Leading a Business that Glorifies God: A C12 Member’s Perspective

Integrating faith and work comes naturally for Mike Martin, CEO of the Karis Group, an Austin-based firm that provides patient advocacy and medical bill mediation services. As you step into their lobby, an inspiring painting of Jesus healing the sick hangs prominently, reminding visitors of the true source of health.

Mike, a member of the C12 Group, explained his mission, “We are very intentional about glorifying God in everything we do, especially in how we interact with our clients, employees, and vendors.”

The Karis Group was founded by Dr. Tony Dale, who through his own personal experience with inconsistencies and staggering costs of the medical system, was determined to help people find better access to quality and affordable care. Fifteen years later, the company continues to provide advocacy for patients, helping them navigate the maze of the health care system and coming alongside them as they weather difficult seasons.

Mike realizes the incredible opportunities he has to glorify God through his business and is motivated to improve continuously. He elaborated, “Since joining C12 two years ago, I am so excited about the positive happenings within the company. We recently conducted a strategic planning retreat facilitated by Robert Vogel, our C12 Group Chair. Management and key players came together to focus on our long-term vision and goals and develop a tactical plan to make it happen. We now have tangible ideas, direction, and marching orders. The best part is, these plans will be executed through a Biblical worldview. Being in business is certainly about profits, efficiency, and providing excellent service. However, we are operating this business from a perspective of faith. We are leading a business that honors and glorifies God.”

Bridging the Gap through C12

Sadly, most business owners separate Sunday and their work week, exercising their faith one day and checking it at the door on Monday morning. Mike believes C12 has given him the tools to bridge the gap.

“C12 has been a marvelous growth experience personally and professionally, opening my eyes so that I can see how my faith journey is not separate from my work life. My calling is to run this company. My faith is what matters to me. It defines me and who I am in the marketplace. My faith guides me in my leadership role and ability to make decisions that impact our staff and our clients. The Lord gave us this company. We want to help people who are facing tough times and be a light on a hill for them. We are unashamedly Christ followers, making a real difference for people,” he said.

In addition to leading from a Biblical perspective, C12 has helped Mike and his peers solve complex business issues.

“During my Core Business Presentation with C12, I was open to the fact that our company struggled with solid marketing support and I needed guidance and advice behind our two biggest products – Kare360 and The Health Co-Op. My peer members provided me with several contacts and ideas. We were able to hire a virtual chief marketing officer and enlisted help through a local social media consultant. From there, we were able to develop a solid marketing plan, clarify our message, and better promote our products. It has been very successful,” explained Mike.

Unexpected Blessings

Mike has been open to glorifying God in a number of ways through his business. Every Friday morning, the company holds a breakfast Bible study and gives employees a chance to pray for each other and their families. Additionally, the company has created a committee that sets aside a percentage of profits each month to support missionaries and ministry programs. If an employee wants to go on a mission trip, The Karis Group will actually help fund the trip and provide the necessary time off.

Mike shared, “There are many powerful examples of how employees have been impacted. We had a Hindu man on our team that converted to Christianity. When we discussed baptism, he asked me to baptize him, and I did – in front of our entire team. This was his profession of faith that he wanted to share with his co-workers.”

Like his employees, Mike has been impacted by running his business for Christ, particularly through the C12 approach. He has learned to find a healthy balance in marriage, family life, personal health, and work.

“C12 has impacted my home life just as much as my business. I am learning ways to be a better husband and father. I am proactive in creating deeper relationships with my family and being the husband and father the Lord wants me to be. The resources I have gained help me really shape and clarify how the Lord wants me to lead my life. I have developed solid friendships with my fellow members that I can call on for advice and receive genuine support. C12 has been one of my greatest resources,” he said.

The Karis Group remains a growing, profitable business with engaged employees and an excited management team. What’s more, people are becoming Christ-followers through their contact with the firm. Mike, along with nearly two thousand other business leaders nationwide, is discovering the benefits of running a business with an eternal perspective. To learn more about America’s leading peer advisory roundtable for Christian CEOs and business owners, find a C12 Chair near you. Or if you are interested in leading a C12 business group, learn more about becoming a C12 Chair.

Interested in strategies to transform your culture for Christ’s glory? Check out our free e-book on Operating Culture now.