“There’s nothing wrong with big ambition,” said Stan Jantz. “There's nothing wrong with looking for success and aiming to just absolutely nail it. But I would recommend thinking of your career as being faithful in what you're doing, and then taking that next step. There's something about taking that next step that God will use in profound and powerful ways.”

Jantz is the CEO of the Come and See Foundation, a nonprofit that supports and advances “The Chosen” television series. He is also a bestselling author, having written or co-authored more than 75 books. Jantz joined the Biola Board of Trustees in 1999 and serves as a member of the Advancement, Enrollment and Transformation Committee. He and his wife, Karin, met at Biola, and have two children who graduated from Biola.

At Crowell School of Business’ Distinguished Speaker event, Jantz shared the biblical principles he has followed in his career.

Set your values: faithful, obedient, willing and committed

I never set out with a big, grand plan. Instead, I said, just do the thing in front of me and then take that next step. Rather than the grand plan, I focused on values that I think should drive all of us — and I have to remind myself every day about these, in whatever I’m doing: remaining faithful, obedient, willing and fully committed to Christ.

The committed piece really came home to me, with a little piece of paper I found in my father's Bible after he passed away. The paper said 2 Chronicles 16:9 — The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

I can tell you, when you're committed and faithful and willing and obedient, God is watching. It's like he's got radar, and he's looking. The gifts you have that he's given you — that you've faithfully developed in obedience, willingness and commitment — he wants to take all that and strengthen you for that next step.

Pursue excellence

Whatever you're doing, get good at it! Sometimes in the Christian world, we sell excellence short. There's excellence here at Biola. Embrace that! If you do, you're not going to have to look for opportunities — people are going to find you.

Excellence should be our hallmark, the hallmark of a Christian who is absolutely following what God wants. God himself values beauty and he values excellence — the Bible says that we are his craftsmanship. He loves it when people do things well. Sometimes people say, find something you're passionate about and then do it the rest of your life. I disagree. I would tell you to get good at something and your passion will follow!

Put in the work and find a mentor who can help you learn and discover things. As the Bible says, get wisdom. Read the Bible, read as many books as you can — you're going to find a lot of things in books that are so good. If you are faithful, obedient, willing, fully committed to Christ and in pursuit of excellence, God is going to see you and God is going to find you.

Take the next step

Take the next step in front of you and let God worry about the results. That's sometimes been hard for me. Sometimes I'll step out and I think, God, I know you've got this, but I'm not quite sure where it's going. But that's okay. That's not our job. Our job is to take that next step. And it doesn't have to be as big as a career change. It could be something God's calling you to that's relatively small and minor. But take that next step and let God worry about the results.

Network and cooperate

God puts people in your path — that’s not accidental, so don't overlook them. You meet somebody who’s a stranger — get to know them! If you're a student, don't just sit in class, get to know your professors — they are more than willing to spend time with you.

That's really what networking is. It's not necessarily trying to build a network, it's just getting to know people — not so they can help you, but that will likely happen — but so that you can learn from them and they from you. Pay attention to what they can teach you. It goes back to that verse from 2 Chronicles — God’s looking and he’ll say, I see you, so here’s someone you can learn from. I've seen this in my own life and in others’ — he'll start bringing people into your path and you'll wonder, where did this person come from?

That’s something to pray about. If you're looking for a mentor, if you're looking to network with someone about a particular project, you'll be surprised how God will bring people across your path — and he will bring you to others as well. Networking isn’t just finding someone willing to step out toward you — it’s also about you stepping out to help others.

The Crowell Distinguished Speaker Series brings a selection of accomplished business leaders to campus to share their varied professional and personal insights and provides the opportunity to network with fellow attendees including alumni, MBA mentors, faculty, and current and prospective MBA students. The event is always free and open to all. Future events can be found on the Crowell School of Business events calendar.