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Published June 2021
By An Interview with Tony Kulpa

This month I had the opportunity to speak with Don Moore, the new Director of the Canadian Christian Business Federation. He started at the CCBF in December and has an exciting vision for its future. Don has lived a very interesting life in God’s service, and he shared a little about that, as well as about the CCBF and its history.

Tell us a little about yourself, your own history, and how you came to CCBF.
I went to college out in western Canada, at Briercrest Bible College. From there, I discovered I was a dual citizen by birth, so I moved to Florida and worked in international development in the States for a while. I went to Wheaton College and did a graduate degree there, then went back to Briercrest as faculty. Five years into my tenure, they decided they wanted to start a seminary, so I went to Michigan State to do my PhD in education, before returning to Briercrest. During all this time, I was pastoring churches wherever I was living. From there I led a movement across Canada in the 90’s called Vision 2000 Canada, which was an initiative of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. I joined the Navigator’s staff out of London and was loaned to the EFC to run that program. And through that I was able to bring together about 120 different denominations and parachurch groups, all committed to evangelism through the 90’s.

After that, I went back to the Navigators where I served as their VP of Leadership Development and Care. In about 2010, I joined World Vision as their National Church Ambassador. I did a lot of travelling, upwards of a hundred times a year, because I was showing people the work out in the field, but it was very enjoyable. I did that for seven years, then did contract work for the Gideons of Canada for a while. Then I came across this opportunity, because I was involved in the CCBF local breakfast meetings here in Guelph area. My wife, Dr. Bonnie Mallard, is an immuno-geneticist at the University of Guelph. Some of her former students are now working on vaccines. She’s had quite an illustrious career. In 2017 she won the Governor General’s Innovation Award and we’ve just learned she’s won another award that hasn’t been made public yet. It will be the first time a woman has received this particular award, and she is the first person ever to receive both this award and the Governor General’s Award. It’s been really quite something to see how God has used her in her role as an immunologist and geneticist.

Tell us about the CCBF, its history, and its mission.
Well, it’s a very interesting story. The Canadian Christian Business Federation was begun 38 years ago by a businessman in Hamilton who decided he wanted to pull together some business colleagues and study the Bible, as it pertains to leadership and business. By the time he turned it over to my predecessor, Keith Knight, 10 years ago, there were 7 groups, in the Niagara and GTA area. Then Keith took it from 7 groups and over 10 years grew it to 70 cities across Canada.

These groups all study a Biblical leadership principle each month, drawn from the NIV Leadership Bible. The groups range from half a dozen to 15 or so. Most groups meet over breakfast, though others meet at lunch or even in the evening or on weekends. They study that leadership principle together.

The NIV Leadership Bible has 52 Biblical leadership principles laid out in it. Everything from Integrity to Vision to Obedience to God. What we do is simply have the commentary along with the scriptures, and those are the fodder for discussion. It’s really quite simple. Take the leadership principle from the Bible. Apply it to your own life, apply it to your business, and explore it with your colleagues. Then let it sink in and make a difference.

The monthly meetings are an opportunity for us to accomplish 3 goals: Relational Connections, Spiritual Growth, and Business Success. We say it’s “connecting your Sunday faith with your Monday work.” We’re all about helping people grow spiritually, which will in turn impact their relationships and their businesses. It’s not so much about networking; that’s just a by-product.

Each month we host 2 major events. The first Wednesday of each month we host a nation-wide event called Our Business in Prayer. It’s simply praying, coast-to-coast, for our businesses and all the issues we face, particularly in this season of COVID. It’s at 12 noon, EST, and it’s only 45 minutes long. No introductions, no commentary, just straight to prayer. The third Wednesday of each month we have our Business Leadership Discussion, which always features a well-known, respected leader who speaks on that month’s leadership principle. For example, in April we had Dr. Steve Brown from the Arrow Leadership Program, speaking on Biblical Integrity for Business Leaders. Those meetings are 30 minutes of teaching and 30 minutes of discussion.

I also do a blog where I talk about each month’s Biblical leadership principle. This month I wrote on the principle of Obedience to God, looking at Jonah’s disobedience to his calling. Everything is focused on the Word of God and how it can make an impact on our businesses.

Medium and small businesses are the backbone of this country. And, unfortunately, the church sometimes treats those businesses more like ATM machines than individuals that need to be supported. So that’s what we try to do. Every month we communicate with over 5,000 business leaders across Canada, helping them with these Biblical leadership principles

How has the CCBF been impacted by COVID?
COVID has shut down many of our groups. Some groups just receive the study materials and do them on their own, individually. Maybe a dozen or so groups are still meeting over Zoom, though we are finding that people just don’t want another Zoom call. There’s just so much Zoom going on.

That’s where we stood when I took over in December. I realized that we needed to do something to make sure our members knew we were looking out for them during COVID. I felt we could use some time just to pray for one another. That’s why in January we began the nation-wide Our Business in Prayer event. We also started the nation-wide Business Leadership Discussion to maintain our focus on teaching. People will get together nation-wide once a month, even though they can’t meet locally in restaurants.

Now, we offer other things to our members as well. We maintain a curated leadership resource directory of really the best of the best in articles and books, podcasts and webinars, you name it. We have a complimentary job posting and job placement service, and we provide a platform for special announcements and events.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
My greatest concern, and the reason I’m in this job, is that I love to see lives changed for the sake of the Kingdom. When I see spiritual growth and change happening, I’m motivated. We have 70 groups all across the country, all studying the same principle. That’s a mighty big small group ministry. And then there’s the ripple effect: all their employees and the people they work with and do business with. I, personally, would love to see more of these groups being hosted by churches, or even large employers. We’ve been talking with one fishing business that wants us to set up groups all through their company for Christians who want to grow. So there’s real potential here. We’re not doing the job of the church, but we’re doing something the church can value. That’s where my vision sits, in realizing that impact, because all I want to see is lives changed for the sake of the Kingdom.

To learn more about the Canadian Christian Business Federation or to register for the monthly events, check out the CCBF website.

Register for Our Business in Prayer or Business Leadership Discussion monthly events:

Member Business Profiles:

Job Postings:

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

About Interviewer, Tony Kupla, Christian Life in London Contributing Editor.

Tony is the second oldest child in a family of 11, and, in his words, “I absolutely adored being the big brother and the “responsible one” in the family. As a result I’ve had a lifelong love of children and of leadership.” Tony has always felt that service lies at the heart of the true Christian experience. Even as a youngster, he was deeply sensitive to others’ needs and hurts, and felt drawn to help. He also has always had a passion for Biblical teaching. More than anything else, he is delighted and excited by exploration and exposition of the universal truths found in Scripture, and the application of those truths in practical ways to problems both global and day-to-day.

It was no surprise that he wound up teaching for most of his career. The first school he taught at was Quisqueya Christian School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In addition to the Caribbean, Tony has taught in South America and East Asia, as well as in Canada. Mostly Tony’s teaching has been at Christian schools, though he also had the notable opportunity to teach at an Islamic school for a few years.

In 2015, Tony completed a Master of Biblical Studies from Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane, Alberta. He actually started the degree in person and finished it while living and teaching in Asuncion, Paraguay. His specialization was in Biblical languages, especially Greek.

Since 2016, Tony has been a London resident.

“I am excited by what God and the Church is doing here. I have learned so much about the community and the everyday heroes that the Lord is using for great things through the Christian Life in London publication