Ministry Today commends a different group of kingdom-minded people or organizations each year in our MT21 issue. In 2014, when we launched MT21, we honored churches and ministries that were influencing the 21st-century church.
In 2015, we highlighted 21 congregations that were "culturally diverse on purpose." This year, however, we're taking a different approach and naming 21 businesses whose leaders are a witness for Christ in some way through their professional platforms. From cupcake makers to insurance agency owners to roofers, we have covered a wide range of businesses in this year's MT21 feature.
Today, we are highlighting Brown Church Development Group churchdevelopment.net
Todd Brown, president and CEO of Kearney, Nebraska-based Brown Church Development Group, has made it his mission in life to advance the gospel. Saved in high school through contact with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), he soon started sharing the gospel at FCA events.
As he grew in his athletic career—becoming a University of Nebraska wide receiver and playing pro football in Canada—Brown felt he had a natural opening for evangelism. But when he started his career in construction, he wrestled with how to share the gospel through his occupation. He wanted to know the answer to one key question: "How do I live the gospel every day?" He has figured out how to do just that.
"It's been my conviction from soon after I became a Christian that all that I do, all that I am, is to promote the gospel," Brown says. "I try to be as strategic as I can with every aspect of my life."
Now leading Brown Church Development Group, a group of companies enjoined to advance the gospel, Brown explains that if a church client uses one of his integrated companies, it's only natural it would flow to the next step in the process: discover, design, fund, build.
"We want to see people come to Christ as a result of interacting with anyone with any of our companies," he says.
That is just what has come to pass. Construction workers have come to Christ within the company as well as when Brown was working in partnership with a church.
"It permeates what we are about," he says of the gospel. "We are constantly trying to advance the gospel in every way, either through a testimony or sitting down and sharing the plan of salvation with somebody. That is the sole purpose of what we do and who we are."
Brown may build churches, but not all of his clients are saved. In fact, some pastors aren't even saved.
"I remember sitting down in the office of a pastor sharing the plan of salvation with him," he says. "I planted seeds, and it was a few years after that where he received Christ. ... I built them a church, but their pastor at the time I built it didn't even know Christ."
In another case, it was the subcontractors who came to Christ.
"We were building a church in Greeley, Colorado, and we had subcontractors on the job site who actually got saved and started attending the church."
Bringing the message of the gospel through his work simply starts with love.
"It's just one day at a time and caring about people," Brown says. "The message of the gospel is reconciliation of relationship, the ultimate relationship and doing that in everything, whether I'm building a church or scooping a ditch with a guy or talking with my friend in his backyard, it's still the passion of who we are. It's why the goal of our companies at our group is to advance the gospel."
From early in his life in Christ, Brown made it his aim to "maximize my life for the glory of God," he says.
Along with his company, he partnered with pastors he felt were communicating the gospel correctly to form the Nebraska Gospel Network for the purpose of "bringing world-class speakers to our state to help educate" believers in evangelism.
Brown didn't come from a Christian family, but after he was saved, he says the gospel "spread like wildfire" in his family. Today, it's clear that his business is not just building churches. His gospel focus has become a "pattern" that inspires other believers to follow his example.
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