Faith and business intersect within a company. Whether we can admit it, employees are talking about religion. Despite policies that religious, political, or incendiary topics not be discussed in the office, it happens. And I for one believe it’s a good thing.
But it all begins with the boss! The boss has to integrate his or her faith in a way that welcomes these conversations and always in appropriate settings. Like dough leaven which adheres but doesn’t overtake other ingredients, a true leader must integrate and inspire. My recommendation is to do this with a meal!
Consider the word “company,” which shares the Latin roots as “companion” — cum (with) and panis (bread). In a company we literally break bread with each other. That carries religious connotations. Your business, then, is a place where YOU should break bread with employees, and that is the moment for evangelization.
When I see successful companies, what they seem to have in common is treating workers like a family. That means everyone is accorded respect; they know they are valued, seen, and heard. But, those companies that encourage a sense of sharing a meal, breaking bread together, are firms with the biggest impact on religious diversity and the company success.
In my speaking engagements at corporations, I’ve seen that when a head of a company takes time and eats with the employees — a very simple act — it creates a sense of family. The best part is, you don’t even have to speak about the catechism, dogma, or the Bible. Your very presence speaks loudly and clearly. By simply breaking bread, as Jesus did with His companions, He taught the lessons with actions that led to conversions.
Our call to evangelize means knowing our faith confidently so our actions speak louder than words. And, what better way to convey to employees that you appreciate them, care for them, and yes, want to bring salvation to them, than by simply being a companion and breaking bread with them.
LEO E. PATALINGHUG IV DEI, priest, author, speaker, TV and radio host, founder of Plating Grace and The Table Foundation. Learn more at FatherLeoFeeds.com
White Chocolate & Peach Bread Pudding • serves 6-8
Before you discard dry old bread, bring it to life in delicious bread pudding.
5-6 cups old bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup melted salted butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 15-ounce can chopped peaches
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of Grand Marnier (optional)
Preheat oven to 350˚. Prepare baking dish and coat interior with non-stick butter. In large bowl, combine butter, eggs, vanilla extract, chopped peaches with juices, brown sugar, whole milk, and heavy whipping cream (optional Grand Marnier). Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Add bread to egg and milk mixture and fold the ingredients together until all pieces of bread have soaked up some egg wash. The consistency should be a soggy, but not broken, piece of bread. If necessary, beat 2 eggs, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 cup of whipping cream all together and add it slowly at a time until you get the right consistency. When the bread begins to soak up the mixture, add the white chocolate chips and stir all together. Pour the bread into the prepared baking dish and bake in oven for about 35 minutes, until the edges and top start to turn golden brown. Remove, rest for 10 minutes before cutting or scooping into individual bowls. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint for decor.