The dog-eat-dog business climate might seem like no place for faith.
But in Toronto, Darcy Keeler has figured out how to combine the two.
The 39-year-old sales engineer serves as one of over 100 small group leaders nationwide with LeaderImpact, Cru’s Canadian marketplace ministry.
From his first moment in a CEO boardroom with older leaders, Darcy knew he wanted to get involved.
“It was a little bit intimidating, being with vice-presidents or business owners, but hearing them share their struggles at home or work, I thought, I want to invest my time and my heart here. LeaderImpact provides such a safe place for people like me. I can invite friends from work to our forums, which so reflect God working in the lives of top business leaders.”
At a recent forum, after going through the breakfast buffet, 52 professional men and women sit down at rows of tables to learn from sales trainer Howard Olsen how to attract and keep new clients. They laugh and take notes on Howard’s enthusiastic, high-energy presentation, but the room grows quiet as he begins telling his story.
“My identity was based around my deals,” says Olsen. “But when you lose your job and can’t get work for 2 years, and all the money, prestige, and titles disappear, so did my sense of self.”
At the end of his story, the MC invites everyone to come to a local small group with the friend who invited them, and try it out for four weeks.
Typically, attendees will stay for the same reasons Darcy did.
Although he lives an hour north of Toronto, 5 years ago, Darcy took a new job downtown, riding the train in twice a week.
“I said, ‘OK, if I’m moving to this company, let’s open up a new group’, so I put my hand up as a new leader.”
He currently has 5 guys coming regularly, some who’ve been involved for years.
According to John Havercroft, LI regional director, “In this cut-throat business climate, God empowers Darcy to relate to his peers with warmth, genuineness, and acceptance, which gains their trust very quickly.”
“You connect with someone on a project,” says Darcy, “you share about family, experiences, history, and where you get your strength from, and then go towards fellowship, church, and faith. I also love hearing peoples’ stories. What’re the challenges, the history? That’s an easy path to gain someone’s trust, understanding their problems, their stories, and it just builds from there.”
Canadian hockey legend Paul Henderson started LeaderImpact with just 3 men, and it’s grown to over 100 groups in 45 cities across Canada. They host mission trips to 3 other countries, which Darcy looks forward to joining.
“Opportunities for new training, going international, new groups spreading, and the chance to impact people driving the economy of their country, leaders that have hundreds of people behind them, seeing them changed for God, that’s very exciting,” he says.
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