An Interview with Bill Worthen - Unity, Entrepreneurship & God working through CBMC Groups

Ambition with Grace & Meekness

There’s a unique challenge that christian business men face when they try to live out Christ-like humility and grace, while trying to be the best stewards of each opportunity they’re handed. They need to get results while relentlessly living out Jesus’ commands to serve, love, and show mercy. In the sometimes cut-throat world of business, disciples of Jesus are called to transcend the worldly, and work to bring about the kingdom of heaven wherever they are.  One way we do this, is by seeking unity with God, and other believers.

bill worthen christian business minneosta

Bill Worthen Entrepreneur 

The other day I had the opportunity to visit with long time CBMC participant Bill Worthen, to learn from him and share a bit of his story on the CBMC blog.

Bill is an entrepreneur, but he started his career out in broadcast television advertising.  After spending years paying his dues in the industry, he found himself in the perfect position to capitalize on a new fledgling technology - digital video.

Bill founded UnityWorks, a digital video advertising company which grew over 14 years to approach $20 Million a year in revenue.  In 2015, Bill sold the company and has since been investing into his family and preparing for the future.  Bill is married to wife Renee, and has three grown sons, Travis, Grant and Jacob.  Bill and his family are members of Grace Church in Eden Prairie, where Renee is the facilitator of one of the women’s bible study groups.

CBMC Groups are Doorways for the Holy Spirit

When Bill had grown his company to around 100 employees and was nearing that $20 Million in revenue mark, he started to be faced with some monumental situations. These were stressful times, but Bill remarked a great deal about how the Holy Spirit moved in his life as a result of the help he received through the tight biblical community of CBMC.

“When you have a group of serious believers meeting together, and praying for each other, the Holy Spirit - which dwells in each one of them - becomes a doorway for God to speak into your life.”

Bill referenced Matthew 18:20, where Jesus promises that when two or three people are gathered in His name, He is there with them.  During a high pressured business career, Bill was grateful to have the fellowship of other Christian businessmen and entrepreneurs in His CBMC group while approaching the critical time of selling his company.

God Shows up in Small Groups

Bill’s group wasn’t just helpful in a general sense, but God had pulled together their group of Christ-centered entrepreneurs with purpose and intentionality.  Bill shared a funny story that illustrated how perfectly aligned God’s community was in CBMC.

One day in their CBMC group, an entrepreneur member asked for prayer because he needed to get his tooth fixed.  The tooth had been neglected because each time he had scheduled the appointment to get the expensive dental work done, he’d had to cancel to meet a payroll or fix something in the business.  “Please pray that I can actually get this tooth fixed!” the man said.

Right after finishing that prayer request, both Bill, and another member, said “you’re kidding me!  We’re missing that SAME tooth, and neither of us  have replaced it because of our business needs!”

Three separate entrepreneurs needed the same tooth to be replaced or worked on, and had neglected it because of the exact same reasons.  It was a fun little reminder to the group that God had orchestrated their friendship long before anything - all part of His sovereign plan. Bill chuckled and passingly said “You gotta fix payroll before you fix your teeth!”

That friendship and camaraderie has been priceless for Bill and his group through the years.  He talked at length about how the consistency of the group has allowed God to steady their lives no through both good times and bad.  Whether it’s when kids go off the rails, a friend dies, or the day-to-day business tensions start to eat at them- God has used their group as a tool for comfort and support.

Unity Should be Important to Believers

Bill talked about how one of the most important things he’d want to share about what God has taught him, was about unity.

In John 17, we get to peer into a very powerful and mysterious interaction between God the Father and God the Son.  While the interaction shows ultimate submission by Jesus to the will of the Father, we should all take note because Jesus specifically prays for every future believer.

As Bill played out this idea of unity to me, he brought up Psalm 133 and John 17:20-22 to show how important unity should be for us all. In Psalm 133, God commands a blessing on our unity and in John 17, Christ prays for the unity of the disciples and the future believers.

20"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

Jesus prays that every future believer would be unified with each other, and be one with God.  Jesus wants believers to be in unity with God, and each other, so that “the world would believe.” (Jn 17:21)

In John 13:33-35, Jesus says that “by this, all men will know that you’re my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

These verses leave believers with two things to focus on as their testimony to the world; Love for one another, and unity between God and others.

Unity with God and with fellow believers was instrumental in any success that Bill had with his Minnesota Small Businesses. Bill said that this idea of unity manifested itself in intentionally finding ways to connect deeply with others, and to cultivate deep connection between people in his businesses, so that people would engage more deeply in a relationship with each other and with God’s Holy Spirit.

We’d all benefit a great deal to work towards unity with God and unity with other believers, and I think Bill’s onto something with his efforts to connect deeply with others in order to be a unity-maker.

In the Image of the Creator

Of all the great things Bill shared, one other thing really stood out.  When he was describing how faithful God has been to him and his family throughout the years as an entrepreneur, he mentioned that it’s good to remember we are made in the image of a creator.

We both talked a bit about Bill’s company UnityWorks, and my my Web Design & Minnesota SEO company FeedbackWRENCH, and how the risk of entrepreneurship is faith inducing and special.  

Entrepreneurship is Creation

Bill said that entrepreneurship is creation - and that it’s one of the many ways the image of our creative Creator manifests itself.  All people are called to create something, mainly - a bit of the kingdom of heaven here on hearth.  

Bill highlighted the verse in Psalm 133 - which shows us that God intended to reward us when we pursue the Godly unity that Jesus talked about in John 17.

Psalm 133:1-3

1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is

when brothers dwell in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil on the head,

running down on the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

running down on the collar of his robes!

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,

which falls on the mountains of Zion!

For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,

life forevermore.