Protect Your Mission CCCA Sectional 2024

Protect Your Mission CCCA Sectional


HR practices that can best help your Kingdom-Minded Camp while protecting its mission in today’s hostile world.

CCCA Sectional
White Sulphur Springs
4500 Milligans Cove Road
Manns Choice, PA 15550

Monday, February 26, 2024
4:00pm

Presenter Mark Griffin has seen it all in his more than 25 years of Human Resources experience gained by working with a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to Christian Colleges, Ministries and Churches.

Let Mark help you by sharing his experiences in helping a variety of organizations manage their beliefs in the reality of today’s workplace.

Leading your Camp with Christ-centered values makes organizational sense.

Mark will share why he believes Christ-centered organizations experience:

  • Lower absenteeism
  • Higher quality products
  • Fewer employee morale issues
  • Safer work environments
  • Better perceptions by customers and vendors

Mark will also share how he helps organizations develop HR practices that reflect their core values and still build a high performance organization.

Topics to be Covered

  • DEI and Biblical alternatives why is this important?
  • Protecting your religious liberty
  • Dangers from proposed laws
  • Current state of religious liberty in court
  • Creating a high performance culture through practical HR competency development
  • Where most organizations go wrong engaging employees
  • Setting expectations
  • HR tools for creating success
  • Employee policy manuals
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Employee relations and communications
  • Performance management
  • Counseling and discipline procedures
  • Terminations
  • How the Civil Rights Act administrative guidance affects your Camp

Mark is a human resources professional with 25-plus years of experience in both public (Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., Merck Inc.) and private companies (Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Valco Companies Inc.), Mark is passionate about building high-performance workplaces by utilizing best practices while leading organizations with strong values.

About The Presenter

Mark A Griffin

Mark A. Griffin, MBA
President and Founder In HIS Name HR LLC

Speaker, accomplished HR consultant, and the author of How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations and College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, Mark A. Griffin encourages leaders to build values-led organizations during these increasingly complex times.  Mark and his wife live in Lancaster PA and have two adult children.

Presented and hosted by the Christian Camp and Conference Association Allegheny Region. For ticket information visit them here.

 

Chaplains The Secret Key to Workplace Success

Chaplains: One Secret Key to Workplace Success


Now more than ever, employees are struggling.

A recent Gallup poll found that a staggering 85 percent aren’t actively engaged at work. Stresses outside the workplace like marital issues and financial burdens often weigh heavily on people’s minds, causing them to become distracted and disinterested in their jobs. This, obviously, is a problem for any employer considering how the greatest hurdle to reaching organizational success is maintaining happy, mentally healthy employees.

It’s a double problem for any Christian employer since Christians are called to love one another. And a reflection of that love is taking care of others’ needs when and where appropriate. So where do we begin to find the resources to make the most impact?

Transport For Christ Lancaster PA One great place to start is with a workplace chaplain. When you think of chaplains, you may think of the suited guy in a hospital who prays with people when loved ones are dying or in dire health. And that can be the case, though it only captures a small fragment of reality.

Workplace chaplains are also quite common in the armed services, hospitals, fire departments, police agencies, prisons, and educational institutions. So why not in the business world too?

What if businesses have missed a significant component in their environment that can have a lasting impact on their strength, culture, and levels of commitment?

While workplace chaplains can’t preach or promote “religion” for non-discriminatory reasons, they can serve as counselors, coaches, and confidants. Chaplains can offer assistance to everyone regardless of religious affiliation, providing businesses and their employees with the structures and support they need to succeed.

When a chaplain is present on a regular basis, employees can address issues early on before they begin to have a more profound negative effect. Here are just a few specific benefits of using them:

Resolving Inter-Employee Disputes: Any workplace with numerous employees and personalities may encounter quarrels and feelings of annoyance. Often, these are minor disagreements that can be handled through discussion but aren’t brought to management due to fear of escalation. Having a chaplain to help discuss these matters can help employees resolve conflicts easily.

Promoting Safety: Carrying burdens can cause feelings of worry and anxiety that seep in like a dark cloud. Employees dealing with personal issues may become distracted and not react properly or quickly in certain workplace situations. For instance, an employee operating heavy equipment might lose his train of thought and cause an accident. Speaking with a chaplain can help clear up at least some of that fog, ultimately leading to a safer work environment for all.

Offering a Neutral Presence: Workplace chaplains aren’t biased or involved in day-to-day business operations. This often means staff are more comfortable trusting them with their concerns. In this way, employees can be open and honest without worrying it could damage their job or image.

Building a Harmonious Environment: Chaplains can be assigned based on a company’s specific requirements. They may come from a wide range of backgrounds with experience in various matters, spiritual or otherwise. Chaplains can assist employees in improving working relationships and help increase confidence and harmony in various scenarios.

They can also help employees who don’t normally interact on a regular basis become more connected and engaged. This will, in turn, help improve the overall attitude and morale in the workplace. And that then increases workplace productivity.

Offering Referrals: If employees or family members are struggling with any physical or mental issues such as drugs, alcohol, or depression, workplace chaplains can provide specialized referrals and treatment resources to help them through the process. They might also be able to connect them to the company’s resources.

And here’s another benefit: With a chaplain in place, management can let the full weight of those burdens go, allowing them to concentrate on increasing overall company performance.

Recently, we met with TFC Global, a U.S.-based national provider of chaplain resources primarily serving the trucking industry. During our interview, we learned a great deal about the history of this organization and the current services it provides.

We were thoroughly impressed!

TFC Global is an extensive network that seeks to reach truck drivers with the good news of Jesus Christ. The organization, formerly known as Transport for Christ, was started in 1951 by Canadian Reverend Jim Keyes, who wanted to bring the teachings of Jesus Christ to truck drivers on the road. As the mission grew, he modified a small step van into a place of worship to give truckers the opportunity to receive chaplaincy services along the Royal Canadian Highway in Ontario.

The organization had expanded dramatically by the early 1970s. Trucking companies were allowing TFC Global chaplains to conduct safety meetings in order to achieve better insurance rates. Keyes took this as an opportunity to grow the operation by modifying an 18-wheeler into a mobile chapel. It worked out so well that four mobile chapels were remodeled to spread the Word of God at rest stops and truck stops throughout the country.

By the 1980s, the organization had expanded south into the United States too. The first permanent chapel was set up at a truck stop in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1986 – where, during that first year, 150 drivers professed their faith in Jesus.

In 2010, TFC Global launched “Exit 58 Project” to raise awareness about human trafficking. Based on the Bible verse Isaiah 58:6, the initiative offers chaplains training to spot victims transported for labor or sex.

Truck drivers can play a significant role in the prevention of human trafficking, and TFC chaplains have been involved in multiple rescues. From 2007 to 2016, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline received 1,400 calls from truckers who identified 452 potential victims. The anti-human trafficking arm of TFC Global is now called “Gateway to Freedom,” led by Derek Thompson.

 As more North American truck drivers became familiar with TFC, the demand for a Christian-centered magazine to the trucking community grew. So The Highway Evangelist was created. This newspaper-style publication has now evolved into a full-color, glossy magazine called Highway News. Today, 5,000 copies per month are distributed by chaplains and bulk distributors at trucking companies and truck stops around the country, and it’s also available free online.

Another resource is its podcast called Truckers Life. TFC Global President Ron Fraser hosts conversations there about trucking industry-related issues. It is available at truckerslife.truckerspodcasts.com and wherever you stream podcasts.

The trucking industry has changed drastically in the past decade, and those changes have created the need for chaplaincy ministries to change as well in order to meet affiliates’ needs. That’s why TFC Global has transitioned from sitting in one place waiting for people to come to it to “going to where the people are,” which is trucking companies.

Gone are the days when drivers will seek out a chaplain at a truck stop unless it’s very convenient. People don’t trust like they used to, and the chaplain monthly logs were revealing a sharp drop off in interactions. So while the mission has not changed, TFC Global’s model to reach people had to. Its new model of corporate trucking chaplaincy works to get chaplains into faith-based and non-faith-based companies alike.

TFC Global’s umbrella also includes areas of ministry such as:

  • Corporate Chaplains: A nationwide chaplains network dedicated to deploying trained and experienced full-time chaplains to the trucking industry. Focused on CEO/owner desires for their companies, TFC Global customizes chaplaincy services to the company to help provide employee support, bringing care where it’s needed most.
  • Casualty and Loss: This part of TFC Global helps reunite truck drivers with their families during times of loss of life or serious injury and trauma while away from home. It provides logistical support and chaplaincy services to the company and family of the deceased or injured.
  • TFC International Ministries: This initiative extends the Word of God and chaplaincy services to truckers beyond the United States. There are currently TFC Global Affiliates in Africa, and more countries are in conversation to bring the program to their shores, though navigating foreign missions is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • Gateway to Freedom Foundation: This organization focuses on preventing the demand for human trafficking and commercial sex consumption. Gateway combats the industry specifically through awareness and training events, and a three-day intensive workshop for men wanted to get free from unwanted sexual behavior. GTFF is one of the only ministries in this dark industry that works on prevention of the demand versus victim services.

As TFC Global approaches its 75th anniversary, we expect the organization to continue growing and spreading the good news of Jesus on the road. And what a mission to have! Truckers, after all, are the backbone of our economy, providing Americans with the goods that fuel our wellbeing. So they deserve the ultimate respect, support, and resources.

That’s why we were thrilled to sit down with Craig Maart, vice president of U.S. operations for TFC Global, and interview him about this amazing organization.

Mark: Craig, it’s wonderful to meet with you today. It’s amazing what TFC Global has accomplished in such a short period of time. Learning about the history of your ministry is inspiring.

My first question is focused on your Corporate Chaplains program. Is this offering only for organizations and companies involved in the trucking industry, or do you place chaplains in all types of businesses?

 Craig: Our chaplaincy services focus mainly on the trucking industry. However, this is not exclusive to 18-wheelers. Anywhere there is a fleet of drivers, we want to provide chaplaincy services. For example, we have them at a variety of companies including a trash company, a roll-off dumpster company, and a port-o-potty company. They each have a fleet of drivers, so we’re glad to be there for them.

The Transport For Christ Global HQIn addition to drivers, we make sure the rest of the employees are taken care of, from the CEO on down. So our specific target audience is the trucking industry, but we’re open to companies with a fleet of drivers of any size. We also make our services available to owner operators and drivers who aren’t part of a fleet.

Mark: Our readers are nationwide – primarily Christians in the marketplace, higher education, or pastoral or ministry careers. Can you tell them how you’ve been able to grow your organization so quickly? What would you say is the key to your success?

Craig: Three things come to mind right away. They may not be the hottest things in leadership right now, but they are our commitment and focus. 

  1. The people involved: Without a doubt, the people here are dedicated to the work of God’s kingdom. Whether they be chaplains or office workers keeping the books, we have people who are passionate and called to serve God through chaplain services to the trucking community. This isn’t easy, so we’re fortunate to have people here dedicated to the mission no matter if the results are noticed or not. The right people make the difference.

  2. An uncompromising commitment to the absolute truth of God: God, His Word, and the message of the Gospel has not changed and will never change. Truth isn’t based on feelings, propaganda, popular vote, or anything other than what God put into place. We will not compromise this even as we see wokeness in churches and Christian organizations all around us.

    We will courageously stand and, with endurance, continue what God started back in 1951. We trust God at His word that He will be pleased and bless our unwavering commitment to Him. We will try new methods and adjust to the changes in the trucking industry, but we will never compromise the mission.

  3. We care for what’s under the surface: We see the person behind the wheel of a truck, loading on the docks, processing invoices, etc. We work to focus on the people in front of us and respond to their needs as we guide them toward a transformed life through a healthy relationship with Jesus.

Each person represents a story, family, and someone who needs to be listened to and cared for. We aren’t in a hurry. The individual attention and follow-through is part of our chaplain’s secret sauce.

Mark: What are some of the issues you’ve seen that employees face in the workplace? And how has this changed over the past few years?

Craig: People are anxious, nervous, less secure, and tired of being lied to by the news, government, and the strategic divisiveness in our country and around the world. People are losing hope. There isn’t much of a “normal” anywhere.

A chaplain is a “neutral party” who’s present to listen and care for people in a company. Even if an employee doesn’t want spiritual guidance, just being able to talk to someone who will listen is a big deal.

Also, employee turnover is high. People don’t want to work. There is less loyalty than ever. This is a big problem, contributing to a negative work environment and effecting productivity.

These things cause distracted employees, make the workplace less safe, waste a lot of company time, and decrease morale.

People are going to talk about their issues with someone. If there isn’t a chaplain available, employees will take management or fellow employees’ time to vent their issues. A chaplain’s presence helps replace this problem.

That’s why we want to get into those spaces and help ownership and management get out of the counseling business and be free to focus on the company versus working in the company. This creates a healthier work environment and increases productivity. We get to be the calm in the chaos. A chaplain’s presence brings comfort and is seen as an overall benefit to employees.

I wouldn’t say these issues are new, but they have increased exponentially over the last three years. And companies are suffering because of it.

Mark: Thanks for those examples, Craig. I’ve witnessed workplace chaplains impacting organizations in a variety of ways throughout my career. I recall suicides being prevented, drug addictions being remedied, marriages being healed, and relationships being renewed through forgiveness. The list goes on and on.

Do you have a few inspiring success stories of your own regarding healing and restoration you’d like to share?

Craig: My goodness, yes! This is the best part of leading a chaplaincy ministry.

Death on the road is all too common. We provide casualty and loss care in cases where there is a death for any reason while a trucker or associated individual is away from home. One of our guys was able to talk to the daughter of a man who died in a terrible accident. Her dad fell asleep at the wheel, and the truck ended up plowing through a construction area. Fortunately, it was at night and no one else was around, but it was a terrible and unexpected death.

Our chaplain was able to answer her questions about the fairness of God when her loving father was taken away from the family. He had conversations with her for the following weeks and months after the loss of her dad.

Another chaplain found out an employee at a company he serves had rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on his infant daughter. Within a half hour of hearing about this, our chaplain was at the hospital too. The owner of the company was also there.

That man and his wife said they had never experienced people caring for them like that before. It made a huge impact.

Yet another chaplain was at an early morning company safety meeting. At the end of the meeting, he was given time to speak to the whole company. This happens a few times a year where he can present why he’s there and how to get a hold of him, and then pray for the day.

Before he prayed, he felt God nudge him to share about the Gateway to Freedom part of our ministry. He said, “If any of you are struggling with unhealthy and unwanted sexual behavior, please come and talk to me. No judgment; just conversation.” He wasn’t sure how that would fly early in the morning. But right after the meeting, a guy came up to him and shared how pornography had ruined his relationship with his girlfriend and he wanted help.

That chaplain, who serves at this company just one day a week, was able to follow up with this guy and continue helping him get rid of that destructive behavior.

The last story could have been a lot worse. A driver entered a truck stop late one night and asked the woman at the register to take his dog. She told him they cannot do that, and the night manager came out and affirmed this. So the driver stormed out and, 15 minutes later, came back in, placed a bullet on the counter, and told the woman, “This is for your manager if you don’t take my dog.”

He then threatened the manager directly, followed him back to his office, and shot him twice from close range. Fortunately, the bullets missed vital organs and didn’t kill him; and the police arrived to apprehend the driver. But our chaplain was able to care for the employees of that truck stop and stay in contact with the manager who was shot.

The people who worked there were so thankful for their chaplain at a time like that.

 Mark: Do you have any suggestions for organizations that don’t have the finances to support hiring chaplains? What are some things they can do to help struggling employees?

 Craig: The first thing I would say is it’s probably costing you more to be without a chaplain than to bring in one. The stability a chaplain’s presence brings and the increased ROI that comes after one’s been around will far exceed the cost. It is worth it, so I would say give it a try.

We do work with companies to find out what they’re looking for, make suggestions, and customize a plan. A company could start with an on-call and casualty and loss chaplaincy service and go from there. We offer a range of services all the way up to a full-time chaplain present there every day.

You already know what it’s like not having a chaplain. I say take the step to give it a try and see the difference one will make in your company. If anyone would like to talk to a company owner who uses our chaplaincy services – to hear how a chaplain’s presence makes a difference – let me know and I’ll connect you with one.

Mark: Where do you see TFC Global heading in the next few years? How do you expect it will expand?

Craig: The chaplaincy model from being in chapel trailers in truck stops to the corporate chaplaincy model in trucking companies is a recent change for us. Therefore, we see the number of chaplains who are well trained and placed in companies around the country expanding quickly.

With respect and honor to the past methods, we will keep adapting to the industry’s changes. We’re going where the people are and where we can have the highest potential for long-term spiritual impact. Right now, that is trucking companies.

Our Chaplain’s Training Program is growing, and we see that expanding even further still. We’ll train anyone interested in chaplaincy, even if they’re not looking to join TFC Global. People have taken this training to see if God is pulling them toward chaplaincy. Others have taken it as continuing education, and all TFC Global chaplain candidates go through it.

We offer our first-level, 20-hour, three-day intensive twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. Upon successful completion of the training, participants are credentialed through Chaplains International.

International Missions is another thing we see growing in the future. We have TFC Global affiliates in Africa and are in conversation with people in other countries who want to bring TFC Global to their country.

Mark: What is the best way to have an interested person contact you for chaplain services for their employees?

Craig: Feel free to use my email, craigm@tfcglobal.org, or call my cell directly at 717-297-0681. The main TFC Global office number is 717426-9977, or you can check us out at tfcglobal.org.

 Mark: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today and provide encouragement for our readers. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Craig: Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you. As I was participating in the “Protect Your Mission” seminar a while back, I knew we needed to connect. You kept mentioning chaplaincy services as a way for a faith-based company to affirm its faith-based purpose. It was gratifying for an outside organization like In HIS Name HR to talk about the benefits of chaplains in the workplace. We benefited greatly from that seminar in addition to the unsolicited plug.

The last thing I want to say is that an organization like ours needs support. We want to expand our chaplaincy services. In order to do that, we need support.

Recent studies have shown that people want to give but are more cautious and check out the organizations first. I ask boldly and with faith in God’s provision for your financial support. Please check us out, as I’m confident you’ll see we’re wise stewards of all that is God’s.

Eternity hangs in the balance for everyone, and our target audience will most likely not attend a church. We want to serve as chaplains in non-faith-based companies also. We choose to go where the darkness is in order to shine the light of the Gospel. Therefore, please become a faith partner with TFC Global.

Mark: Thank you so much, Craig. May God continue to bless you, your family, and TFC Global.

As you can see, we were thoroughly impressed and inspired by TFC Global and its chaplain services. We hope you’ve been inspired as well to consider retaining a workplace chaplain for your organization.

___________

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Bible 2 School In HIS Name HR LLC

Employee Volunteerism: Spreading Hope in Schools


Employee Volunteerism: Spreading Hope in Schools

Featured Organization: Bible2School

We are living in tumultuous times. Political and socioeconomic unrest is at a record high. Depression, anxiety, physical ailments, and mental illness plague our society. It seems everywhere we turn, we face more bad news – a precarious economy, wars, division, rising crime, and strife, just to name a few.

With additional growing financial burdens at home, children often suffer the most, their physical and emotional needs taking a backseat as parents try to stay afloat. Young ones may struggle in school and face loneliness, abuse, or neglect. And social media often adds to the stress of it all.

But what if these children were given a hope and a future, just as Jeremiah 29:11 promises?

That’s just what Bible2School offers: Hope! Let’s journey together as I share with you the wonderful history and impact of this amazing organization led by my good friend CEO Kori Pennypacker. My desire is that, after hearing about her program, you’ll be inspired to support volunteerism through your employees so you too can impact your community for generations to come.

Bible2School was started in 1979 by a group of pastors in Pennsylvania known as the Manheim Ministerium. The group decided to utilize the then newly amended Section 1546 of the state school code, which allowed children to be released from school for training. In recognition of the demand for Bible study in public schools and the opportunity arising from the changes to the amendment, over 100 fifth-grade students were allowed to legally leave school during learning hours and attend Bible study.

This is through the concept of Released Time, which actually began in the early 1900s and has been upheld over the years by the Supreme Court as being protected by the Constitution. Released Time allows children attending public school to receive religious education of their choice during the school day. The only requirements are that it take place off school property, with parental permission, and it can’t be funded by tax-payer dollars. Students are then permitted to leave school grounds and spend school hours in Bible study classes.

Pretty amazing, right?

As the program grew, the Manheim Ministerium offered bus transportation to children who couldn’t walk to a participating church. This helped it become a major success and grow into a nationwide movement, delivering the word of God to communities across the state.

Forty years later, Bible2School has expanded nationwide, thanks to its subscription-based franchise model. Community members interested in offering a Bible2School program can work directly with the organization’s leadership team for access to resources and curriculum implementation. Bible2School has perfected the onboarding process using a proven four-step system. Community leaders are offered a Christ-centered curriculum, over 450 tools and resources, a customizable website, ongoing training, coaching, and live support to get involved.

As we know, public schools have been under attack ever since in-class prayer was removed; and spreading Christian teachings has become an uphill battle. Moreover, Christianity as a whole has seen significant declines. Fifty years ago, 90 percent of Americans self-identified as Christians; today, that number has sadly dropped to 64 percent and continues to fall. At this rate, the Christian majority is at risk of disappearing by 2070.

These rates are reflected in the classroom, where children are often subjected to inappropriate curriculum and messages. But this is where Bible2School comes in, filling the significant void in the public school system. The organization recognizes that there is an urgency to introduce children to Biblical truth at a young age when the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain is developed. This usually occurs between 2nd and 4th grade.

During this short time, from ages seven to 11, logical reasoning begins to take shape, providing the foundation for morals and values. This could explain why 63 percent of Christians accept the Lord between the ages of 4 and 14. In other words, we have a small window of time to make a critical, lasting impact on children and change their lives forever!

Bible2School’s impact has yet to reach every community. However, it is spreading and already offers incredible resources for parents who don’t have in-person access to it. This includes a weekly podcast that provides parents with essential information centered around ways to share God’s word in everyday life. Teachings like “Discovering the Lord’s Hebrew Calendar in Real Time ” and “Two Things Kids Need to Know About Intruder Alert Drills” are just two examples of powerful episodes.

Bible2School also offers a regularly updated blog filled with relevant articles. And the Bible2School website features dozens of craft ideas like a family prayer-request box, pretzel sticks, and God’s promises project boxes. Though it’s the CBA Cross that’s been deemed the most popular resource for children to share the gospel. A CBA – which stands for confess, believe, and ask – gives children the opportunity to engage with Jesus through a free cross project, complemented by an easy how-to video.

What an amazing tool!

Recently, I had the opportunity to have lunch with CEO Kori Pennypacker. Though we’ve known each other for over a decade, we hadn’t had a chance to catch up for years. Since our last meeting, both of our organizations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, have spread nationwide. (Never limit God!) Kori is a continued inspiration to me, as I hope she will be to you!

Mark: Kori, great meeting with you today! I’m excited to share with readers what you’re doing. My first request is simple: Describe in your own words what exactly your organization does.

Kori: Bible2School is a public-school ministry that equips passionate moms, dads, grandparents, and communities to teach the Bible to children attending public elementary school DURING their school day: DURING school hours – typically over lunch and recess. And it’s legal. About 60% of the children who come to Bible2School have no church home, so kids are being taught about our amazing Savior, Jesus, for the very first time.

Mark: Thank you for speaking to us from your heart. It’s always good to have your narrative down so succinctly. My next question has to do with impact. What impact have you seen in the lives of the children your teams have been working with? Do you have any especially meaningful stories to share?

Kori: We have seen many transformed lives for Christ! The biggest question children ask regularly is, “Who’s God? I’ve never heard of him.” In this post-Christian world, this is sadly common. We’ve seen such relief in children’s faces when we tell them that God made them, God loves them, God has a plan and purpose for their life, and Jesus Christ died for their sins so they can believe in Him and be in heaven with Him someday. This is such a burden off their shoulders.

One little blue-eyed, curly blond-haired boy named Gabriel, who lived with his grandmother, really sticks out to me. He didn’t know anything about God, and he was so eager to learn every week. He ended up accepting Christ as his Savior during a large group lesson, which was incredible, and skipped back to my table.

When I asked him to tell me more about it, he had an unforgettable answer that brought me to tears.  He said, “I’ve always wanted to know how to get to heaven, but no one ever told me.” These kids live near our homes and near our businesses, and we need to tell those like Gabriel who God is.  Bible2School makes it easy to do that.

Mark: We work with employers all over the country. Many are looking for programs to help their employees engage the community. Do you think this approach would help not only advance your organization but also give employers an opportunity to support it through their employees?

Kori: Yes, it would help the employees and their organizations, and the children and their families. We take a community approach and, honestly, our programs can’t do this without the support of Christian businesses. And we want to support our local businesses. Our Business Partnership Program – that I encourage all employers to consider whether you’re working with Bible2School or another great non-profit – makes a lot of sense. Henry Blackaby said in his best-selling book Experiencing God that we need to “find where God is working and join Him there.”

We love to cultivate relationships with businesses that have a passion for spreading the Gospel to children and who want to help impact the next generation in their community. Our business partners inspire their employees through:

  • Volunteering – Some employers offer flexible hours or PTO time so their employees can be small-group leaders for our Bible classes. That is a huge help for our children to have positive role models from these Christian businesses.
  • Matching – Some employers also come alongside employees to encourage generosity by offering to match the employees’ donations to Bible2School. A lot of times, this is an awareness thing. Employees want to be generous but they don’t know where to give.
  • Giving Back – Employers can discount their service/product programs tithing a percentage of the profit that goes to Bible2School. We have an electric company that offers a special program where a percentage of the proceeds go to our Bible2School kids.
  • Introducing Someone – This is so valuable to us! Business leaders know other business leaders, so we ask that they introduce us to ONE other business leader who we can start building a relationship with. We’ve even given presentations at company events as a way of inviting people into our mission!

Just like any partnership, we want it to be mutually beneficial. Ministry is a team sport! So our Business Partnership Program has the ability to unlock company culture excellence and unite your community. In fact, 89% of businesses believe that partnering leverages their ability to improve their communities. And the employees love it! We spotlight our partner businesses in our monthly e-newsletter, on social media, our website, and at events. And we in turn share all the impact stories on a regular basis so we can all celebrate what God is doing through the employees and Bible2School. It’s a win-win!

Mark: Our readers, like our employers, are national. Are they still able to use your materials and process? How does that work?

Kori: Yes, our Bible2School program can equip leaders in any state to reach their local public school with the Word of God on a weekly basis. We don’t want anyone to reinvent the wheel. So we’ve developed a subscription-based franchise model with a small cost that provides all the proven Christ-centered curriculum, over 450 online tools, expert coaching, a robust website, team-building, and sustaining support that’s needed to make it as easy as possible.

Mark: We have readers from Christian higher education institutions. Any suggestions on how they might engage students or expose this program to faculty?

Kori: Students lookinBible 2 School Lancaster PA g for volunteer hours can use our website to find a program in their area to offer their volunteer services. Bible2School is an excellent example of community ministry, and we’re happy to be a resource for Christian colleges looking to enhance their curriculum in this area. Having experience working with children out in the community with a topnotch Bible program is a great addition to a student’s resume.

Mark: If someone is interested in learning more about your program, what is the best way for them to reach you?

Kori: The best way to reach us is through our website, Bible2School.com.

Mark: How has Bible2School impacted your own personal and spiritual life?

Kori: I see God working here in our public schools through this program. What a gift to join Him! People tell me that God was taken out of public schools, and I tell them they’re wrong. God is being brought to the children through Bible2School – I see it every week! And children, like adults, are hungry for the truth. That’s how we recognize counterfeit: We study His Truth.

As a leader, I just keep taking one step forward and He makes things happen. Things only He can do. So He gets the glory. Whether it be funding or volunteers, both of which we need this year, He provides. It’s not about me. It’s a humbling, challenging, and joy-filled leadership journey.

Mark: Thank you so much for your time today, Kori. Do you have any final thoughts you want to share with readers?

Kori: There are 64,000 public elementary schools in America, and there Bible programs available in less than 10%.  Wouldn’t it be great to reach the one near your business?

We had a public-school teacher share with us that her school was in lockdown for an active shooter. And as far as they knew, it wasn’t a drill. The children were so scared, crowded against a wall, crying and writing goodbye notes to their parents.

She said she looked up and heard them before she saw them: three little Bible2School girls praying out loud for their class, their school, and their teacher. It calmed the class and  gave her the courage to do her job to protect these precious children.

These girls didn’t know about God before coming to Bible2School. Thankfully, this was a drill and the children were safe. But the teacher said that these girls’ pure faith inspired her and their class.

Who do you know who would be passionate about reaching the public-school children in your community for Jesus? I would love to be introduced and start a conversation. One introduction can make an eternal difference.

I appreciate this opportunity to share today!

Mark: Thank you, and God bless you and Bible2School!

Programs like Bible2School are wonderful ways to get involved in your community and make a lasting impact. If you’re looking to boost volunteerism among your employees, consider taking that next step! For more on Bible2School, visit Bible2School.com

_______________

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Focus on the positive! Coming January 2024: New Podcast Series: Encouragement for Work Subscribe on your favorite Podcast channel.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

IHN HR Podcast

Podcast Series: Encouragement for Work


Just stop with the negativity already!

We all know the workplace is getting more and more difficult to manage. Since coming out of Covid, many organizations are floundering under new assumptions of how to operate. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Let’s get creative and stop this… starting out with a few important questions.

Subscribe to the Podcast!

For instance, as a leader of your organization, do you ever run out of ideas on how to better engage your employees? Are you tired of overseeing a stale organizational culture and want to foster engagement, prosperity, and cheerful and productive employees who actually want to be at work?

Those are just a few issues the Encouragement for Work Podcast will address.

We’ll interview nationally known thought leaders from corporate America, higher education, Christian psychologists, and even non-management members for their insights – all to bring you great ideas that help engage your employees and shift your culture toward higher performance. Each episode will feature an idea or process that’s made a tremendous impact on employees and employers alike.

This is possible! Extremely so. And Encouragement for Work aims to prove it. Listen to national thought leaders as they give encouragement for work!

Navigating Religious Freedom in the Workplace
Stephanie N. Taub, senior counsel with First Liberty Institute

Lead With Prayer
Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International

Creating a Flourishing Workplace!
Al Lupus, cofounder of Best Christian Workplaces

Building Out-Of-This-World Leaders
Brady Pyle, former NASA deputy chief human capital officer

What Is the Top HR Priority Today?
Alan Collins, former vice president of human resources at PepsiCo

Employee Volunteerism
Kori Pennypacker, CEO of Bible2School

Bringing Encouragement for Work Through Workplace Incentives
Rob Marchalonis, founder of LSP123

Navigating AI From a Kingdom Perspective
Bart Caylor, founder of Caylor Solutions

Putting the Ego on Simmer
Denise Lawrence, founder of Denise B. Lawrence & Associates, LLC

Culture’s Idea of Retirement Is Not Biblical, but Solid Kingdom-Based Planning Is 
Jim O’Bold, president of Servant Solutions

Be Bold if We Believe Jesus Is the Lord, Then We Must Be Bold at Work 
Peter Demos, president and CEO of Demos’ Brands and Demos Family Kitchen

Join creator and host Mark A. Griffin – experienced HR and organizational development professional, coach, consultant, author, and national speaker – on this new journey to achieve increased employee loyalty, superior communication, less turnover, and a greater appreciation for the business you lead.

Podcast “Flipping the HR Script – Leading With Truth”


The workplace. Where employers and employees converge. What is the culture of your organization? Is it Woke? Or Awake? What is the difference? Terms like DEI, ESG, and CRT have been in the news, but what do they mean to you – and what is an appropriate response for a faith-based workplace leader?

Host Linda J. Hansen is the Founder & President of Prosperity 101 Podcast, LLC, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics™ program.  She is passionate about helping to enhance communication between employers and employees, especially regarding basic economics of job creation and business prosperity.  Her original book in the Prosperity 101™series, entitled Prosperity 101 – Job Security Through Business Prosperity™, and the accompanying Workshop Facilitator Guide, were first published in 2009, and have been widely used across the country.

Download and Listen on iTunes Here

Mark A. Griffin is paving the way for employment opportunities without fear of religious discrimination even as the government seeks to reshape the business landscape. Mark stands  in the gap and lives out his Kingdom mission by providing an alternative Bible-based DEI program for Christian nonprofits, churches, ministries, and camps. He also serves Christian-owned for-profit organizations looking for wiser choices in this space.

Listen in and glean beneficial information for your organization. You can contact Mark through his website, inhisnamehr.com, or find him on Twitter @inhisnamehr.

A Unique Employee Benefit

A Unique Employee Benefit


Divorce remains one of the most prominent issues in our society. While rates have technically declined since 2000, roughly one in two marriages still end in divorce. Second marriages stand an even slimmer chance, with a 63% failure rate; and third marriages have the worst chance of success at 73%.

Take an inventory of your closest friends and family, and chances are that you know several couples who have divorced. Many issues contribute to this problem, with lack of communication cited as the number one culprit behind it. Infidelity comes in second, with 60% citing it as their reason for splitting. And domestic abuse is next, with 24% claiming it ended their marriage. Many demographics play a part as well. For instance, those living below the poverty line have a higher chance of divorce versus college-educated couples, who are more likely to stay married. With that said, while divorce can impact anyone at any age, recent studies show the average age is mid-40s, the time when most people are at the peak of their career. And when you look at religious communities, there isn’t a single one that’s immune, though evangelical Protestants factor most prominently into these unfortunate statistics.

With so many effected by divorce, it’s crucial to understand how it can impact the workplace. Recent data confirms that divorce-related stress costs employers $300 billion per year. For example, the average employee loses 168 hours of worktime in the first year following a failed marriage. And it only makes sense that those going through the process are prone to being distracted, unfocused, and unmotivated, resulting in diminished productivity.

In one recent study, nearly 44% of those going through a divorce admitted that it had negatively impacted their work.  Think about it. They can make more mistakes on the job. They can cause issues with colleagues and be prone to being more sensitive than normal. They can also take multiple sick and personal days to attend court custody cases and meetings with lawyers. In short, things can quickly go downhill for employees ending their marriages, and the result can be catastrophic financially, personally, and professionally.

As leaders, we know the converse is just as true: When our people are happy with their lives outside the workplace, they do better on the job, contributing at a higher level, prospering their organization, and impacting their communities in a positive manner. Yet we can only impact our corporate environment, not anyone’s individual homelife.

So what is the solution? Can we do anything to support those employees headed for divorce?

My research says yes.

Most organizations already provide health benefits for employees. High-performing employers offer their workers not only health but wellness benefits, which can be related to fitness, smoking cessation, diet coaching, and more. They also maintain Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs), which typically offer therapy for employees and family members concerning relationship issues or ailments connected to depression, anxiety, grief, and loss. Some may include couples therapy as well, but some do not.

Offering great employee assistance programs can yield lower turnover rates, higher levels of job satisfaction, decreased absenteeism, and an overall happier and healthier work environment.

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with good friends Dean Brior and Jeff Kime. Dean is a successful CEO, business owner, and entrepreneur who has successfully led hundreds of employees. As such, he has witnessed the toll divorce takes on people, not just at home but in the workplace.

Currently, Jeff  is the Executive Director and Dean is director of development for The Marriage Hub.

Founded in 2004 by Dr. Bruce McCracken, The Marriage Hub seeks to provide biblically based marriage-building experiences for couples of all ages and stages. Their bold vision is to see divorce eradicated from our society by helping couples repair broken relationships so they can lead happy and fulfilled lives both inside and outside the workplace.

Mark: Jeff, it’s great meeting with you today, brother. I am excited to share with our readers what you’re doing. My first question is simple. How does divorce affect the workplace, and why should human resource professionals sound the alarm bells?

Jeff: Rosemary Frank, a certified divorce financial analyst, reported that divorce impacts the entire workplace in four major areas. The first is a loss of concentration when the employee is going through the divorce personally. This hits 40% in the first year, and slowly drops to 10% all the way in year four following the divorce.

The second is disrupted coworkers. We’re all social creatures, so if someone is hurting, we listen to their story [and] try to console them, resulting in those employees suffering a drop in productivity. It peaks at 4% in the first year, which continues for up to five years.

The third is that the employee going through the divorce misses workdays. Those days can be due to child custody hearings, meetings with attorneys, having to deal with childcare that was typically shared with a spouse – you name it. The average employee misses 9% of their workdays when going through a divorce.

The final area is an increase in usage of health benefits, which as we all know, ends up costing the employer in the long run. Added stress – needing to add kids to health plans, etc. – typically increases health-related expenditures by 10.4% while going through a divorce.

Adding all of these factors together, Rosemary Frank concluded the average business owner ends up paying an additional $85,934 in lost revenue for a business when one of their employees goes through a divorce. And if the person is in management, it could go even higher!

Mark: There are many great counseling programs out there, yet many couples never take advantage of them. What do you think makes The Marriage Hub unique and so successful?

Jeff: Mark, the typical couple going through marital challenges looks at counseling or their church as their first line of response. The challenge is that while both of those are potentially helpful options for a couple, it’s not the most effective option for a couple going through marital crisis. They need more than a one-hour session every other week with a counselor; they need more than the training a pastor has received in handling these specialized situations. And that’s where The Marriage Hub comes in.

We offer 20+ hours in a three-day Marriage Intensive Retreat for these couples in crisis. We then offer a 15-week follow-up course after the intensive. The national success rate of counselors working with a couple in crisis is only 25%, and the average couple flames out after two and a half sessions. It’s not enough, whereas here at The Marriage Hub, we’ve maintained an 85% success rate working with couples in crisis by giving them the time and personal care they need to navigate these challenging times – all performed by one of our highly trained coaches.

Mark: Dean, What have you personally witnessed in your years of experience as a leader in the workplace? Any specific examples regarding employees and the toll that divorce has taken on productivity, etc.?

Dean: Unfortunately, what Rosemary says rings true. I’ve seen this countless times: someone who was a business rockstar loses their mojo during a divorce. It’s not that the person is bad; it’s just the emotional landslide a divorce creates. That causes them to lose their focus and fail to perform at the same level they normally did.

Mark: Why do you believe The Marriage Hub can become a critical component of organizations’ human resources department?

Dean: When the HR department hears about challenges going on in an employee’s life, when they start to notice things going sideways and sit down to chat about job performance or any other concerning issues they see at work, they often learn that it’s challenges at home that are causing these work difficulties. Here at The Marriage Hub, we can become a resource to help those struggling employees. As the employee’s marriage is transformed, so is their entire countenance and ability to perform their job the way God intended for them.

Mark: How have you seen, firsthand, The Marriage Hub make a lasting impact on employees’ workplace efforts and personal relationships outside the workplace?

Dean: One example is a couple who had come to our program when on the brink of divorce. The lady was a key employee at a local business, and her employer had heard about our program. He called us up and said he wanted to pay for the entire program for her and her husband. Over the course of the weekend, the transformation was not only profound in their marriage, but for eternity as well! The wife came to saving faith in Jesus Christ, and their family is now stronger than ever.

Mark: What might you say to an HR professional who is skeptical about the program and does not see a need for such a thing in the workplace?

Dean: I’d encourage them to reach out to other HR friends to see whether the data I shared earlier plays out in the real world. I think they’ll quickly realize that taking care of the whole person – including their marriage – is one of the greatest ways to build their business. Business is run by people, and people in a good place emotionally, socially, and spiritually make the best businesses and communities.

Mark: Lastly, what inspired you to get involved with The Marriage Hub? Can you share any personal stories with us?

Dean: Nancy and I have been married for 46 years. Our first six years were tough, as we were married in college and had to grow up together. We would have benefited from a ministry such as The Marriage Hub back then. We have celebrated many marriages through the years and seen our share of divorces happen. Most of those divorces did not have a resource like The Marriage Hub. Our mission is to see the ministry grow to the point where any couple in need can call us and get help.

Mark: Thank you, Dean. My hope and prayer are that more organizations will see the need for programs such as The Marriage Hub, and that, ultimately, marriages will be restored. In the words of Oswald Chambers when discussing the Sermon on the Mount, “The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work.” When we recognize our shortcomings and surrender to Christ, great things can take place. The workplace should be joyful. The joy and passion we bring to the workplace should be a reflection of what we experience in our personal lives, an ultimate reflection of our lives, as well as a great setting to share the gospel with others. I am grateful to you, Dean, for your work and pray that we see miraculous things in the days ahead.

___________

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

DEI is inescapable

Podcast “DEI Is Inescapable: Partners Collaborate Around Biblical DEI”


Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) might seem like a new concept, but it’s actually been around for a long time. It’s just that the content has changed over the years, with the fundamentals of today’s DEI programs being built on Marxist teachings.

On the surface, the resulting structure has the appearance of leveling the playing field. But the outcomes have actually been shown to be divisive.

Listen in as Kevin McGary and Mark Griffin come together to discuss an alternative to that script through biblical DEI. Kevin shares information from his book, WOKEd UP! and Mark shares more about his DEI certification program. Together, their efforts provide a standard that celebrates differences and human connectedness in a much more accurate and effective manner.

Kevin and Mark also discuss how they met through Pinnacle Forum, which was inspired by Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International. Dr. Bright challenged a handful of leaders in 1995 in Phoenix, Arizona, saying, “I believe the only way we can change our culture is to find a way to network our high-influence leaders and inspire them to use their influence for God.”

Join Them Here! 

Kevin McGary is an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. Kevin serves as co-founder of Every Black Life Matters (EBLM) and as chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of California. His background, passion, and keen observations about the momentum of dramatic changes in culture and society all shine through WOKEd UP!, the fifth book he’s authored. All of his previous books delved into the arenas of politics and theology. But WOKEd UP! is strictly designed to combat the many powerful forces producing overarching influences seeking to detach global populations from positive morals and traditions.

Host Chuck Bryant has served with Pinnacle Forum since 2005 and is currently serving as its president and CEO. Chuck has held a few instrumental roles with Pinnacle Forum, first as executive director of Pinnacle Forum Modesto in California and then on the national board as well as board chair.

Download and Listen on iTunes Here

Mark A. Griffin is paving the way for employment opportunities without fear of religious discrimination even as the government seeks to reshape the business landscape. Mark stands  in the gap and lives out his Kingdom mission by providing an alternative Bible-based DEI program for Christian nonprofits, churches, ministries, and camps. He also serves Christian-owned for-profit organizations looking for wiser choices in this space.

Listen in and glean beneficial information for your organization. You can contact Mark through his website, inhisnamehr.com, or find him on Twitter @inhisnamehr.

Protect Your Mission Webinar


Presented and hosted by Christian Business Partnership Ohio’s Christian Chamber of Commerce.

Restoring the American Promise. Together.

3PM EST Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023  

 

HR practices that can best help your “Kingdom-Minded” organization and business protect its mission in today’s hostile world.

Click Here To Register

Presenter Mark Griffin has seen it all in his more than 25 years of Human Resources experience gained by working with a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to Christian Colleges, Ministries and Churches.

Let Mark help you by sharing his experiences in helping a variety of organizations manage their beliefs in the reality of today’s workplace.

Leading an organization with Christ-centered values makes organizational sense.

Mark will share why he believes Christ-centered organizations experience:

  • Lower absenteeism
  • Higher quality products
  • Fewer employee morale issues
  • Safer work environments
  • Better perceptions by customers and vendors

Mark will also share how he helps organizations develop HR practices that reflect their core values and still build a high performance organization.

Topics to be Covered

  • DEI and Biblical alternatives why is this important?
  • Protecting your religious liberty
  • Dangers from proposed laws
  • Current state of religious liberty in court
  • Creating a high performance culture through practical HR competency development

Click Here For Tickets

About The Host 

Christian Business Partnership exists not only to defend your rights in the economy, but to ensure a business environment friendly to businesses throughout Ohio. Their mission is to aggressively advocate for the religious liberty of Christian employers and for a fair and free marketplace that enables entrepreneurs to thrive and compete. Learn more or join here!

About The Presenter

Mark A Griffin

Mark A. Griffin, MBA
President and Founder In HIS Name HR LLC

Mark is a human resources professional with 25-plus years of experience in both public (Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., Merck Inc.) and private companies (Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Valco Companies Inc.), Mark is passionate about building high-performance workplaces by utilizing best practices while leading organizations with strong values.

Speaker, accomplished HR consultant, and the author of How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations and College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, Mark A. Griffin encourages leaders to build values-led organizations during these increasingly complex times.  Mark and his wife live in Lancaster PA and have two adult children.

Protect Your Mission ~ Lancaster, PA


HR practices that can best help your “Kingdom-Minded” organization and business protect its mission in today’s hostile world.

The Junction Center
1875 Junction Rd,
Manheim, PA 17545

September 7, 2023

9AM-1PM

Lunch Included!

Click Here For Tickets

Presenter Mark Griffin has seen it all in his more than 25 years of Human Resources experience gained by working with a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to Christian Colleges, Ministries and Churches.

Presenter Randall Wenger Esq. has a myriad of experiences from all his years of working on religious liberty cases in Pennsylvania including the Conestoga Wood Specialties case that resulted in a landmark victory in the US Supreme Court for religious liberty and the sanctity of life. Randy understands the pressures and dangers that are facing those who want to run their businesses and organizations in line with their Christian values.

Let Mark and Randy help you by sharing their experiences in helping a variety of organizations manage their beliefs in the reality of today’s workplace.

Leading an organization with Christ-centered values makes organizational sense.

Mark will share why he believes Christ-centered organizations experience:

  • Lower absenteeism
  • Higher quality products
  • Fewer employee morale issues
  • Safer work environments
  • Better perceptions by customers and vendors

Mark will also share how he helps organizations develop HR practices that reflect their core values and still build a high performance organization.

Topics to be Covered

  • DEI and Biblical alternatives why is this important?
  • Protecting your religious liberty
  • Dangers from proposed laws
  • Current state of religious liberty in court
  • Creating a high performance culture through practical HR competency development
  • Where most organizations go wrong engaging employees
  • Setting expectations
  • HR tools for creating success
  • Employee policy manuals
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Employee relations and communications
  • Performance management
  • Counseling and discipline procedures
  • Terminations
  • How the Civil Rights Act administrative guidance affects your business 

Click Here For Tickets

Map To The Junction Center (Map)

About The Pennsylvania Family Institute

The Mission of the Pennsylvania Family Institute is to strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society. It is  the only full-time professionally staffed non-profit organization representing family values—your values—in the state capitol. It encourages responsible citizenship and involvement in civic affairs to promote respect for life, family, marriage and religious liberty.

About The Presenters

 

Randall L. Wenger, Esq.
COO & Chief Counsel

Randall Wenger is Chief Counsel of the Independence Law Center in Harrisburg, a pro-bono law center affiliated with the Pennsylvania Family Institute and dedicated to maintaining those liberties that have made America great and free. He has litigated in federal courts all around the county, and his cases have included the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, bodily privacy, and pro-life issues. In addition to his role with the Independence Law Center, he is COO of the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Randall has an economics degree from the University of Chicago and earned his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Lancaster County, and he and his wife Tina have seven children.

Mark A Griffin

Mark A. Griffin, MBA
President and Founder In HIS Name HR LLC

Mark is a human resources professional with 25-plus years of experience in both public (Quaker Oats Company, Kodak Inc., Merck Inc.) and private companies (Woolrich, Conestoga Wood Specialties, Valco Companies Inc.), Mark is passionate about building high-performance workplaces by utilizing best practices while leading organizations with strong values.

Speaker, accomplished HR consultant, and the author of How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations and College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, Mark A. Griffin encourages leaders to build values-led organizations during these increasingly complex times.  Mark and his wife live in Lancaster PA and have two adult children.

DEI and Biblical Alternatives


Diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, has become a very popular topic in the last few years. Recently, I had the pleasure of spending time with Kevin McGary, a leading thought expert on diversity, equity and inclusion. Kevin has been pivotal in our quest to develop a Biblically based DEI program that celebrates human connectedness and offers recipients hope and unity by aligning all people’s strengths, and reinforces that no one person’s pain is greater than another’s. I also consider Kevin a good friend.

I was blessed to meet Kevin through the Pinnacle Forum group. Pinnacle Forum was created to help connect C-Suite-level executives into groups that allows them to support each executive in their sphere of influence as it relates to their walk with the Lord. Kevin is the chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of California and brings to us an enlightened viewpoint on what is happening, societally, within the United States. Much of this I have witnessed through my HR experiences the past 30 years, as we have seen the deterioration of the family, and, in return, the deterioration of the workplace in general.

While many Caucasian and Black leaders shy away from discussing uncomfortable, difficult issues, Kevin and I want to share some of our collective experiences as, respectively, a Black man and a Caucasian man living in America to generate greater understanding of these difficult topics from our distinct perspectives.

While Kevin and I do not share the same skin color, we do share the same frustrations with the current happenings in our society. We certainly don’t want to politicize the situation, but we are finding it increasingly difficult to bring our country together. From my perspective, I wonder how Black Americans do not see the destruction that the Democratic party has created in their community, specifically in regard to NAFTA and its promotion by the Clinton administration. Taking tens of thousands of jobs out of the cities disproportionately affected the Black community and never made sense to me. I recall, in grad school, being told that we were “evolving to a more tech-centric economy.” Well, as we know, most of those tech-centric jobs ended up in third world countries, where wages are nowhere near as much as they would be in the US.

Not only did we lose jobs as a country, but those jobs went to places that don’t have the same child labor laws and green laws that we have enacted in America. I have been to India and witnessed the impact on their people and their environment. Sadly, many employees in India working for American companies do so on work campuses, sending their wages back to their respective villages to support their families. This doesn’t cause prosperity; this breaks up families and creates more pain. A much better approach could be to develop work locally and support that work with microfinancing. Much of the manufacturing that formed the backbone of our country fed tens of thousands of families and gave dignity to those who work there. Without work, where are people to gain dignity? Work is Biblical. Adam and Eve had jobs in the Garden of Eden. And, someday, we will all be using our gifts, talents and strengths in eternity with Christ.

Mark: Kevin, my question is simple. What changes have occurred that have put Black Americans at a major disadvantage in terms of prosperity here, in the US? My thinking always goes back to the deterioration of the family. The lack of the presence of two loving parents and even the lack of loving grandparents has caused so many issues with our youth. I am curious to know your opinion.

Kevin: The deterioration of the Black family is definitely a factor. But even before LBJ’s proclamations and policies specifically designed to undermine the Black family unit—remember, LBJ is recorded as having said his policies “will have the n***ers voting democrat for the next 200 years

Notably, Charles Darwin believed whites fully evolved first and were “superior” (i.e., possessing “supreme” human attributes and instincts), while Blacks were still climbing the evolutionary scale (foremost in his theories) and, therefore, he wrote, must be considered “subhuman.” He equated Blacks to apes, gorillas, and savages. In my book Woked Up! Finally putting an ax to the taproot of White Supremacy and Racism in America, I confirm that Darwin was motivated by grotesque and arcane theories of supremacy and racism. Since he was the first world-renowned scientific mind to make such assertions, I deem that Darwin’s theories are singlehandedly responsible for the disproportional abuse that has plagued and stymied Black progress for over 100 years. Having a cursory understanding of Darwin and his motivations provides context for why Blacks had to demand justice and equality, culminating in Dr. Martin Luther King’s demand that the content of character must be the overarching focus for human interactions. White people weren’t judged by their skin tone, so it wasn’t color that actually mattered: Black people’s skin color was seen as a mark of evolutionary inferiority.

Mark: And have these issues caused you to accelerate your involvement in movements against the current direction of our country?

Kevin: I am most certainly motivated to get involved in changing the socio/cultural downward trajectory of America! Unfortunately, Darwin and his protégé, Karl Marx, are still lauded and applauded globally. Their diabolical deeds to inculcate supremacy and racism have been largely ignored. Most people don’t fully comprehend the extent to which their theories have been motivated to instantiate grotesque “White Supremacy” and racism. My motivation is to make sure that people come to know the truth, so we all may be set free from these insidious mindsets.

Mark: This 1993 article from The Washington Post called out issues impacting the Black community. And this article from the Economic Policy Institute, written in 1997, cites the immediate impact that NAFTA had on American jobs, notably within just the first three years after the Agreement was enacted:

“Between 1993 and 1996, women lost 141,454 jobs to NAFTA, Blacks lost 36,890 jobs, and Hispanics lost 22,520 jobs, numbers closely reflecting these groups’ shares in manufacturing industries. Moreover, a disproportionate number of the jobs eliminated by NAFTA were manufacturing jobs, which pay relatively high wages, further contributing to NAFTA’s detrimental effect on the distribution of income and wages of working Americans.”

These are big numbers. I remember working in the garment industry during those years and the devasting plant closures that ensued. I watched one industry after another shift manufacturing overseas. I support all people in the world having the dignity of work. I have done mission work in Ukraine, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and I believe the only way out of poverty is through the dignity of a good, safe job. The difficulty lies in the jobs that have left, which have never been replaced with equal- or higher-paying jobs. We are seeing a deterioration of the workforce, not an increase in our capabilities. Finally, this article outlines the impact 25 years after the passing of NAFTA:

“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black workers have lost nearly half a million manufacturing jobs (494,000) during the NAFTA–WTO era. Black workers’ manufacturing losses were evenly spread across many subsectors that suffered significant trade-related job loss. For instance, in the automotive sector, by 2010, in just the first 15 years of NAFTA, Black workers had lost 56,524 jobs. Black workers were disproportionately represented in the primary metals manufacturing sector hit by the NAFTA–WTO era with a loss of 53,800 jobs. Black workers have also lost 22,100 jobs in the paper manufacturing industry and 18,600 jobs in the beverages and tobacco industry during the NAFTA–WTO era, two more sectors where Black workers were overrepresented relative to their general share of the workforce.”

Kevin, with these staggering statistics in mind, what suggestions do you have to reinforce that we need change to return dignity to people, but not through policy or the extension of destructive governmental programs that hinder an individual’s freedom to prosper?

Kevin: Some of the best ways to encourage the dignity of work and beget progress for any/all communities would be to reemphasize the trades! Higher education creates very high student loans and can be more burdensome (long term) than not. Skilled trades, on the other hand, continue to be in demand; most trades have proven to be “recession resistant” (resilient to economic conditions). Trades like HVAC, construction, machinery, auto mechanics, landscaping/design, etc., provide high incomes and opportunities that are mostly resistant to economic downturns. Entrepreneurship is greater for tradespeople. Also, unlike trying to “climb the corporate ladder” via “white-collar” jobs, meritocracy is more apparent in the trades arena. Therefore, people tend to achieve greater income acceleration and promotion based on skills/mastery of craft, as compared to the subjective criteria of the corporate world.

Mark: The privatization of prisons and the extreme zero policy of Democratic leaders caused a disproportionate amount of Black men to be incarcerated for de minimis amounts of drugs and narcotics in their possession. We know that the sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses versus powder cocaine were changed. This article from 1995 highlights those issues. Yet again, we trust our politicians to make the lives of our people better. This subject has been in my heart for many years. Privatizing a penal system and then decreasing the threshold of incarceration would seem, to me, to reek of impropriety. But what would you advise both the Black and Caucasian communities to do in this regard?

Kevin: There is a serious need for continued criminal justice reforms initiated under the Trump administration. With Joe Biden’s racist 1994 “criminal legislation,” Blacks were targeted and put behind bars for 25+ years for relatively minor offenses.

Judges were given great latitude as well, and this translated to large variations in sentencing; depending on the city, state, and court/judge, sentencing would vary from probation to 25+ years for the same crime! This must stop. Irrespective of where criminals decide to break laws, all criminals should know the minimum consequences for committing crimes!

Across the country, there should be consistency in sentencing guidelines. Too much power is given to DAs and judges (in certain cities), and this phenomenon has caused “woke” social justice warriors to champion over-correction on criminal justice reforms. To be sure, many cities have now implemented no-cash bail reforms (which provide a no-consequence revolving door for repeat offenders), and defunding of the police, which has allowed and encouraged many criminal activities to go unpunished.

Common-sense reforms that provide minimum sentencing requirements for all states will help restrict subjective rulings from radical judges, while also providing consistency.

Mark: Organizations now actively seek ways to create a more welcoming workplace that respects employee diversity and gives a voice to people who are often underrepresented. Whether you are a Christian-owned business or a religious-exempt employer, such as a Christian church, ministry, higher education institution, or camp, many foundations and organizations that provide grant dollars are mandating DEI. It is rumored that more and more local, state, and federal contractors that provide services to the federal government must certify that their employees have been trained in DEI.

Fortunately, we live in America, and there is no one authority that can dictate the contents of this mandated training. Many employers have sought an alternative to present, rather than the highly sexualized versions that consulting companies deliver. As an HR professional, it’s challenging to reconcile these mandates when much of the presented materials would violate current sexual harassment and workplace employment laws.

We believe that business owners and organizations can create the thriving work environment they aspire to by implementing our Bible-based, organization-wide DEI training program. In fact, much of its content aligns with the DEI training that was presented in corporate America in the ’90s. Some of the points, although presented from a secular worldview, mimic the Biblical worldview. For example:

All people are created equal.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28

The rich and poor have this in common: the Lord made them both. – Proverbs 22:2

God sees everyone as the same.
For God does not show favoritism. – Romans 2:11

Treating all people fairly is paramount.

Yes, indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: Love your neighbor as yourself. But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. – James 2:8–9

The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these. – Mark 12:31

God loves everyone.
“The mountains may shift, and the hills may be shaken, but my faithful love won’t shift from you, and my covenant of peace won’t be shaken,” says the Lord, the one who pities you. – Isaiah 54:10

The Good News: No matter how the world changes around us, or what trials we face, HE is always there, guiding us through it all.

In a nutshell, God loves diversity, equity, and inclusion. Jesus set the example, so we should, as well. In addition to honoring Him, organizations promoting inclusive cultures provide a happier, healthier work environment. Indeed, according to a Deloitte survey, companies with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets; three times more likely to be high performing; six times more likely to be innovative and agile; and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.

Inclusive companies also produce more satisfied employees. This same survey revealed that employees in these environments were likely to stay with the company three times longer, be 28% more engaged, and were 51% more likely to recommend the company to others. For 80% of individuals surveyed, diversity, equity, and inclusion remain a hugely important factor when committing to a workplace.

Robert Sellers, chief diversity officer at the University of Michigan, compares diversity, equity and inclusion to a dance: “Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party. Equity means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist. And inclusion means that everyone has the opportunity to dance.”

Kevin, with this being said, what is your perspective on aligning the Biblical view with DEI versus the world view, and where do you see the critical differences?

Kevin: In my book DEI in 3D, I affirm that “the most significant value of Diversity for any environment is the encouragement of divergent viewpoints; this helps promote harmonious flourishing when focused on solving problems or attempting to accomplish an objective. Actively welcoming criticisms and coordinated assessment of different plausible solutions increase the Diversity of ideas within organizational thinking. If all organizational contributors feel their input and perspective are encouraged, honored, and respected, it can foster a rich unifying experience for employees. When corporate unity is increased, an increase in overall corporate performance should accelerate. From an in-depth DEI in 3D view, a sincere and concerted effort encouraging equal opportunity for people with diversified skillsets, political leanings, ethnicity, sex/gender, etc., is needed to produce a ‘melting pot’ of Diversity to achieve a pipeline of opportunistic successes.” This aligns with the Biblical view of the Kingdom.

A secular view of DEI emphasizes equity. Within today’s DEI parlance, the equity focus connotes that since everyone is accepted as equal, there is demand for equal pay and promotion outcomes (regardless of skillset, background, competencies, etc.). Taken to its obvious extreme, equity demands that people be promoted and placed into senior positions based solely on skin color (or gender identity, like trans). Equity, when reflected as equal outcomes, allows incompetent people who are abject failures to be rewarded with high pay and promotion. This is quite divisive, because it enables personal retribution (if someone lacks melanin, for instance, and the DEI exec despises them for it, they can be displaced in deference to someone less competent). This obviously doesn’t allow a menagerie of flourishing in a diverse workplace. Instead, is causes distrust, division, and resentment. Workplaces should be vigilant about diversity, while also emphasizing a commitment to merit/meritocracy, not “equal outcomes!” This—equal outcomes—is fundamentally a communist notion and should be rejected by all who believe in equal opportunity, fairness, and promoting unity.

Mark: Kevin, we discussed some of my firsthand experiences witnessing prejudice. Growing up in a predominately white community, for example, I did not, early on, have the opportunity to work closely with people of color in a for-profit secular company environment—I had experienced some of this during my time in the Air Force, but not with anyone at a high level in corporate America. But then I took a job at a Fortune 500 company where my boss was a very successful Black man who had risen to the top of this company very quickly, and I was learning so much from him. One day, we were having lunch together at a steak house, and when the subject came up, I admitted I had never witnessed anyone white acting or sounding racist or bigoted. My boss said that racism still very much existed, and that if I hadn’t seen it, I wasn’t looking very hard for it. That made sense, because why would I be looking for the negative all the time, given I tend to assume the best about people when I meet them? At the end of the meal, the waiter brought me the check, assuming I was senior to my Black companion. My boss grinned. “Case in point, Mark. That is a subtle form of racism.” I learned my lesson that day, as it might otherwise never have registered.

Kevin, how do you see this from your perspective? That lunch was many years ago. Has it gotten better for the Black community? What would you recommend the Caucasian community, as well as the Black community, do to shine a light on things like this? How can this discussion become healing and unifying, rather than destructive?

Kevin: Racism exists! Preconceived notions, based on race, also exist. Preconceived notions (devoid of malice) should not be conflated with racism, which, in my opinion, always includes malicious/malicious intent.

We must give one another grace based on the fact there is much ignorance about changing norms and precedence. Given that personal biases based on preconceived notions tend to become visible, we must allow for this as a plausible explanation of insensitivities and ignorance, as opposed to immediately “knee-jerking” to race/racism. When we (everyone) can learn to do this, we can begin to build a basis for achieving some level of trust and unity.

Mark: Another topic we discussed, Kevin, is law enforcement. This has been a hot topic in the press for the many years, starting with Rodney King, and now particularly on the heels of the very controversial George Floyd riots. We have seen many instances these past several years that show mounting frustration and tension in our nation. People have widely differing perspectives, with some believing that defunding the police is the solution. But we have to agree that not funding the police is backfiring. I was recently in San Francisco on vacation and was shocked at the crime and the appearance that has taken over the city. Automobile break-ins are rampant, assaults on citizens are increasing, and several areas are overrun with drug abuse and homelessness. And it’s not just California. Parts of Baltimore, Detroit, and Philadelphia are unrecognizable now, in contrast to the prosperity they demonstrated in the past.

This article outlines where many of the problems stem from, and much of it sadly has to do with reduction in our police forces. When police pull people over, it’s important to be respectful, but we also expect the police to be respectful toward, albeit cautious of, the citizens they encounter. We have a court system that can help us in the event an officer is abusive. Most police now have body cameras, and if they are abusive, their actions will be recorded. Even comedian Chris Rock, who uses some salty language to give guidance, believes that respecting law enforcement is in one’s best interest.

Kevin, what recommendations would you give to our readers to help prevent these kinds of issues from continuing?

Kevin: Everyone should rally around the FACT that we need law enforcement. Too often, officers are needed to intervene in domestic violence incidents, rape/assault investigations, terror/terrorist actions, and countless other ways that help protect and save lives! Let’s face it, there are rogue nut jobs in every profession; the law enforcement profession is certainly not exempt. For officers who have proven to be “bad,” we need to demand dismissal. Regrettably, police unions are complicit in retaining bad officers. One answer is to reduce the power and privilege of police unions when there is a track record of officer abuses/misdeeds.

With U.S. borders currently “open” and people from all over the world streaming in (some confirmed terrorists, some confirmed human and sex traffickers, and countless drug/gun-running lords), reducing law enforcement is not an option. Only sincere efforts to increase law enforcement mechanisms will help protect all citizens (especially those in inner-city communities). We must be vigilant about encouraging more law enforcement, while being diligent about holding them accountable to standards of conduct conducive to public safety and personal well-being.

Mark: The second point to discuss is the case of an affluent Caucasian man who runs over a man, obstructs the investigation with false claims, is let out on bail, and then receives a sentence of a minimum of 363 days and a maximum of three years for an accident involving death or personal injury. Furthermore, from our understanding, he retained his employment and is out daily on work release. This just doesn’t seem right. I am curious: Had the driver been a Black man from Philadelphia driving through central Pennsylvania in a predominantly white community, what might the outcome have been? This strikes me to be what some call white privilege. In this case, access to quality legal assistance, to local officials, and certainly the privilege involved with this person’s influence in the community, all played a part in the outcome.

What has been your experience in this area? What would you like to share with both the Caucasian and Black communities as to how we can better ensure that the justice system treats all offenders similarly?

Kevin: As stated before, minimum sentencing guidelines are needed; this helps remove subjectivity from the meting out of so called blind justice. Judges would not be able to bend the rules to help friends/family or their favorite (or preferred) ethnicity.

Mark: Thank you for that answer; that would solve many of these issues for sure. Kevin, my heart breaks when I see great Americans like Condoleezza Rice, Candace Owens, Ben Carson, and Burgess Owens being vilified by the media and the left-leaning agenda. These are role models who should be lifted up, rather than torn down. What can we do collectively to help elevate them, rather than witness them become marginalized?

Kevin: On the issue of Black conservatives being marginalized and silenced in many ways, the best way to stop abuses of dissenting voices (on both the right and left) is to recognize everyone’s humanity, and in that, dignity and worth. When we can come to the point where we can respectfully disagree without name calling, we will see opportunities to unify around the things that really matter. Honestly, we will not be able to come to this point until we recognize the evil of Marx/Marxism, and commit to thoroughly rejecting him and all of this ideology. Marxism is wholly corrosive and violent, and because of its global mass appeal, people have gotten more divisive and aggressively violent against those who dissent.

Freedom-fighting Blacks standing for righteousness, truth, and justice are elevated and supported best when we reject mainstream Marxist media. If we reject the communists in the media, we can go much further in unifying real truth and justice.

Mark: I put myself through college by working full-time and going to college full-time, at night. I didn’t enjoy the privilege that some assert all white people have. In addition, and this is a hard topic, I spent many years in corporate America being told that I would never rise to the senior ranks of a corporate company on merit, because Blacks and women were being promoted within the ranks of HR to fulfill affirmative action requirements. If I wanted to rise, I was told I would need to go into Operations, where I would have a better chance; otherwise, no matter what I did, I would not reach those ranks. I‘m not angry about it—I understand it. I actually was blessed by it, because not only did it give me a greater understanding of affirmative action but also the motivation to start my own company.

Kevin, what’s your perspective on affirmative action in the United States? Has it helped? Or has it hurt the people it was supposed to help?

Kevin: When it was initiated, affirmative action was needed to help Blacks—finally—get equal opportunities to succeed. Coming out of the civil rights era, it did what it was supposed to do. But it wasn’t intended to continue in perpetuity, so there is no rationale for its continuance. We

each need to be more intentional about recognizing and honoring one another based on the content of character, and not skin color; when we unify—one human to another—we represent God’s design for humanity and are provided a glimpse of the menagerie of diversity that will be harmoniously reflected in His Kingdom.

Mark: Thanks so much for giving us your thoughts on affirmative action. We certainly appreciate your pointed and direct feedback on a discussion that has been debated for many years. I appreciate your wisdom

My final question concerns the Black Lives Matter movement. Many people were very excited about this movement and moved quickly to support it. At the end of the day, though, what is well intended does not always come to a positive fruition. What have you seen regarding this program, and what’s next for it?

Kevin: BLM, as a motto, was something everyone could get behind. But BLM as an organization was a mess. It has now been deemed a fraud. Multiple mansions, very high-income family members, and appreciable contributions to Act Blue (and transgender organizations) are where they spent approximately $1 billion. Multiple states have sued BLM for fraud, and BLM has virtually ignored Black communities; no Black communities received help, support, or were aided in any way after the George Floyd riots. The BLM organization seems to have been established as a mechanism for unfettered graft and defrauding the public, not help!
The BLM founders are proud “revolutionary Marxists”—their proud proclamation—so I guess the fraud and malfeasance is to be expected….

Mark: Kevin, I want to thank you today for taking the time to help our readers get a greater glimpse of race and DEI, which is often presented in a different manner. Have I missed any areas you think we should discuss?

Kevin: To address issues with DEI and have it work in positive ways (in which it’s anticipated), the first thing I would recommend is to read my new book, DEI in 3D. It provides a healthy, cogent, and objective view of DEI and its anticipated outcomes. The second thing I recommend is to completely reject and denounce Karl Marx and Marxism. Marxism is wholly antithetical to morals and values, unity, and a proper and healthy respect for all humanity. Marx and his theory must be canceled! This is not optional; it is mandatory for those who are sincere about workplace (or small group) harmony.

Mark: Kevin, thank you for taking the time to discuss DEI and Biblical alternatives with us. The conversation took longer than we’d thought, but your perspective on the many points we’ve covered has been very valuable. Your wisdom and understanding will help many who were unaware of these potential risks in what is happening, societally.  Thanks again!