By Mary Iphigene D. Daradar
DTF Consulting Network, Inc
Science and Faith aren’t the best of bedfellows. If anything, they require separate rooms and sturdy locks to separate themselves. The same can be said of business and religion. To keep up with the business façade (which is mostly grays, whites, and blacks) we enter our offices with the most amiable and ecumenical face we have. Infusing anything religious or spiritual into the corporate world is next to impossible. Resistance is inevitable.
While DTF Consulting Network, Inc has for the past 23 years built its culture around the idea that God is the center of all things, its bible studies and prayer meetings have always been facilitated by its leaders/managers. Needless to say, employees have grown accustomed to how DTF does it. So how does one react when a bunch of strangers from some outside group comes in to facilitate a DTF-stamped tradition?
Let’s just say it’s definitely not with open arms.
Change always brings out from people suspicion, curiosity, skepticism and resistance. DTF was not short in that. From an insider looking out, I pitied the CFC-SFL mission workers that came in through our doors that fateful Monday afternoon.
Sitting at the far end of the venue, I could feel the skepticism and curiosity from DTF while I could hear the nervousness from the voice and guitar strings of the missionaries. We were the judges and this was their audition. We were critical and in the back of our minds, we were ready to lay judgment. Our thoughts would probably echo a line from Heath Ledger’s movie A Knight’s Tale wherein his opponent tells him: “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”
But were they really wanting?
Maybe it was the guitar-accompanied songs that broke the ice or maybe it was the candidness of the missionaries, but the ice—while not completely shattered—was indeed broken. We took to the music, to the missionaries who were of the same generation as us and allowed ourselves to be led through a new experience called the LBS (liturgical bible study). The experience was undeniably an AHA moment where within ourselves we were running around screaming EUREKA!
This feeling of finally, truly understanding the Bible is not a single-person sentiment, but an overwhelming experience for a few others, which can only be given justice by their own words:
“After 3 or 4 sessions with them, I find the method interesting because we get to really sift through the passages of the Bible, hence really feel, think, and speak about its message.” -Niel, Executive Assistant to the President
“I appreciate how they analyze each verse and relate all three readings together. ” -Richa, Managing Consultant
“I like the LBS it allows me to reflect on the Word of God prior to my Sunday mass. In effect, I am able to develop a deeper sense of appreciation of the readings and Gospel every Sunday. ..i consider the one-liner theme as pabaon. I attend my Sunday mass having that in mind.” – Au, Managing Consultant.
The LBS allows its participants to see the tightly woven nature of the Bible. Its methodology does not discriminate and as Levi, a managing consultant put it, “It gives you the sense of being as far as you as a Catholic because of what, I call an elementary approach in discussing the scripture.” Its simplicity is its profundity.
It doesn’t hurt either to be facilitated by mission workers who the community could relate to. The mission workers team leaders Wally Magtibay and Teny Mardo’s candidness and brand of humor brought in lightness to an otherwise serious activity. Despite corny jokes, you’d find DTF employees emphatically shouting “Joke! Joke! Joke!” Humor and laughter, after all, has a way making total strangers seem like old friends.
CFC-SFL’s mission worker’s entry to DTF’s Monday and Friday tradition brought in variety into the DTF routine, as well as a sense of awe towards the mission workers. As DTF’s Senior Managing Director, Raymond expressed, “I found the activity light and wholesome because of the different formats. It is good for the community because there is really community singing, not a recording anymore. It is also inspiring to see young people serving the lord through their ministry.”
That fateful Monday morning when the mission workers came through the doors of DTF they were met by critics and skeptics all waiting to pounce on them. As I’m writing this, it’s been a month since that first meeting and we’ve had 4 meeting since then.
Karen, Executive assistant to the Senior Managing Director, aptly puts DTF’s experience and feeling towards these changes to our tradition. “It makes me look forward to Mondays—it’s like hitting two birds with one stone – having fun because of the activities we get to do with our new friends, after a days’ work, and most important of all is being able to communicate with God and learn more about Him.”
In the world where business and faith mingle in the mere fringes and where organizations are closed units driven by habit and an implicit culture CFC-SFL’s mission workers found a way to breathe new life to DTF’s old tradition and relevance to faith in the skeptical world of business.
CFC-SFL’s mission workers were never wanting.
They were enough.