Today we have Pastor Kim Shibley with us. A good friend, awesome pastor, church planter, missionary, father of five and a husband of one 🙂
Tell me about yourself and your business?
I work for a company called Basement Waterproofing Nationwide, and we market, sell and install water proofing solutions and systems for basements in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Why and how did you become a pastor?
I became a pastor when I was a missionary in France in 1985. During my time there, from ‘82 to ’86, I studied under Pastor Louis DeMeo. Louie Ruvido came over to join our team in 1984, and we studied together for the ordination exam, for about 9 months. We were both ordained in the summer of 1985. It was not something that I wanted to do; it was something that the pastor I was working with wanted me to do, because he wanted to have an ordained pastor as his assistant.
So you woke up one morning and realized you were a pastor?
P Shibley: That was it. I became a believer in 1979, and I went to Bible school that same year. I graduated in 1982, and then went directly to the mission field for four years. We planted a church and a Bible school in southern France. There was a need for me to train more, so I did. I advanced my education, completed some tests and was ordained as a pastor. I have always used my pastoral gifts in any church that I have worked with since. Even though I still have a regular job, I’m still utilizing my skills in the church as a pastor, as well.
We know each other personally not just through business. I know that you are an Elder in our main church and also pastoring the church in Silver Spring, and as far as I see, you are doing a great job.
Let me fast forward to 2014. Do you feel it is challenging to be a Christian businessman in this world?
The idea then would be that I think that in the United States it’s not so hard to have a business and to let people know that it’s a business that is operating on the principles of the Bible, on honesty and that type of thing. There is such a Christian atmosphere; there is so much Christianity on display here in the States. So I don’t think it’s so hard in that sense. What I think is hard is to operate as a Christian business without making it religious, without scaring people while also really operating under the principles of Christ. I think it’s one thing to say that you’re a Christian business, and it’s another thing to operate humbly as a Christian business, whether you’re dealing with Christians or non-Christians.
Very interesting perspective.
Yeah, in other words I’ve – some people use the fact that they’re a Christian business to try to get into – to have an open door toward other Christians; however, I actually don’t think that that’s the first thing we should do. I think the first thing we should do is simply operate our business according to our belief in Christ and not to try to separate our belief in Christ from the business world. I’ve seen a lot of Christians who feel that business is business, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong, including bait and switch, lying about pricing and this type of thing or making up stories. I don’t think that’s – that’s not how we approach Christianity; therefore, that’s not how we should approach our business. I think that our Christian life is all encompassing, including whatever business you’re in.
Can you share a personal story of what was the most difficult decision you had to make in business life in a way that your convictions said one thing and your flesh said another thing and then you decided to go by your conviction, not what your flesh dictated?
Sure, I worked for a short time in my career for a company that sold a product that had a very inflated price, and for some reason, I was tired of where I was working so I figured I would try out this new thing. It turned out to be, to be a bait and switch type of thing where they would advertise a very inexpensive product to get you in the door. However, once you got in the door and showed them that product, they showed you a much more expensive product, maybe almost 10 times more. This product was a much better product but it was also not a – in my opinion an honest way. I did it for a little while, and I was successful. My boss loved it because I made a lot of money. People did get an amazing product, but the problem was that it was all stories and scripts. You basically had to follow a script from the company, and it was a script that actually worked. However, after a year, I had had enough of that, and I left because it just didn’t, it was not honest. I’m a little ashamed that I even stayed that long. The redemption part of it was that the product lasted for 25 to 30 years. I want to keep the identity of the guilty silent. We hear so much about the innocent; it’s the guilty that I don’t want to reveal. Protect the identity of the guilty, because I’m one of them.
How is your business a ministry?
That is actually my priority at work. Is that I would sell profitable business; the question is how do I sell profitable business. If I were overtly evangelizing on the job, we would actually get a lot of complaints because people don’t hire us to come to evangelize to them. They don’t call us to do that; they call us to come do the work that we claim we do. But on the job, the way that I think we represent our ministry is through our actions. It’s through the work that we do; when we make an appointment, we come at the time that we say. When I say the price, that’s the price, without any funny business. When we come to do the work, we do the work that we said we’re going to do, and usually more without trying to do a – without trying to up sell people all the time. But in the process of doing my job, there have been many times when I’ve had an opening to be able to share Christ and to lead people to Christ on the job and to even be able to invite people to church. However, that’s a secondary thing to my job. I think that like anything else, it comes out talking about a relationship to evangelicalism or to being a nice guy, and since you’re a nice guy everyone will know you’re a Christian. Even when there is a time to share or if I’m being called to share Christ, I do not do so on every job, if so, I probably wouldn’t have my job.
How do you see your personal role [role model] in the company if you have people under you?
I don’t really have anyone under me so I think that my role is basically what I said earlier, to not only – it’s someone who is honest and who follows biblical principles. They do not try to cheat them; on the other end, it’s the same: not to manipulate my boss, not to manipulate every situation at work, but to do my work the way it’s supposed to be done, to honor my employer by showing up for work at the time I’m supposed to be there. It costs them money for me to work for them, and they give me opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise. My feeling is that I have to honor them as well, and I do.
More interviews are coming soon…