April 2015 Event Recap – Hoeft, Graves & Rogers (Panel Discussion)

“Connecting Faith with Work”

The Tacoma KIROS breakfast meeting was blessed to have a discussion panel of three very honest, devoted Christian professionals. The panel consisted of Diane Hoeft, Paul Graves and Jeff Rogers, and was moderated by Al Erisman, Co-Chairman of the Theology of Work Project.

Diane Hoeft works with early stage consumer digital product teams to help refine development priorities, marketing platforms and investment strategy. Her career in digital media and consumer social platforms has taken her into roles in Europe and US. Diane helped to build and operate digital media partnerships for Microsoft in both the US and UK markets. Diane is co-founder of Shopvolution, the developer of social shopping app Shopcade. She earned a Bachelor’s of Communication from University of California and an MBA from the London Business School.

Paul Graves has more than 20 years of experience in brand strategy, creative direction and business innovation consulting. He has held a variety of senior level leadership positions and has worked across a broad variety of industry segments with some of the world’s most recognized brands. Paul has an MBA from the University of Westminster, London. He currently heads up See Seven – a Seattle based “Purpose Design Firm”. Paul’s passion is to help clients think differently about who they are, what they do, and why they do it, so that in turn they can create a bigger, positive difference in our communities. In addition Paul is a pastor at Cedar Park Church, where he is pioneering “GodWork360”, an innovative ministry designed to inspire, support and mobilize people in their full-time workplace calling. He is a visiting business school lecturer and conference speaker.

Jeff Rogers is Chairman and CEO for OneAccord Partners, a west coast firm building value for mid-market organizations in both the for-profit & non-profit sectors. Jeff continues as one of the founding board members of KIROS, which was established to Connect, Encourage and Equip the faith-based community in the marketplace. He also serves on the boards of Youth Transition Network, C3 Leaders & Doing Good Foundation. His family founded the Doinggood Foundation, which is working in Uganda to bring sustainable development to a region, including school, business and economic development.

Question: How do you connect Faith and Work?

Jeff was first to answer. He brings the redemption story into his work, changing hearts and minds. It is the story of God’s redemption that heals and restores people and company cultures. He talked about doing the work well, that God has given him to do, to the glory of God.

Paul cares deeply for people. As a pastor, he sees and cares for people and it does not matter the physical location of the individual, his desire is to help people truly see the very best in others. He is a good listener, and an important part of being a good listener is asking the right questions. Knowing the heart and concerns of others enables him to listen well and ask the right questions.

Diane feels a definite calling of God to the places she has been, and in those situations, she has experienced a humbling and a pruning of the vine. Diane felt a calling to the fashion industry to be a bold witness in an environment not known for its Christian views. Diane feels the calling of God to her work to courageously share her faith, and at the same time God is pruning her, drawing her closer to himself.

Question: How do you connect Faith and Work in difficult situations?

Diane shared that through difficult situations she learns to be more curious. Asking God “what are you trying to teach me?” She looks for and sees redemption; how is God going to use this for His Glory.

Paul said it is in the difficult situations that God draws him closer to Himself in new ways.

Jeff answered the question by saying “I try to remember, it’s not about me. It’s about how can I best reflect God in this difficult situation?”

Each panelist said they approach difficult situations with prayer. There are times when difficulties are of our own making, yet God can and does use those experiences for our good and His Glory.

The panel of speakers was authentic, open and shared real life experiences. The connection between work and faith relationship is about people and situations. As Jeff said, “Being fully present, each day moment by moment, when things are going well and when they are not. God is always at work and sometimes He uses us for others, and sometimes he uses others for us, all for His Glory.”