3 min read

375: In the Spotlight: Showcasing the Best Christian Workplaces in 2023

375: In the Spotlight: Showcasing the Best Christian Workplaces in 2023

Join us as experienced Best Christian Workplaces consultants share stories of Christian leaders seeking and acting on feedback, setting the standard for effective, Christ-centered workplaces of 2023. Welcome Tara VanderSande, Giselle Jenkins, Cary Humphries, and Doug Waldo to the conversation!


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In this episode:

  • Churches' Success Stories (with Tara VanderSande):

    • Tara VanderSande, a Best Christian Workplaces consultant, discusses the achievements of 70 certified Best Christian workplaces among churches, highlighting the stories of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, Arizona. The emphasis is on leadership development, commitment to employee feedback, and continuous improvement. (04:34)
    • Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale shines in strategic consistency, collaborative communication, and stakeholder-based coaching. (07:14)
    • The Crossing in Costa Mesa, California has focused on listening and collaborative communication. In the last two years, they’re at flourishing scores. Their church is growing; their staff is healthy. (10:21)
    • Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma was near toxic. They began focusing on building trust, listening to their staff, casting vision, and making sure that there was strategic alignment. (12:22)
  • Christian-Owned Businesses' Highlights (with Cary Humphries) :

    • Cary Humphries, a Best Christian Workplaces consultant, shifts the focus to Certified Christian-owned businesses for 2023, featuring success stories from Dow Smith Contracting in Tennessee, Clements Fluids in Tyler, Texas, Gant Travel Management, and Wilson Lumber. The discussion includes their commitment to employee engagement, strategic alignment, and cultural growth. (15:37)
  • Christian Higher Education Institutions' Achievements:

    • The podcast highlights the challenges and successes of Certified Christian higher education institutions, specifically LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, and Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. The emphasis is on their continuous journey toward a healthier workplace culture, involving faculty and staff in decision-making and fostering trust. (23:44)
  • Christian Schools' Overview (with Doug Waldo):

    • Doug Waldo, a senior consultant, discusses the growth and challenges faced by Christian schools, particularly in the post-COVID era. (29:53)
    • Growth brings practical challenges such as facilities and staffing concerns. Managing growth strategically is crucial. (30:02)
    • Mission fit becomes a significant concern as new students and families may have different expectations. Flourishing schools excel in ensuring alignment with their mission and values. (30:41)
  • Case Study: Wheaton Academy:

    • Wheaton Academy's journey to becoming a flourishing Christian workplace is highlighted. (31:54)
    • Emphasis on transforming the faculty from feeling like independent contractors to actively participating in decisions. (32:20)
    • Wheaton Academy's core values are prominently featured on their website, shaping everything from onboarding to performance evaluations. (33:10)
  • Case Study: Denton Calvary Academy:

    • Denton Calvary Academy's approach to involving employees, faculty, and families in decision-making is discussed. (34:22)
    • The importance of maintaining a strong sense of connection to the mission and core values is highlighted. (34:44)
    • Despite being a smaller school, they prioritize giving employees a sense of voice and involvement. (35:01)
  • Discussion on Themes from Discovery Groups:

    • Doug shares insights from conducting discovery groups with 59 different groups and schools. (35:33)
    • Three recurring themes emerge: connection to mission and core values, feeling heard, and feeling valued. (35:59)
    • Flourishing schools excel in prioritizing and strengthening these connections. (37:18)
  • Update on Certified Christian Nonprofit Sectors (with Giselle Jenkins):

    • Giselle Jenkins, consulting director, highlights the family services sector, celebrating 20 certified organizations, with over half flourishing. (39:19)
    • Case study: Christian Family Care, serving vulnerable children and families in Phoenix, excels in employee engagement during the pandemic. (40:05)
  • Another Ministry Partner: 4KIDS:
    • Giselle introduces 4KIDS, a Florida-based organization ensuring foster children are placed in Christian homes. (41:46)
    • Noteworthy growth and engagement despite challenges. Every employee is engaged. (42:57)
  • Rescue Missions' Achievements:

    • Giselle discusses the challenges faced by rescue missions, emphasizing the high-stress nature of their frontline work. (44:00)
    • Case study: Seattle Union Gospel Mission, achieving flourishing status in four years under Scott Chin's leadership. (44:45)
    • Another case study: The City Mission in Cleveland, achieving flourishing status within a year through effective communication improvements. (46:28)
  • International Parachurch and Mission Organizations:

    • Giselle highlights Edify, an international organization supporting Christian education globally. (48:36)
    • Exceptional employee engagement exceeding 90%, achieved through accountability and leadership development programs. (49:48)


Read the Transcript

Read a complete, word-for-word transcript of the episode


Follow our Host, Al Lopus, on LinkedIn & Twitter.

Email our host at al@workplaces.org

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