Archive for August, 2009
In an effort to get creative in her new business selling Aflac supplemental health insurance, a friend of mine, Kirsti, decided to approach the local strip club. Hey, why not! Strippers need health insurance, too, right? It was tough to get past the black curtain (I’m picturing a black curtain, but I don’t really know), but Kirsti is tenacious and was able to convince the manager that this was a good thing for her girls.
Before she left for her night at the strip club, she prayed with her husband – prayed that God would protect her, that she would be a servant and a light. If you were to guess where Kirsti would end up in her career, strip club would not be on your short list. On her resume, you will find that she worked for a medical missions non-profit and was dean of women at a conservative, private Christian college. But here she was – at the strip club.
Kirsit left me a voicemail on my work line the next day (I always listen to my messages on speaker, and this one said, “Call me, I have to tell you about my first night at the strip club.”). I hope my staff was not listening too closely!
When I called Kirsti back, she said she just had to tell me what happened. She knew I would appreciate it with my whole faith and work obsession.
I’d like to report that the ladies were at least scantily clad back stage, but I’m afraid they weren’t clad at all. “Was it awkward?” I asked. Kirsti responded matter of factly, “Not at all. I just looked them in the eyes and treated them with respect.”
I know it seems unconventional, but think about it. What Christian who wants to be a light in the darkness would ever get an all access pass to the back room of a dingy strip club!
Kirsti was excited to report to me that as she manned her little table, a young woman approached her and asked her how she got into her career. A little informational interview happened on the spot. The woman wanted to get out of her current profession. To Kirsti, if nothing else happened that night to further her business, she was honored to make this connection. Subsequently, she was able to help this woman get an interview with Aflac.
Fortunately, Kirsti is a Christian who understands that her work matters to God. She knows that God created her with special strengths – one of which is the ability to push beyond surface connections with people. She is a relator – she values deep relationships. It was this strength that enabled her to quickly make a connection in this circumstance.
People sometimes seem perplexed about why I am so passionate about marketplace ministries. Aren’t there more important eternal issues to worry about! The reality is that our work gives us the opportunity to work out our faith.. to be people of integrity… to be a light… to help redeem corrupt systems.
It was through Kirsti’s work that she was able to serve another human being. Kirsti could have avoided the strip club completely because it was a den of iniquity. Or she could have gone into that joint and just done her job. But her faith compelled her to treat those women with dignity – to look them in the eyes.
So what surprising opportunities do you have in your workplace to serve others and bring the hope of redemption and renewal? If Kirsti can be a servant in the back room of a strip club, I’m sure you can find ways to be a little creative in your sphere of influence.