Brother An Xiaoguang (pseudonym) is a post-70s professional accountant who runs his own accounting company in City A in Eastern China; he is also a Christian who serves the church zealously.
Recently, he told the Christian Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper, about his journey to faith as well as his struggles and victories at work. This narrative below is in the first person:
In the first stage, I came to faith and was baptized in a church in 2002. I was studying for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at that time, and a fellow schoolmate gave me a Bible as a present; he also took me to a wedding that was held in a church’s chapel. I found the ceremony very solemn and holy. Later, he gave me another Bible, but I didn't start to read it right away after getting it.
At that time, I lived relatively close to that church, so I started to attend the Sunday services there. I was hoping to get baptized, but the reception staff told me that I first needed to attend the church service every week, and then I could receive baptism after one year.
That church offered Bible study classes as well as other believer development activities and fellowship meetings. After getting into faith, I learned about how Christians should practice their faith, such as not lying, yet I found that it was very challenging to apply such a practice to my actual work; it was especially easy to fall into empty talk when it comes to business transactions. Therefore, for seven to eight years, I was only a “Sunday Christian."
It wasn't until 2010 that a friend introduced me to a church that encourages small-group fellowship. At that time, I had read a book named "Song of a Wanderer," and the systematic expositions that it made from a scientific point of view dispelled many doubts and much uncertainty in my thinking. From being only curious about faith, I began to enter into the life of the Lord.
Moreover, I received excellent guidance on marriage, and I met a Christian sister who became my wife. I also gave my father a Bible and my younger brother, who is a musician, a hymn book. Later, I sent them copies of the book "Song of a Wanderer." My father was a teacher, and after reading the Bible, he indicated on his own that he would like to come to faith; later on, my younger brother also became a Christian.
I majored in accounting at the university and later completed an MBA. Our company’s core business is accounting, and we provide our customers with corresponding services, namely, consulting in accounting and taxation, including business registration and financial and tax consultations. In addition, we provide some extended services, such as company registration, equity change registration, and so on, as well as other tax and accounting services like agency bookkeeping. Our company has been established for more than ten years; I came to City A in 1998 and had already started my career when I came to faith, and it has been almost 20 years now.
In many of the companies I have come into contact with, employment fraud is very common. Before one joins the company, the employer will paint them a rosy picture; but once they get in, they find the company is actually in a bad state, and many things are just smoke and mirrors. However, in my company, we have never deceived our employees.
In the journey of faith, my inner life has also been transformed; I used to like going to those entertainment venues for drinks and dancing, but I am no longer interested in these later on.
As for my career, before I came to Christ, I firmly believed that, in order to develop an enterprise and operate a business, not only must you let more people know about you, but you must also boast of your corporate strength. However, I decided to ignore this rule of the game after I had become more mature in Christ, and in spite of that, in the process of relying on the Lord, I have achieved the accomplishment I wanted.
Furthermore, I began to quit all work-related social events, putting an end to popular and effective methods, from treating guests and giving gifts to paying for advertising traffic on Baidu.
Now that I am a Christian, I have faith in the Lord’s grace when building relationships with our clients. Therefore, since 2010, my company has basically not adopted any traditional sales practices, nor have we done any sales advertising; we only rely on the word of mouth of the clients. Every client has both casual and complex needs. In many cases, when you establish a trustworthy relationship with the client through his casual needs, it may trigger him to put forward his more complex needs so we can provide him with more sophisticated services. If the client approves of our services, he will introduce his friends to us, so there is no need for us to do online auction advertising.
As for business marketing, I insist on following my own method without the help of a sales department. I also refuse to offer another party some actual benefits in the form of bribery. At that time, I was not very firm and had deviated on this matter. During that period, although I had become a Christian, I still offered bribes. But then, I found that I did not experience anything good after bribing. Before I repented on this issue, I started to be convinced that someone could offer me protection in my work through bribery, so I would get very bold after paying a bribe. As a consequence, I got the worst of it. Nevertheless, as I continue to grow, I have completely put an end to giving bribes. I learn to rely on God when I run my company, as God will sufficiently supply my every need.
- Translated by Joyce Leung