Nicole Berry graduated from Wright State University in 2009. After giving two years in the Chi Alpha Great Lakes Area office, she transitioned into the marketplace as she worked her way up to operations manager at Sedgwick Call Center in Columbus, Ohio. Nicole loves her job and company, as she gets to live out biblical principals everyday in serving clients and employees. She has found multiple ways to bring the Kingdom into the marketplace by referencing Scripture when training her employees, utilizing prayer opportunities, and prayer walking her office.
How Did Chi Alpha impact your life?
I grew up Southern Baptist from generations of Baptist Christians. When I came to Chi Alpha, I was first exposed to the power of the Holy Spirit. Chi Alpha gave me structure to live out my missional heart. This community acted as a pivot point in changing my faith to be discipleship and Holy Spirit-driven. Although the marketplace is severely different from college experiences, Chi Alpha has given me tools that have only grown since being in the marketplace.
How have you seen principles of the Kingdom in your current occupation?
Working as a manager at Sedgwick has allowed me to show the image of Christ by serving and caring for my clients and employees. Jesus has naturally given so many opportunities to glorify Him in this environment. One example is in the values of my company. Sedgwick believes in not just meeting client’s expectations, but exceeding them. This translates biblically, for we are called not to just give the tunic, but also to give them your cloak off your back. We don’t just do the minimum. Christians are supposed to go above and beyond.
Another company motto is “caring counts.” Jesus is the ultimate example of this that I get to live this out on a day-to-day basis. I am thankful that I typically am not battling the flesh when it comes to work because I get to impact lives by providing them relief and care.
How have you been able to live on mission in the marketplace?
I have found several opportunities to share about Jesus by just being attentive of opportunities that present themselves. I have been able to use the Bible as an instructional guide when coaching fellow employees. Who do you want to be as a colleague and as a representative? How can we as employees go beyond when serving our clients and why should we do this? These are questions that coincide with the Spirit and biblical truths. I get to quote verses and concepts from the Bible when coaching on these topics that allow employees to hear Scripture sometimes for the first time and apply it to their life.
I have been able to make my employees feel known and loved by memorizing their names and their supervisor’s name. This has allowed me to make more personal relationships allowing those who I coach to know that I care about them personally.
I can also tell you story after story where I have prayed for healings in the workplace and God has intervened by just being attentive to needs. One particular instance I was praying for a woman for her to be free from a migraine. She was not a believer, but was astonished when she found that she had been healed after our prayer!
I used to prayer walk our office weekly before opening hours for God’s presence to enter the room. This and other prayer has led to direct fruit that can only come from laboring in prayer. When I think about it, I have never had anyone turn me down for prayer.
I have been able to keep Bibles in my office for the purpose of giving away. You’d be surprised how many are open to taking a Bible. I got to surprise and honor a coworker with a Bible of his native language after a short conversation over the frustration he has had with reading the English Bible. This has opened the door for great conversation with him.
God is continuously giving us opportunity to bring the Kingdom into the marketplace if we are just attentive to the needs around us.
How you have you found the ability to give in the marketplace impact your walk with God and community?
The Bible makes it very clear that money is not ours; it is God’s. We are just entrusted with the amount of money we are given, so what will we do with it? It’s okay to take care of yourself and enjoy life, but He is trusting that we will do good with what we have. God is generous. He only asks 10% of our paycheck when He could have really asked for more, so what are you doing with that other 90% to do good?
Personally, I have a spiritual goal to give away more than I live on. I have not been able to reach this goal yet, but have made way in doing this. When we get a raise, is our tithe going up? We can surely live off of what we were making before.
I also recommend saving a fund for “giveaways.” For example, this is the fund that allows me to buy Bibles for my office at work that I can just give away. This can be towards any meals or material needs that can be given away for the Kingdom’s sake.
What advice or encouragement would you give to other alumni trying to live on mission?
I would give a few pieces of advice.
You don’t need to look for opportunities to serve the Lord in the marketplace; you just need to put your antenna up. What I mean by that is referencing to the common analogy of comparing the voice of the Lord to radio waves. We can’t see or hear radio waves, but they are still happening right now. If we picked up an instrument that could pick up radio waves, we would pick up and be able to listen. God is always speaking, but do you have the right radio instrument? Are you listening?
Jesus was constantly on mission, yet he was willing to heal or show compassion towards a person who interrupted Him on His way. He was not going to heal people a lot of the time; He healed them along the way. Are you open to opportunities to be intentional with those around you when needs present themselves? Or are you too busy or tired from work? Praise God that Jesus was never in a mindset to reject ministry opportunities even in the middle of a task. What kind of ripple effects have we halted by just not having an intentional mindset?
You are always called into ministry. Ministry is expanding the Kingdom of God. Ministry is dispelling the dark and bringing in the light. How are you doing this day to day whether that is in full time missions, on a college campus or in a marketplace setting? We sometimes make it more complicated then it needs to be. The enemy wants to divide. He wants to divide between “ministry” and “marketplace.” When we are always simply in ministry, the only difference is the source of the paycheck. It just takes intentionality and to walk this life out more like Jesus did. We must get rid of this dualistic mindset that we are either sent into the marketplace or into ministry.