I was heart-converted in November 2008 after 36 years growing up “in the church.” With this heart-conversion came a deep longing to share Christ, yet I felt powerless and tongue-tied when it came to speaking up among my peers in the corporate world. While I believed the teaching I heard, the words I read, and the videos I watched, my efforts to share these truths were clumsy and fell flat.
I prayed earnestly that God would show me how to reach the wealthy, worldly, and well-educated (“W3’s”) in my sphere of influence, and over time He has been faithful. He has taught me how to take the precious truths of the gospel and present them in the “language” of W3’s and unfold to them the coherence, reliability, and beauty of the biblical picture of God.
I felt powerless and tongue-tied when it came to speaking up among my peers in the corporate world.
Who are the W3’s? What are their identifying characteristics? What defines them as a people group? While it is difficult to apply hard and fast criteria, here are some examples of people the Lord has put in my path to give you a sense:
- A patent attorney who holds not only a JD, but also a PhD in biochemistry and grew up as a secular Buddhist
- A PhD in physics who graduated from an Ivy League school who grew up atheist, yet confessed to me that she wished that there were a God
- A violinist with degrees from top music schools who confessed that she envies those who have clarity about the reality of God in their lives
- An MBA from a top business school and staunch atheist who recognized his lack of control over his life and wished to figure out whether God is real
- A corporate executive and strong Evangelical who senses the downward trajectory of this world and wants to understand what Bible prophecy has to say about it
It has been a thrill to share the gospel with these individuals, yet I would wonder whether it was right to spend so much time and effort on W3’s. After all, aren’t the wealthy and successful doomed to eternal loss anyway (camel through the eye of a needle and all that)? Imagine my surprise when I saw what Ellen White had to say on this matter:
We talk and write much of the neglected poor; should not some attention be given also to the neglected rich? Many look upon this class as hopeless… Thousands of wealthy men have gone to their graves unwarned because they have been judged by appearance and passed by as hopeless subjects. But, indifferent as they may appear, I have been shown that most of this class are soul-burdened. There are thousands of rich men who are starving for spiritual food. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church, for they feel that they receive no benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the soul. Shall we make no personal effort in their behalf? (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 78).
This is but one of many quotations in which Ellen White admonishes the church not only to reach out to W3’s, but also to prioritize this ministry ahead of all others.
As a result of the burden laid upon my heart and the clear guidance of the Spirit of Prophecy, I have co-founded the Nicodemus Society to develop training programs and other resources to equip committed Seventh-day Adventists to be effective soul winners among W3’s. As I considered ministries with whom we could partner in this mission field, the Lord quickly brought me together with Ty Gibson and Light Bearers, who are among the most articulate proponents of the gospel message to this type of sophisticated, post-modern, and skeptical group.
I prayed earnestly that God would show me how to reach the wealthy, worldly, and well-educated (“W3’s”) in my sphere of influence.
We are coming together, this August 2-5 (right before ASI in Spokane, WA), to present our inaugural “Acceleration Program.” This is a three-day intensive training that will provide the tools, methods, heart, and mindset to be effective soul winners among the W3’s. We will be discussing how to engage our sphere of influence in spiritual conversations, Bible studies, and ultimately gaining decisions for Christ. The format will be hands-on, practical, and intimate with the entire class being limited to 30-40 participants to maximize each individual’s learning experience.
For more information, please go to the Nicodemus Society website where you’ll find additional details as well as the application.
The W3 segment of society, or as Ellen White called it, the “neglected rich,” must not be neglected any longer. If you have W3’s in your sphere of influence, among your family, friends, or co-workers, this program is not to be missed. Please prayerfully consider joining us in Spokane this August.
David is an Adventist business executive. After earning his MBA from Stanford University, he built a career in business strategy as a management consultant with Bain & Company. He is now a senior executive at the Vanguard Group, a global investment company. Prior to his business career, David was a professional cellist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master’s from Northwestern University in Cello Performance. David has been a featured speaker for a variety of Adventist organizations.