MT 21 Gospel-Driven Business: Astro Pak

(Astro Pak)

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 Astro Pak astropak.com

When Ken Verheyen began his career at Astro Pak, the business his father founded, he started with a Bible verse. In his early 20s, he thought about how he would want to be known down the road at the end of his life.

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His life verse then and now is Matthew 6:33: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you." Since those early days at the business he's helped run for 35 years, Verheyen has added five other Scripture passages to help guide his life: Matthew 20:26-28, Colossians 3:17, 1 Chronicles 29:11, Malachi 3:10-12 and Luke 6:31.

"One of the most powerful things I can do in my business is mirror Christ," says Verheyen, whose company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. "When we are gracious and care for people more than our bottom line, the reflection of Christ is so strong that people know exactly what motivates us."

Astro Pak is known around the world for its precision cleaning of high-purity components and systems. The company's workers have cleaned rocket engines and parts of the Hubble telescope and have worked on the hydraulic systems of rides at Disneyland, laser systems, high-tech weapons systems, large dams and gold mines.

At 57, Verheyen is no longer involved in day-to-day operations, but he still goes in to work every day. He has dedicated more time to ministry interests and to mentoring, serving on the boards of Young Life, Homeword and Northrise University. He leads a Bible study for Christian business leaders and works with the Fellowship of Companies for Christ International.

"My company is my church; it's where I pastor," says Verheyen, who attends Mariner's Church in Irvine, California. "There are 220 employees and their families, suppliers, customers, etc. Our goal is that everybody who comes into contact with us is going to feel and hear and smell the Spirit of God that runs over this place every day."

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