My name is Chris Patton. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, also known as a Christian. I am a father of three wonderful kids and husband to a beautiful wife. I am the steward of a business God has entrusted to me for a time and a purpose. This business is a 100-employee automobile dealership group in a small town in Georgia that sells, services, and reconditions new and used cars, representing six franchises. I am the third-generation operator of this family business that was started by my grandfather and I am partners with my father and brother.
Though I was a baptized believer since the age of ten, it was just over 10 years ago, in the fall of 2000, when I came to understand that I was not living the life to which God had called me. I was a good person, and to the majority of people watching, I was a good Christian father, businessman, church leader, and friend. Unfortunately, I was basing my actions and behaviors on the world’s definition of a good Christian.
“Unfortunately, I was basing my actions and behaviors on the world’s definition of a good Christian.”
I say that because it was certainly not based on the definition of a disciple in the Bible. I had not spent any time reading the Bible for the purpose of aligning my life with it before. Once I started doing that, everything changed. I went from being a good man, leading a good American Christian life, to being a true disciple – someone who studies the life of Jesus and tries to apply what is learned to his everyday life. Like I said earlier, this changed everything!
Change of Focus
Over the next couple of years, my focus slowly changed. My priorities flip-flopped. I even attempted to leave my position as President of the family business in an attempt to find another job that would allow me to serve God with more of my time. I really did not know what God wanted me to do, but I knew it had to be in line with Scripture. As a result, I knew it would not be continuing on the path I had been on up to that point.
Through a series of events that occurred roughly three years after my awakening, I had my marching orders. In the fall of 2003, God showed me clearly that I am to do all I had imagined I would do when I attempted to leave the business, but I am to do it through the business. He showed me that He had put me in my position in our family business for a time and a purpose. Though profit is certainly necessary and a business cannot survive long without it, profit is not to be my main purpose. My purpose is to run this business as a Christian business, one that operates for the purpose of honoring Him and advancing His kingdom.
Long Road Ahead
Eight years later, I am still running this business as God’s steward. I have seen some successes and some failures since starting on the path I have taken. I still have a long way to go on this path.
I am not an author or a professional writer. This, my first blog, is my effort to share this path as well as what I have learned and continue to learn.
The Christian Faith At Work blog has several purposes…
- Enlighten – I am writing this to open the eyes of Christian business owners and leaders everywhere to the fact that we are called to more than just Sunday Christianity. We are called to be disciples of His the rest of the week as well.
- Educate – I am writing this to share what I have learned over the years and what I continue to learn going forward. I want to share resources that I have found to be helpful. I want come alongside others and learn with them as well.
- Encourage – I am writing this to encourage others that have chosen a similar path to mine. Whether through relating my successes or failures, I hope other disciples of Jesus will draw strength, encouragement, hope, and wisdom from the content here.
- Enlist – My hope is that, as a result of reading this blog (and more importantly listening to God), others will decide to take the same path. I believe this is my part in going and making disciples!