By Jamie Shafer
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
Many people thought Jake Stamper was living the dream. His career had skyrocketed while working for an international ad agency. It required travel and long days, but he liked the challenge and the salary—until everything changed.
“I was at the pinnacle of my career, making good money, and frankly, was pretty full of myself at times,” says Stamper. “One night I was sitting in an airport waiting for a redeye flight, and I saw another guy at the airport in a suit, looking tired and beat up. As I looked at him, I thought, Man, I don’t want to be that guy. Later that night, as I looked in the mirror, I realized I already was that guy.”
Stamper concluded something had to change. He felt a strong desire to do more for God, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. He knew that simply volunteering more wasn’t the answer. As he searched, he says God began whispering to him to use his talents for the kingdom. Stamper left his job.
“I was thinking, Wow, I just resigned from a really good job. What am I supposed to do? But God laid it all out.”
Finding a New Plan
As he spent the next few months praying about a new business model, God led him to a plan, and Indianapolis-based Eclipse Marketing and Advertising (eclipsethem.com) was born. Stamper was determined that Eclipse would put God at the center of everything—for him and his employees.
“God called us to go and make disciples,” reminds Stamper, “but the typical business structure requires working 10 hours a day, so it can be hard to actually ‘go.’ Every element of Eclipse puts faith and life first, and work second.”
Stamper created an uncon-ventional work environment with no office hours, vacation, or paid time off. “Employees come and go as they please,” says Stamper. “This allows them to volunteer, spend time with family, or go to Bible study. We’re a production-based company, so everyone has due dates, but they can work from the office, at home, or the park. It gives them a level of freedom similar to the freedom we have in Christ.”
Stamper notes the flexible work environment allows one employee to homeschool and still have a full-time job. It also requires employees to have a strong work ethic. Stamper encourages each person to become a leader.
He also shares clear boundaries: “All our employees are leaders, and I have a chance to walk alongside them. If you don’t become a leader, you will fail, and then you won’t work here anymore. If you don’t hit your due dates, you’re not going to work here.”
However, he does offer employees chances to grow in their leadership and their faith. They integrate the Bible into every production meeting by including a verse of the month. Stamper also encourages his team to participate in Bible studies and they serve together at places like the faith-based, inner-city ministry Shepherd Community Center and Habitat for Humanity.
How do his clients respond to this work environment and the Scriptures scrawled on whiteboards?
“About 60 percent of our clients are faith-based, nonprofit organizations,” shares Stamper. “With the 40 percent of clients that are not faith-based, it works very well. Those in secular workplaces have witnessed Christ in our flexibility, and how we carry and present ourselves. Some have asked about working with our nonprofit clients to help them, or sending a team over to volunteer.”
“We’re constantly praying together and doing research. We want to have biblical support for the principles we’re presenting. We align our messaging for a client with biblical values. We generally don’t last long with a client who is adamantly opposed to what we value. But we rest with 100 percent confidence that if someone stops doing business with us, it’s okay. God will provide. It’s about trust.”
In recent years, Eclipse has experienced growth of 300-400 percent per year. Stamper’s goal is to continue to put less focus on himself and infuse more of Jesus Christ into work, to avoid the greed that often rules business culture and instead trust God to provide.
“We are believers first,” says Stamper. “Everything we do is based on that premise. We draw a line in the sand and boldly take our stand.”
Jamie Shafer is the Communications Director at East 91st Christian Church, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband Eric have two children.