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The Intersection of Business and Faith

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Editor’s Note: Current missioner in formation Becky Kreidler, interviews DC Service Corps member Derek Slaton about his passion for business how his goals are motivated by faith.

Meet Derek Slaton: Texas native, FMS Development Associate, and one of my community mates! I recently had the opportunity to talk with Derek about what matters to him and why. The story that unfolded revealed Derek’s passion for business and its intersection with his Catholic faith.

What matters to you and why?

After Derek initially answered “business” in response to this question, he immediately transitioned into talking about this faith, mentioning, “I was Catholic from birth, but hadn’t really made it mine yet.” Through experiencing doubt and questioning his faith during college, Derek came to understand his passion for business through a thirst for faith. When stripping away the lens of personal gain and materialism that are often associated with the business world, Derek recognized that his true vocation lied in helping others through the businesses he is apart of.

In a profit-driven world, Derek seeks to be different and invest in people, rather than earnings. Derek mentioned that he saw a great responsibility in acquiring wealth and success; he truly began to think of business as relationships, rather than profits.  He rooted these realizations in his faith, which was evident as he shared a scripture passage with me that I could sense holds weight in his life: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26. Derek also shed light on why this matters to him through the stories shared that are sources of inspiration in his life. He told me a story of a business owner his dad knew who gave additional money to help an employee pay for his surgery. In treating workers fairly and with empathy, Derek envisions a world in which small acts of compassion make a difference.

How does FMS come into play?

In discovering the Franciscan Mission Service and contemplating whether to pursue the path of service, Derek felt a sense of peace thinking about non-profit work and sensed that FMS is the place he is supposed to be; where his passion for business is intertwined with his relationship with God. Even though Derek has worked in the FMS office for only a month, working at a non-profit is opening Derek’s eyes to how to put others needs first through living out FMS’ values and supporting missioners behind the scenes.

As I listened to Derek’s story, I was reminded that what we care about can inform, enrich, and even transform our faith lives. Derek reminds us that God is not only present in the church pews on Sundays, but is always drawing us in through the deepest desires of our hearts.

Question for reflection: How is God inviting you to deepen your faith life through the things you are passionate about?