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Helping Christian business identify what works


Religion news — Mike Burkesmith will share insights on business and ministry at Christian Chambers monthly breakfast July 23

For a long period of his professional career as a corporate executive and business consultant, Mike Burkesmith tried to compartmentalize the business and spiritual aspects of his life.

He later realized it not only didn’t have to be that way, but has come to understand that it’s often better to do the exact opposite.

Burkesmith has been putting that idea into practice for years as the owner of C12 Group Portland-Vancouver — a local chapter of the national executive development firm for Christian leaders — and in ministries like the Luis Palau Association.

Also a senior certified consultant for E-Myth Worldwide, the organization based upon Michael Gerber’s best-selling business development book, Burkesmith will share some of his insights July 23 at the Christian Chamber of the Northwest’s monthly meeting in Newberg. Mike Burkesmith

“It’s like having a board of directors, but none of them have a stake in your company and all of them share a similar worldview,” Burkesmith said of C12, which operates on a roundtable model where peers provide feedback while Burkesmith also offers individual executive coaching. “There’s a lot of transparency, as well as accountability. The membership we have believes the standard is higher for Christian business owners and CEOs and we’re there to make sure one another are walking the talk and using the business for good.”

As a businessman, Burkesmith was a specialist in providing technology solutions to companies and organizations, like turnkey automation in the banking and health care industries, but later in his career began doing vocational ministry work consulting on communications and development for nonprofit organizations.

He cited a study of C12-member businesses done over 10 years that showed that the compound annual growth rate of revenue and profit were triple what 365 leading non-Christian American firms produced during that same time period.

“The conclusion was that if you do things right and with the right motive and you care about people as well as performance and you sustain it in an environment where you’re held accountable, encouraged and taught by your peers, it actually works,” Burkesmith said.

Burkesmith also pursued certification from E-Myth Worldwide, which refers to Gerber’s concept of the entrepreneurial myth, to gain access to the organization’s unpublished database of best practices and research, some of which he will touch on at the Newberg meeting.

For example, Burkesmith says that E-Myth Worldwide has shown that of 100 independent businesses in the United States, just 10 of them will be in business after 10 years. On the flip side, of 100 franchises that start, 90 will still be in business after a decade.

“It turns out that’s not only true for fast-food restaurants, but for people like Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where they have mass customization of a highly technical service,” Burkesmith said. “So if you figure out a way of doing something that works, then you figure out how to make that happen again and again, it increases the value you deliver to those you serve, which is the whole point of a good business.”

In context of Christian businesses, Burkesmith said many are taking the surplus they are creating – aside from that which is reinvested — and giving it back to the community.

“I have the privilege of working with people where I see a lot being given back, quietly, usually anonymously,” Burkesmith said. “We’re helping one another raise vision for what’s possible in terms of impacting in a positive way.”

The meeting will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Villa Academic Center. Cost to attend the meeting is free for CCCNW members or $5 for non-members and guests, all of whom must make reservations at www.cccnw.net. For more information, call John Fortmeyer at 503-537-9220, Deborah Tilden at 775-224-0717, the CCCNW at 503-928-8354 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..