CEO Don Flow On His Conversion Experience Around Calling (Video)
Don Flow of Flow Companies, Inc. (36 automotive franchises) sees his work in business as part of his calling from God. In this video he explains how verses in 1 Peter helped him develop a biblical view of calling. Peter's writings describe how Christians are called to salvation, sanctification, and service. For Don Flow, these callings are coherently integrated into a life that includes meaningful work in business.
My own conversion experience was so profound and it really changed the direction of my life in a profound way.
One of the things it did is open me to thinking and reflecting in new ways, and saying, “This has to be about more than just my quiet time, more than just me being involved in mission programs.”
When I looked at the nature of who Jesus was and his calling upon our life, I felt like the conversion experience was an all-conversion experience towards life. Specifically: what did that mean for me if I was going into business or any other practice?
I started down a path of reading and meeting with people. I started to say, “If there’s not this kind of integration, then it feels to me that it’s not consistent, not coherent, not organically connected.” I began to think a lot about the connection of the why, how, and what in our lives, and how can I pull those together.
I began to think a great deal about vocation. I began to reflect upon what I had seen in my life. I went out and interviewed a lot of people and tried to interact with them. I thought: All these people seem to be living faithfully to me. They’re doing it differently. So that means there’s probably not a formula.
In those days there were probably fewer Evangelicals who were oriented in the way I was trying to think. Most of them, when they talked in terms of business, said, “I’ll do really well in business and give away my money along the way.” Or, “I’ll be slightly kinder and gentler than other people in business.” Or “I’ll be honest.” That was the description.
There was not much theological reflection upon the nature of work and business. How would you think about where business fits in terms of what God’s got? God’s got a vision for what human life and flourishing could be like.
I began to reflect upon the biblical understanding of calling. What are we being called to?
I remember looking at the New Testament and at how the language was used. To use Peter’s language, we were called from darkness to light (1 Peter 2:9). We’ll call that the calling of salvation. And then we’re called to walk in his steps (1 Peter 2:21). We’ll call that sanctification. And then we’re called to bless and do good (1 Peter 3:13-14). We’ll call that the call of service. Vocation in the New Testament seems to hold together all three of these dimensions.
This video serves as an illustration to the TOW Bible Commentary article 1 Peter: Serving the World as Resident Alien Priests.