Salina; this was in 2018. They met at local restaurants and rotated locations. When COVID hit, in the middle of 2020, they hosted about 180 different business leaders in the city who came to their events and monthly meetings.
God showed Mike that business leaders are all about influence. When you’re in business, no matter what your role is, you can be an influence on other people, especially in the corporate world. Mike realized, in the past, he put so much emphasis on the church and what happened in its four walls, that he neglected the Kingdom work people did in the marketplace.
Mike received a call from Rick Boxx, Founder, and CEO of Unconventional Business Network. Rick asked if Mike would consider moving to Kansas City. Mike prayed, put his house on the market, and it sold the next day. He and his wife followed God’s calling and moved to KC to work with UBN.
UBN is a ‘Faith at Work’ initiative. Rick and his team of business leaders teach others how to grow their business and what God says about their business. They hold events in KC, STL and Des Moines, IA. Next year they’ll open up another event in Oklahoma City.
You could say, Mike turned a 180. He now sees the marketplace as a mission. He’s still doing ministry but just doing it in Corporate America. As Billy Graham said, the next great awakening and revival will happen in the marketplace. Mike often hears, from many different business owners and leaders, that God is moving in their workplaces.
Mike helps people see their importance and value in the workplace. So many go to work and feel undervalued as if their work doesn’t matter. People need to know that what they do makes a difference. When the Bible speaks about the priesthood of all believers, it tells us that we all have a call and giftings to use to build the kingdom in its fullness and power. Each person is to be used in the church as well as outside the church. It takes ALL of us, not just the pastors or those who paid to ‘be good.’ We don’t just go to church. We are the church.
As Mike learned more about this faith at work initiative, he realized that pastors are good at celebrating those in the church who are leaving their careers to go to Africa, for instance. Others go to some mission field, some plant churches. While it is appropriate to point to them as examples of people following their calling, the church often fails to honor the mission that’s happening in the workplace. There’s one mission but many missions. We can celebrate that all work matters.
Some people put a thick line between what happens in the church building or in “ministry situations.” For some reason, they attach a smaller significance to what happens in the workplace. This line doesn’t exist in the Scriptures. Everything is sacred. Work started in the garden before the fall. It’s something God still uses and blesses today. It’s very much a part of the Kingdom work, not separate from it.
Mike coordinates, trains up and leads workers, business leaders, and owners using a three-year curriculum that helps leaders define their leadership, transform their workplace and impact their community for God. In addition, these groups and events offer like-minded people peer-to-peer coaching, counseling, and networking.
So many are fearful to say anything about God in the workplace. They feel they can’t live their faith out like they should because of the diversity equity. Often we hear the message “everything should be celebrated,” but that seems to apply to everyone except for those celebrating followers of Jesus. UBN teaches how to move into a relationship with God and make your faith come alive as you grow as a worker in the workplace. They help you practice what you preach and not just be hearers of the word only but doers in your job and workplace.
If you’d like more information on how to be a Light to your workplace or business, you can visit unconventionalbusiness.org. Thanks for leaning in to hear about joining Jesus where we work!
At Love KC we regularly say, “Join Jesus where He is already at work where you live, learn, work and play. Don’t leave out living on-mission where you work.
Many people discovered that you can adopt your co-workers in blesseveryhome.com just like you can adopt your neighbors. Simple enter their names without an address and they will come up in your daily five persons for whom to pray.
If you want to hear more about Mike’s story, you can listen in to the BLESS podcast with Mike Willich.
We’d love to hear your stories. You can share your story with Love KC by texting 833- 976-2592 use the key word, STORY and then follow the prompts.
Join Jesus where He is already at work,