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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Got Silly Stringed in Texas!

I'm in Plano at our Live Events offices for a couple of days and was preparing for my first interview when one of our sales executives stuck her head in the door. "If you hear thunder, we're about to reach 100,000 over in Revolve." Interested, I followed her to the Revolve sales area and learned that:

  1. as of that minute they had reserved 99,998 slots for girls and young women at our Revolve arena events so far this year, and
  2. one of our GRCs was on the phone finalizing the booking for two more people.

All around me were giddy young sales women shaking cans of something I couldn't make out, and jumping up and down giggling. The one remaining seated salesperson looked up and yelled that she had the booking, and silly string flew everywhere and on everyone. Someone pulled the string on a pinata hung from the ceiling, and "100 Grand" chocolate bars rained down through the group. Then, the team leader assembled everyone for a prayer of thanksgiving for the 100,000 young and impressionable lives that have been or will be touched this year. Through the last conference 5,565 first time professions of faith have been made at Revolve with four more conferences to go. When you think about the fact that most of these young women will go on to have families and raise up children in their new found faith, the multiplier of that impact on our world is impressive.

Thirty minutes later I had an interview with a mid-career professional whose once-Christian company has new private equity owners who are intentionally scrubbing all aspects of the old Christian culture from their new holding. Morale is down, the workforce is disengaging, and (no surprise) sales are down resulting in waves of staff reductions. For the new owners, open Christianity is an expensive distraction and doesn't align with their own personal values.

So while we complain about the daily imperative at Thomas Nelson and other Christian businesses to balance faith and commerce, the fact that we take the time to struggle at all makes our workplace special. Today in Plano I saw the two extremes of Christianity in the workplace within 30 minutes time, and an affirmation that finding and keeping that balance is worth the struggle.



Laura S said...

Glad you could be a part of it! It really was an amazing day! Merry Christmas!

Katie said...

Jesus is the reason for the season, and I'm not just talking Christmas. He's the reason for the Revolve season and he is in everything Revolve is and does. We are so grateful for the chance to work with such wonderful Christian women and men and so thankful for all that HE has done for this tour! Thanks Jim for sharing the moment with us.