Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Christian Business Seminar this weekend

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Several years ago, the elders at Kabwata Baptist Church saw a growing need to give focused instruction to the growing middle-to-upper class individuals within the membership of the church. Once upon a time, KBC comprised largely college and university students. These had since graduated and began going up the career ladders in their different professions. Some were now in top management, while others had begun to branch off into their own businesses. There was need to help this group to continue being salt and light in the world instead of being sucked into the rat race that makes up the lives of so many who are in their ranks. Most of them were first generation Christians and so did not have role-models that they could look up to. There was a need to look outside our immediate circles to find those who can say “follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Nico and Anita van der Merwe
We realized that the solution for now was to have a bi-annual one-day Christian business seminar, which would work towards giving our growing middle-to-upper class such instruction. We were mindful that there were already some seminars earmarked for Christian business people. However, whereas almost all of these seminars were of a Charismatic nature and were preoccupied with how such people could be more wealthy, our goal was on helping our people to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to [them]” (Matthew 6:33). As Reformed Christians, we are zealous for the glory of God. Therefore, there is need for our people to translate this zeal into the realm of professional and business life.

Nico presenting at the 2006 seminar
The biggest task was to find good role models for these men and women in professional and business life. Thankfully, over the years the Lord has brought into my path a few men who are in the world of business and who exemplify something of what I would like to see in the first fruits of our Reformed Christian professionals and business people.

John and Yvonne Temple
Thus in 2006 we held our first conference at the Cresta Golf View Hotel, with Nico van der Merwe as our speaker. Nico trained as a pharmacist and is the founder of the H.A.S.S. Group of companies in South Africa. His enthusiasm for the Lord’s work even as a businessman almost puts my own to shame. I mean it! I will say a little more about him in a future blog when I do a book review on the book that he has recently written, What Does God Know About Business? This book, which is hot-off the press, will be available at a special conference discounted priced at this weekend’s seminar.

John Temple handling the business seminar in 2008
In 2008, we held our second conference at the Dream Valley Lodge, with Dr John Temple as our speaker. John trained as an electrical engineer right up to PhD level and ran his own very successful business for many years. He then retired from business and, together with his wife Yvonne, left South Africa to settle in the UK so that they could be more accessible to their children and grandchildren. He still has business interests that literally span the globe. He has written a book entitled Be Successful, Be Spiritual. Again, I hope to write a review on this book soon.

Conrad, Felistas and Musa in his front office
This year (2010), we are holding our third conference at the same venue (Dream Valley Lodge). It will be held this coming Saturday, 9th October, and the speaker will be Musa Phiri. Musa is a Zambian businessman stationed in South Africa. He runs his own architectural firm, PG Architects. Soon after his conversion while he was still in high school some thirty years ago, he was baptized at Lusaka Baptist Church by Pastor Joe Simfukwe. He went on to study Architecture at what is now called the Copperbelt University before emigrating to Botswana and later to South Africa.

Musa Phiri with his wife (Stella) and their oldest daughter
If you are involved in professional or business life and able to make your way to Lusaka this weekend, I have no doubt that you will benefit immensely from the ministry of Musa Phiri. I have known him since he was born—literally—and can vouch for him that the grace of God has worked powerfully in his life. If all Christians went about their professional and business lives like he does, we would not only have a better church but also a better world!

Musa Phiri in his office
Details concerning this one-day conference are available from the Evergreen Christian Bookstore. Call either +260 211 260 154 or +260 955 330 033 and ask to speak to Kakonde Simbeye, the bookstore manager. I am aware that space is limited and can only hope that there may still be room for you!


  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am from Nepal, I believe on Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. As I am working independantly on Computer Software, I want my profession for Business as Mission, so I wish to attend Christian business seminar, Could you please share some information on it for me? Thank you.

  2. Dear Sheru,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. The Christian Business Seminar we hold is really a small one-day in-house seminar for our first-generation Christians in Lusaka. For you to come all the way from Nepal to attend a one-day seminar may not be the best use of your funds.

    Perhaps someone reading this could give you some idea of some Christian Business Seminars available near you or on the internet. Let us wait and see...