By Jamie Shafer
As Bryan Weese contem-plated the potential merger his law firm was facing, he knew something needed to change. There were countless factors to consider in the decision, including how to merge people, cultures, and technologies. As he continued to process the issues and review what he knew, he realized he couldn’t truly anticipate all the situations or opportunities that might arise from the merger. He also knew the decisions he was helping to make would directly affect the partners, lawyers, staff, their families, and the clients of both firms.
Currently a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll in Indianapolis, Indiana, Weese looks back at this time in his life more than two years later and notes, “Firm mergers are a big deal. They’re complicated and risky. Frankly, I was looking at everything and was really overwhelmed by it. How do you determine what’s right? What structure are you using to consider the facts and to make your decisions?”
As he thought and prayed about the situation, he had the impression that the Lord might have an opinion if Weese was only willing to explore it—and that there was more at stake than everyone’s financial fortunes. He knew that in his business, as well as his personal life, he needed to build on a strong foundation, one that Christ provided. He and his wife, Kate, had realized this truth for their lives 12 years earlier as they began building their married life together. But now Weese was ready to invite Christ into his daily workplace in a more intentional way.
Following God’s leading, he hand-delivered a memo to 25 men in his office, inviting them to join together in a time of prayer and reflection to seek God’s will as it related to the merger. In the memo he stated, “As in my other endeavors, I have all-too-often sought to resolve questions and concerns relating to this firm and the proposed merger through my own efforts without actively seeking wisdom and discernment from higher authority.” He included Scriptures that he would be praying over and invited the men to do the same.
Before then, the name of Christ was rarely (if ever) spoken in his office. He notes that most men segregate their faith and work lives and this new group was an attempt to merge the two and have these men invite God into every part of their lives.
While the merger did not happen, Weese notes, “The group has since morphed into a discipleship, support, and accountability group that seeks to be salt and light in our workplace and to set a Christlike example for our fellow attorneys and staff. It has been encouraging to see the transformation around the office, with people openly engaging in discussions, speaking the name of Christ, seeking counsel on how to apply Christian principles to matters that arise daily in our workplace, and looking more like a community of faith at work.” He notes that there are monthly meetings, but daily conversations. The men have already had several opportunities to walk with one another during some of the hard times in their lives.
“If you are a follower of Christ, you can’t be two-faced or lukewarm,” notes Weese. He refers to Luke 9:26, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (NIV, 1984). Every person has to decide if he or she is going to live a life of consistent character.
He adds that while he is not perfect, he is doing much better at keeping his focus on Christ in all facets of his life. Many of us spend the majority of our waking hours in the workplace and Weese challenges Christians to live their faith in all environments, especially the workplace. “If you’re not living it at work, you’re not living it.”
Weese also contends that when you’re walking closely with Christ, he will show you the daily opportunities, and it is not always in the things we would consider big. “It’s always in the little stuff. Being willing to step into a conversation, or holding the door for someone whose hands are full.” Every moment offers a chance to listen for God’s leading and to follow.
Jamie Shafer is the communications director at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.