What if your career could also be a calling—to a place where lives are transformed? Saddleback @Work, the workplace ministry for Saddleback Church, wants you to know it is not only possible, but through the Business Connection they can introduce you to people who are doing this every day.
For Aurelio Barretto III, his prayer that God would use his entrepreneurial gifts, business skills, and newfound love for saving the lost turned into just such a marketplace mission field.
Speaking to a standing room only crowd in Tent 2, Aurelio related his early career—founder of his own company at age 20 and soon after that an accomplished millionaire. His was what all the world would call a huge success story. Yet somehow it wasn’t enough. What was it all for, he wondered?
The questions tormented him until one day Aurelio found himself contemplating suicide. How could a man so successful find life so empty and meaningless? It was then that someone told him some amazing news he had never heard before: that God so loved Aurelio, he had given his only Son—just so Aurelio could spend eternity in heaven with him. And all he had to do was believe in that Son. Aurelio obediently put his faith in Jesus and began the real journey of his life.
Aurelio asked God for a vision—something he could do, a business he could launch and grow, that would also be a place for sharing Christ. After months of prayer and soul-searching Aurelio opened his first C28 store, featuring youth-focused clothing and accessories with a Christian theme, in Riverside’s Tyler Mall.
Today, C28 has eight company stores, three franchise locations, plus an Internet store. Aurelio has gone on to create the NOTW (Not of This World) clothing line and Canvas Threads Christian Clothing as well. Each week, hundreds of mall-shopping young lives are impacted for Christ through this business vision. And it all started with a prayer for purpose.
At the Saddleback@Work Business Connection, you can plug in to that same power that feeds Aurelio’s dreams. This monthly forum for business leaders, entrepreneurs, and anyone in the workplace is an opportunity to come together in community and further your business goals, take home practical tools and resources, and discuss ways to live out your faith at work.
It’s not simply a networking or spiritual event, but a place where collaboration to market business is done in a way that leaves participants refreshed and encouraged by God’s Word to see their work through his eyes. Participant Jane Hughes said, “I came to the Business Connection hoping for business leads but God had a greater purpose for me that night. The contacts I made were of far greater benefit than any leads I may have gotten.”
Prior to the general session, you can choose from three workshop tracks to further your growth in business development, personal development, or spiritual development.
You’ll then come together in a main session where a guest speaker like Aurelio shares his or her story and invites discussion. What better way to learn than from those who are already on this journey? “It is so nice to be working with other believers and helping them to grow their businesses,” said Angie Weeks. “We can all help each other so much if we just take the time. I think that the lesson here is be excited & willing to graciously serve; in turn, you will also be fed.” Through roundtable discussions, you’ll figure out how what you’ve just heard applies to your own adventure.
Last but definitely not least comes the genuine power link when the Business Connection prayer team joins forces to pray for business leaders in attendance and their companies.
Of course, the best reward of all is getting to know others in the body of Christ who share your work/life issues, questions, and interests. Jayson Duncan discovered, “Saddleback@Work has allowed me to meet other business owners who have more in common with me than just business.”
“If you look to and trust in the Lord for that leading, wisdom, and direction to make a difference where you work and in what you do,” Aurelio said, “he will meet you and amaze you.”
The Business Connection meets the second Monday of every month with the next meeting July 12 in Tent 2 of the Lake Forest campus. Workshops start at 5:45 p.m., with the main session running from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Dr. Harold Sala, president and founder of Guidelines International and world renowned speaker, author and teacher, will speak on “How do I have a life when I have to work?”
Saddleback@Work is the workplace ministry of Saddleback Church with a mission to equip, connect and send workplace believers into their area of influence. Helping you bridge the gap between your faith and your work as well as to live out your faith at work. For more information, go to www.saddleback.com/saddlebackatwork
or call 949-609-8139.