Housekeeping and conflict can lead to breakthrough growth.

As a young reporter I had just completed all the new employee paperwork and was minutes from getting my first assignment at the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City. I secured the spot with a last-minute live audition but the sheer unworthiness of standing in front of my desk surrounded by the accomplished news anchors I had grown up watching was not lost on me.

The equipment and noise of my new office was a “jumping into the deep end of the pool” moment. I had carefully chosen the few things that would go on my new desk: my jumbo Rolodex, a small poster with Isaiah 40:31, and four books—a dictionary and Thesaurus, my Bible, and a copy of The Christian Employee, by Robert Mattox.

Before my arranging was complete, the station’s chief photographer approached me, pointing to the poster and the Bible and grumbling, “And what’s all this?” As I began to answer, my new coworker cut me off with a curt, “Trust me when I tell you, with that kind of stuff around here you’ll never last.”

Darryl was one of the most award-winning photojournalists of all time. Years later while on assignment for different stations we ran into each other in New York City and oddly both recalled our first “chat.”

I explained that in a very profound way I understood just how closely I would be watched. And Darryl shared how the “new kid” smiled but didn’t offer to take down the small poster or put the Bible away. He said he remembered thinking, “She’s different. And maybe tough enough to last.”

I’m immensely grateful for Darryl and all the other “difficult” coworkers I’ve had in the past. Being like-minded can be grossly overrated. God calls us to be a light in the darkness—to go into the world but not be conformed by it.

So why is it that so many believers have such immense struggles in the workplace? And if the workplace is ministry-focused, why is “business” a four-letter word—as if incorporating basic business principles of time management, productivity, and accountability is offensive to God? Seriously? Snap out of it!

The world should know that hiring a Christian is the greatest value for their dollar. Every faith-based organization should be the standard-bearer for quality work.

We’re going through a few of those “snap out of it” adjustments ourselves here at CBA. We have no hope of helping to change an industry without impeccable accountability in our own camp. We now have team members working virtually from four states plus our home base in Colorado Springs. We require a strong work ethic, a commitment to the vision of giving members great value, and being a leader in the “revival of revenue” for our industry.

Changing and growing is a tough transition. Putting a value on people doesn’t mean we accept sub-par performance and bad attitudes, or being tolerant of unethical behavior and insubordination.

We’ve got some internal messes we’re cleaning up: an employee who resigned without notice but used company email in the middle of the night to send a disparaging email about CBA leadership; a senior manager who refused to work any further under the terms of his written contract without an additional financial bonus.

Come on, people! Ethical behavior shouldn’t be considered a tough requirement. None of us is more important to an organization than the service of that organization to its members. So, going into this convention season, this time of “revival of revenue,” we’re doing some housekeeping of our own.

We’re extending (even to a terminated worker) Matthew 18 invitations to meetings. God’s direction is that we work to resolve our conflicts believer-to-believer. Grace is not a free pass for illegal or unethical behavior, but resolving conflict based on the Matthew 18 principle is God’s rulebook on conflict resolution. Ambassador Clyde Rivers will mediate our Matthew 18 meetings. He works with world leaders and mentors our CBA leadership team—and he’ll be speaking at UNITE 2018 this summer in Nashville.

With 68 years of industry leadership, we’re embracing next steps—even the messy ones of housekeeping and conflict—with a Bible on our desk and the opportunity to be an example of those timeless truths.

—Deborah Mash