Christians Must Not Keep Church and Work Life Separate, Business Leader Says

A Christian business executive believes workers should not place their faith life and employment in separate "silos," but rather should think of them as "one circle."

David Ridley, chief executive officer of the Invesco Alternatives Group (USA) at Invesco Ltd, said in a podcast posted online Tuesday with Dallas Theological Seminary professor Darrell Bock that he used to have a different "silo" for each aspect of his life.

"When I was a younger man, I literally had my life figured out this way. I had my church silo, or circle, I had my family next, and then I had my business next, and then I had my physical fitness circle," explained Ridley.

"And God told me one time, I'll never forget it, the most amazing thing. 'There's only one circle, Dave. Only one circle.' And this was 10 years ago or more, and I realized it's all the same. It's all the same."

Ridley told Bock that he "learned not to silo those" things, but instead "to bring all those together." He hopes to see others in the Church do likewise.

Ridley spoke of a model in which businessmen and pastors work together to form "a community where pastors become sensitive to the business person and the life that they lead, and business people engage with pastors to help them understand the life that they lead as well."

"And recognize — have the church side recognize — this is actually the front lines of mission for the church," said Ridley.

"That the Church doesn't need to create its own evangelistic organization and program, that God's already put that program in place by where he has people scattered in and throughout the marketplace and the business world."

Ridley's comments aired on a weekly podcast hosted by Dallas Theological Seminary called "The Table" that touches on a myriad of issues regarding Christianity and American culture.

This is not the first podcast broadcast by "The Table" that delves into the intersection of faith and business. In September, Bock interviewed Tom Nelson, president of Made to Flourish and senior pastor at Christian Community Church of Kansas City.

Nelson explained to Bock that he felt the modern diverse American workplace provided "many opportunities" to witness to those who might not be Christian.

"I want to say this is a great opportunity for us to enter a space where we have the need for humility and good listening and love and understanding and to find that common ground, the Imago Dei, the image of God that common grace, and it is in that common grace, that fertile soil, where saving grace often finds root," said Nelson.

"So we don't just love people because they're going to find Jesus, right? But because they're made in God's image."