Living Out Christlike Core Values
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24
To bring our month of praying for business to a close, our last reflection and prayer comes through a Glory Story from a prominent business leader in our nation leaning on the Lord.
If you prayed along through the 2023 National Prayer Gathering Broadcast, you’ll recognize Rebecca Contreras – President and CEO of AvantGarde LLC, a human capital consulting firm with over 120 employees located across nine states. She led prayer for the business sphere on the National Observance Broadcast and during the National Day of Prayer Congressional Observance on Capitol Hill. Her passion for business reflects a passion for both neighbor and nation, as every sector in society relies on the success of business and the overall economy.
“Business is the engine for our economy," Contreras said. "We provide jobs, whether it is a family-owned taco truck or a big tech company; business is sustaining the economy."
Contreras’s business success as a millionaire entrepreneur is just one aspect of her incredible testimony of God’s transformative work in her life.
Her career began when she was a young single mom in a welfare-to-work program in Texas, where the Lord brought powerful mentors to begin shaping her life. As she progressed in her field, she rose to work for Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, and was later brought into the White House to work under former president George W. Bush, after he requested her by name to join the team.
“I fell in love with serving and loving people,” Contreras said.
She moved into the private sector to leverage her wisdom and experience in the field of human resources and human capital, and co-founded AvantGarde LLC in 2011.
Of course, with her passion for people, one of the company’s core values is ‘people-centric’. In Contreras’s words, “People first, client always.”
The Lord highlighted this value during a difficult season in her company. Contreras began seeing signs and receiving feedback from her employees that their assignment with a client was becoming increasingly difficult, beyond normal challenges to overcome at work. The members of this team were on track to burn out and jump ship. Contreras listened to the feedback carefully and sought insight from team members working directly on location.
It seemed that the contract with this client was no longer a good fit – her employees were suffering deeply. If Contreras pulled her company out of the contract, the business would lose a massive amount of expected revenue. If the company remained in the contract, they would begin to hemorrhage talented, hardworking employees.
Contreras sought wise counsel and committed the decision before her to prayer.
She felt the Lord lead her to live out the core value of ‘people first’, and she decided to pull out of the contract in order to best care for the employees in her organization.
“In life, sometimes doing the right thing involves losing money,” Contreras said. “I put people first.”
Six months after the decision, the Lord restored their revenue threefold, and there was no mass exodus of employees from the company!
How We Can Pray
The 2024 Theme, Lift Up the Word – Light Up the World points us to scripture to learn the characteristics of God and to see how He is moving. Scripture is full of accounts that detail the heroes of our faith walking in integrity, the fruit of the spirit, and God’s provision. Today’s Glory Story from Rebecca Contreras is another example of a faithful believer walking in righteousness and following the convictions being rooted in God.
When we pray for business leaders, we must pray for them to be driven by Biblical core values such as good stewardship of talent, both in themselves as leaders and in their organization. When companies and businesses flourish, so do the employees, their communities, and our economy.
“Too many business owners get caught doing everything themselves,” Contreras said. “Pray for business sustainability, and for businesses to thrive; to be an impact on their community.”
Will you pray with me right now?
Lord, You are the Way, the Truth, and our Light in the darkness. You call me, and all people to walk in the values that You modeled and mandated throughout Scripture. I lift up business leaders in my community right now, and pray Colossians 2:23-24 over them: that they would work heartily, as if they were working for you; not themselves, not for profits, but for the glory of Your name. I pray that You would guide their hearts in decision-making, to always make decisions that honor You, knowing that You are their reward – no earthly reward can compare to You! Show business leaders how to be good stewards of their own capacity, as they work diligently to be a caring and wise leader of each person who is under their responsibility. Bring each business leader a godly mentor who can speak Your perfect wisdom to them during times of need and crisis, and to speak the Gospel to those leaders who don’t yet know You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.