When Trials Come, Count Them as Blessings - Dave Shoemaker Reflects on the Path that Led to His C12 Journey

July 16, 2015

DaveShoemaker-RGBTrials come into our lives every day. Sometimes they are small problems. Other times, they are huge ones, like losing a job. But at times when we are confronted with a life-altering event, it is exactly what God had in mind.

This lesson was learned through experience for Dave Shoemaker, C12 Group Philadelphia Managing Chair. Dave had spent 20 years as a dedicated, loyal employee/partner of a multi-national software company. He had been instrumental in the firm's growth to become a thriving $135 million, 1,000 employee business. Following the acquisition by a public company, Dave helped lead the assimilation of the two companies. A year later, Dave was hit with one of life's most stressful events — he was fired.

“I look back now and understand that getting fired was one of the best things that has happened in my life. It opened the door to The C12 Group,” reflects Dave.

Dave has a passion for helping business owners grow their companies. He enjoys networking and seeing “guys get real” in men's ministry — where they can be transparent and vulnerable — then watching what comes from that experience. In 2005, Dave wished for a way to couple his love of Christ with his business acumen to help companies grow and thrive through God's word.  

In an “only God” way he was introduced to The C12 Group, an answer to Dave’s prayers.

“I remember meeting with my estate attorney one day. He asked what I wanted to do with the rest of my life that would bring me joy. I explained my idea to blend my business coaching experience with the joy I receive from ministry — helping business leaders integrate their faith and business,” explained Dave.

Two days later, Dave's attorney called with great news — he had found the perfect fit, The C12 Group. It wasn’t long until Dave found his way to C12’s Home Office in Greensboro, NC, to meet the C12 leadership team.

Finding God's Path through the Wise Counsel of Others

The day after meeting with C12 President & CEO Don Barefoot and staff, Dave was invited to be a guest at the local monthly C12 peer advisory board meeting.

Dave explained, “It was an amazing experience to observe the meeting as a guest. I was shocked how pertinent the material was to my precise situation; something I often hear my C12 members say today. The ministry segment was entitled Discerning God's Will; exactly what I needed in sorting through the many questions I had as I evaluated a C12 franchise. I needed to know if this was what God was calling me to do.” Dave explained.

Dave also reflected on an experience that clinched his decision. The C12 Core Business Presentation is a time dedicated for one member, each month, to present to their C12 peer board their business performance measures, ideas, challenges and opportunities. They receive feedback from their peers with a central goal to help develop the disciplines necessary to achieve further greatness in business, ministry and family-life.

“The CEO who presented that day led a $700 million manufacturing firm —a much larger business than his fellow members. I noticed the leaders of these smaller firms had no problem scrutinizing and asking challenging questions. After our meeting, he told me that the feedback was incredibly valuable because his own direct reports, accountant, attorney, and board did not often provide deep, objective input. Most importantly, he said that his C12 peers viewed the business through the same Biblical lens he used to run his business – and it made all the difference. At that point I was eager to get back home and launch the first C12 Group in Philadelphia,” explained Dave.

God's Plan

Most people only dream of a profession that not only provides financially, but is truly what they were put on earth to do. Dave is doing exactly what God has prepared for him. Dave launched his C12 practice in Philadelphia in August of 2008 and his C12 members have been on the fast track ever since, growing their diverse businesses into thriving organizations, holding each other accountable, and living more balanced lives; all in a manner that honors our Lord.

Dave shared, “I would do this without getting paid for it. As a C12 Chair, I am able to use all that the Lord has put into my life, the good and the bad. I use my experiences to help other people through similar life situations – whether it impacts their family or their business.”

Dave is passionate about providing his members with truth, support, prayer, and honesty by asking the tough questions that encourage them to dive deep into critical business issues. Revival is happening at the C12 roundtables in Philadelphia as Dave and his members are working to advance God's Kingdom through the marketplace together.  

He explained, “We had a Christian business owner, Rich, visit our C12 board meeting one day. He was 50% owner of a company that was bleeding cash. In the first part of the meeting we were discussing each member's Key Performance Indicators – a tool to help a company define and measure progress toward reaching their goals. Rich was convicted that his company was not measuring their performance in critical areas. After spending the night researching KPIs, Rich immediately implemented a plan by which management started tracking these key metrics.”

The good news: Rich became a C12 Member, and through the knowledge and cutting-edge material gained at C12, his company made a complete turn-around. They began managing and measuring targets and goals with profits exceeding what they thought possible.

Dave has witnessed the power of prayer and Christ at work within business. One of his early C12 members, owner of a staffing firm, was in financial turmoil. She was faced with the need to sell a portion of her business if a cash infusion didn’t occur in short order. After several turndowns from friends, she prayed and asked the Lord for direction. If she were meant to leave the business, she would make peace with that path, but if the Lord wanted her to remain with the business, she needed cash. After a long and heart-felt prayer, everything changed.

Dave shared, “She called me and told me about her prayer, deciding to put her fate in the Lord's hands. She then told me that five minutes after her prayer, a major organization in Philadelphia called, needing four new professionals immediately… and because their fiscal year had just finished, they paid her $48K in advance… just the amount she needed to keep the business afloat.” 

Dave knows he is in the Lord’s “sweet spot.” He sees the impact on the businesses and communities his C12 members serve. Thinking of the trials that prepared and brought him to C12, he recalled scripture, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trouble, so can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

As we respond to His blessings in our life, He shows us how to use them to bless others. God is good indeed.

Want to Do Something More with Your Experience?

Are you searching for a new challenge to get something more out of your work? Becoming a C12 Chair and owning a C12 practice gives business experts an opportunity to turn their knowledge and experience into a ministry, leading CEOs and business owners towards success. Click here to request more information on becoming a C12 Chair.