Start at the Finish Line

2017 Chicago Work as Worship Conference

Greed can strangle even the most cautious of people. As Christians, we should seek to be like Jesus in all things, especially in how we handle our money. In this 22-minute session, Alan Barnhart, CEO of Barnhart Crane & Rigging, shares what God taught him as he led an increasingly successful business.

Alan Barnhart is the CEO of Barnhart Crane & Rigging. Barnhart Crane & Rigging has grown to be one of the largest Heavy Lift and Heavy Transport organization in the United States with more than 40 locations across the country and a nationwide reputation for solving problems.  Alan, Eric and their families decided to give 100% of their highly successful business to charity to keep wealth from taking over their lives. In 2007, they gave the entire company to National Christian Foundation. Though they still run its daily operations, the brothers will never reap its accrued value; they kept none of it. 

Alan began his story by explaining how he realized all Christians are in ministry, regardless of their vocation. He decided to work in business as a ministry. In what ways could your work be like a ministry? Whom do you have influence over? How do you conduct yourself? Whom do you serve?
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Alan talked about two principles he learned as he studied the Bible through the lens of business.
  • Everything we have comes from God. We are stewards, not owners.
  • Business success is something that could ruin you—Jesus warns against wealth.

What does it mean to you that you're a steward, not an owner? What would it look like to view your job or business as a steward?
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Why do you think Jesus warned against wealth? How could money and success potentially ruin someone?
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Alan decided to put a cap on his lifestyle to prevent being ruined by money. No matter the profits his company made, his standard of living remained the same. The company gave money away and built in accountability so they'd keep to their commitments. What strikes you about Alan's decision? Would you ever consider his approach? Why or why not?
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What fears do you have when it comes to money and success? What could you do to combat those fears?
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Alan said everyone in his company must buy into their mission, which is to be the best in the industry. However, not everyone has to buy into the purpose, but they must be aware of it. Their purpose is to glorify God by:
  • Doing good work.
  • Making Him known.
  • Contributing to the body of Christ by generating money for the kingdom. 

How do each of the points in Alan's purpose statement glorify God? How could you glorify God in your work?
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Of the three points of Alan's purpose statement, which one comes the most naturally to you? Which one could you work on?
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Alan's company is overt in its purpose to glorify God. Though being a Christian isn't required, every employee knows what the company stands for. How do you communicate your faith in your workplace? Are you overt or subtle? Why do you think that is?
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Alan talked about greed and generosity. Generosity—living with an open hand—breaks the power of greed in our lives. How could you be generous with your finances this week?
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Alan closed by reminding us that God wants us, not our money. He is trustworthy, generous, loving, and worthy of our obedience. As we saw in Alan's story, his decision to steward his wealth well has affected his children and company for the better. Consider the principles Alan spoke about and how you can apply them to your life this week.

For more information on the Work as Worship Conference or how to attend next year's event, visit