An outreach of Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, Business By The Book has been encouraging members of the business community for nine years with spiritual and intellectual lessons for the workplace.
“The name of it really conveys the goal. Business By The Book — how do you, as a person of faith, conduct business in a way that reflects biblical values,” said Sam Jones Memorial UMC Senior Minister Bill Burch. “It’s for business people to somehow make that connection between scripture and what they’re doing from Monday through Friday.
“We were very intentional about this not being a church-centered activity. It’s very much community-centered, and I would say at least 50 percent, if not more, of the people who participate are not members of our congregation.”
Ten months out of the year, skipping June and July for summer break, Sam Jones Memorial UMC, 100 W. Church St., hosts 70 to 80 guests for lunch and a message. Burch leads a yearlong study rotating every other month with guest speakers. This year, Burch is leading a study on the book of James, supplemented by business leaders, professors and guest ministers.
Tuesday, Business By The Book drew one of its largest crowds with nearly 100 people in attendance to hear guest speaker George Manners, professor of accounting and management at Kennesaw State University.
With a message geared toward businessmen and -women, Manners presented a lesson titled “Seize the Opportunity,” relating stories of success in business, science and athletics through dedication and perseverance.
“If you’re still breathing, you’re still alive on this Earth,” Manners said. “And if you’re still here, you have not finished what you were put on this Earth to do, and if you have not finished what you were put on this Earth to do, the best part of your life is ahead of you. Seize the opportunity.”
Business By The Book began in 2004, upon the completion of Sam Jones Memorial UMC’s family life center, as the church looked for ways to utilize the new facility and fill a perceived need in the community. Burch again spoke to the program’s title and its use of the term “book” to refer to the Bible as a teaching tool for guests of any faith.
“We want to make it as widely open to the community as possible,” Burch said. “While we don’t make any apologies for operating under a Christian umbrella, ‘people of the book’ covers almost every religion — and even those who do not identify religion as a core value, I still believe there are some very good take aways from what we’re doing. There’s good reason the Bible has been around for millenia, because the spiritual principles that are in it are applicable to every generation. Human beings don’t change, God’s principles don’t change. So even if somebody was not a professing Christian or Jewish or of any other religion, I think they would still walk away with lessons learned.”
Business By The Book is held on the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. sharp. Lunch is $7. To RSVP, call 770-382-4772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.samjonesumc.org.