I had been self-employed almost my whole working life, predominately in telecoms, then CRM and then marketing. However, in January 2009 I experienced a pivotal change in events and by February 2009 my wife and I started going to church.
A few months later in June 2009, my wife and I were baptised and then, as many Christians will know, we experienced our own “forty days in the desert” (well in fact it was longer than that).
During this time I experienced the most amazing hand of God in my life and now am ready to start sharing the “Vision” with businesses up and down the country.
Surrender to the Marketplace
As we entered 2011, life seem to pretty awful and no one could suggest a way out. However, in April 2011 after listening to a sermon about surrender, I felt God clearly tell me that I should put down the projects I was working on and go and work in the marketplace. My time witnessing to the family Beagle, Fraser, had clearly come to an end!
I was extremely cautious about this word from God! especially having been self-employed since 1987.
I got a job as Head of Marketing pretty quickly and witnessed to everyone within the company and handed out bibles!
When that job ended nine months later, I thought it strange how quick an experience it had been. A bit perplexed I thought I had to start looking again. But no! Within a few days I got a new contract that I thought was dead and lost eighteen months previously.
The Standard is Born
It was March 2012. Whilst meeting with a Christian men's group, I was given a “Vision”. It was to set up a Men's Christian ministry, initially, I thought to provide a mechanism connect up different men's groups. I was clear that the name was to be called The Standard, the logo to be a seal, representing the seal of our covenant with Jesus and for the predominant colour to be red, representing His shed blood. However, whilst I knew I was on the right track something wasn't right so development seemed to stagnate.
Nine Days to the Perfect Job
By July 2012 I believed again that I had to get my CV out again to the online recruitment sites, but again, I clearly heard from God telling me not to bother. I was to pray and make my petition in writing for my perfect job and He would provide. I did this and we prayed about my amazing new job – to be - at our house group.
The following day I was contacted by a consultant and within nine days was appointed as European Head of Marketing! (Click Here To Read the full story).
Full Steam Ahead
That contract finished in March 2013 and I felt directed to revive The Standard. It was to take the form of a collaborative platform developed expressly for Christian business people to help them identify each other in their respective churches (especially as some churches have quite large congregations), and secondly to promote each other's businesses to other Christians further afield.
The platform would have a social network connected to it, a bit like Facebook so that everyone could communicate with each other and be able to build closer relationships online.
The Business Directory
In addition a bespoke Business Directory would be made available making it even easier for congregations from all churches to find new suppliers and buy from them.
It seemed there was a constant stream information and guidance being downloaded to me, from the administrative infrastructure, to blogs, content, design and strategies.
It then became clear that the vision was to start in Watford, then Hertfordshire and then the rest of the UK.
And Then The Bomshell – Don’t Charge!
I've been in business since 1987 and so I know about generating income, GP, Gross Profit, making a turn, you name it. And thinking about The Standard, I though this was going to be a great money spinner. Just think, 000's churches, even more businesses, I could picture the future. Well I though, the Lord has blessed me indeed.........Then out of the blue - I was told not to charge. "What!" I thought, "do you know how much this could make!" I humbly mentioned to God, like he didn't know!
Firstly I was told not to charge businesses to use The Standard platform or the Directory and that we are only make provision for donations – God would provide by prompting business owners and church organisations to help fund The Standard via donations!
So that’s it. That’s how the "Vision" became a reality, with a few miracles along the way to keep us encouraged.
All I ask now is for your prayers and support and we pray that you will be keen to join The Standard and help the businesses in your Church connect with each other and help bring glory to God in the process.
My Testimony Video (Uncut!)
There were a few technical problems when this was filmed, but such is life, not everything works when you want it to, I hope you enjoy it :)
Now tell us your business testimony
More than anything, we want to proclaim the Good News to the wider business community and the best way to do that is by telling each other our stories of what God has done in our lives.
It can be a long or as short as you like. Use the comment section below as a starting point. If you feel you would like to send us photos or videos, please email us and we will get it posted up - go for it!