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

Christianity & Business, Corporate Giving, Government & Law, Measuring Ministry Success, Ministry, Ministry, Money, Organizational Culture, Prayer, Salvation, Spiritual Growth, Work & Life Balance, Workplace Evangelism, Workplace Missions

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.

  • Kevin Miller Bio

    With over a decade of experience in marketing leadership, brand management, and business development, Kevin has helped numerous companies refine and implement plans to create exponential growth.

    Prior to joining C12, Kevin led a successful Florida-based brand strategy consulting business focused on growing small and medium-sized businesses. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Kevin also has a diverse background in launching start-ups as well as helping struggling or stagnant businesses develop a new course of action. His experience incorporates knowledge from multiple industries including textile manufacturing and design, medicine, real estate, technology, web development, and the creative arts.

    After attending the University of Central Florida where he studied Music Performance, Kevin became involved in worship arts and youth ministries, serving for several years in various leadership roles. He and his wife Beth, an elementary school administrator, have been married since 2000. Together with two sons Kyle and Kamden, they enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and backpacking.

  • Troy Blackmon Bio

    Troy came to The C12 Group in 2008, with a diverse background in executive leadership, sales development, team building, and operations. Through his role as VP of Field Operations, he is committed to serve, equip and encourage CEOs and business owners to lead thriving companies that honor the Lord and serve people.

    During his tenure at Chick-fil-A, Inc. Troy learned that business excellence and glorifying God in the marketplace go hand in hand. Troy managed a P&L of $35+ million in revenue and coached business owners in operational excellence and improving financial results.

    In addition, Troy has been involved in leading small group ministry, including planting a church in Seattle, WA. Troy was formerly Partner at OneAccord, a management-consulting firm focused on accelerating revenue for mid-market companies. While at OneAccord, Troy was privileged to work with numerous technology companies in senior leadership positions, managing sales, marketing, and business development activities. Troy most recently served as the President of a technology private equity group, where he led the management teams of 4 portfolio businesses.

    Troy is married to his high school sweetheart, Shanna, and has been blessed with 4 children. He enjoys golf, cycling, and mountain biking with his family.

  • Mike Sharrow Bio

    Mike joined C12 as a member in 2010 while serving as an executive pastor for a large church in Texas and owner of a healthcare strategy consulting group.  Prior to that, he had served in a variety of leadership roles in both operations and sales corporately for the Walgreen Company, financial services as well as strategic development work with Health by Design.  In 2011 he exited his commitments to join the local C12 practice in San Antonio as an associate chair serving CEOs across that market.  In 2013 he and a partner acquired the greater Central Texas region and stewarded it as it grew to a team of 8 full-time chairmen serving nearly 150 leaders.  Mike is passionate about collaboration, strategic planning, Gospel initiatives and BHAG endeavors.

    With a background spanning Fortune 50 corporate settings, startups, non-profit and local church, Mike has been discipled into an integrated life perspective around the calling all believers share to be disciple-making disciples and ambassadors of Christ across all vocations and contexts.  It was in 2005 when God revealed to Mike the perils of a “sacred versus secular” duality in life and since then he’s been on the adventure of living one life in Christ, with work as worship, business as ministry and life as mission.

    Mike grew up in Alaska, graduated from Trinity International University and the Loyola Graduate School of Business.  He married his bijou of an Iowa farmers daughter, Jacqui, in 2002 and they have 2 girls, Elayna and Sophia.