We’re all about transformation around here, and we love to tell stories of how God has been at work in peoples lives. So today we wanted to share a special interview with you that we had with Burke Reynolds, a 2013 Narrow Gate Graduate and former employee at Narrow Gate Trading Company where he served in the leathershop for 3 years. We hope that in hearing Burke’s experiences at Narrow Gate and NGTC, you are deeply encouraged.
Q: Why did you want to work at Narrow Gate Trading Company?
A: Well first and foremost I had a deep love for working with leather and creating things with leather. This love for leather working developed as I was a student at Narrow Gate. When the opportunity to be involved in helping starting a business where I could be involved in working with leather, being apart of a discipleship training environment, and learn the process of a business from the ground up presented itself, it was a no brainer. It was scary but very exciting!
Q: Is there one key lesson that you feel like you learned at Narrow Gate Trading Company that helps you in your current position today?
A: While working at NGTC, I was working under Phil Stoner who was my boss. I just remember him showing me endless amounts of grace and love in situations where I didn’t even deserve it. He along with other staff members saw things in me that I couldn’t see in myself at the time. They saw not what I was, but what I could become. This taught me to see my current employees through the same lens of grace, patience, and understanding. It changes how I manage people. Because ultimately, there is pain outside of these walls at work, and I’m able to recognize that they are real people and not hold what they do as more important than who they are.
Q: What is your current job position and how are you able to live out your faith at work everyday?
A: So I am currently the truck sales manager at Peach State Truck Centers in GA. I am able to live out my faith by treating people with respect, being quick to forgive, making ethical decisions, being able to admit when I am wrong, and witnessing without words by leading by example. I really believe that every interaction I have with my customers or coworkers is an opportunity to share my faith, and I’m always looking for opportunities to share Christ.
Q: How did Narrow Gate prepare you for life in general after the program as well as in the workplace?
A: Narrow Gate gave me a foundation to build on. They taught me how to search through scripture, discover what my identity is, and helped me find my purpose which to me personally is to be a shepherd, fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, champion the underdogs, and ultimately serve others. And because of the distraction free environment, this truth was able to truly take root in my soul. Having a solid foundation changes everything because when I know who I am and what my purpose is, I can insert that into any vocation.
Q: What do you love most about the work of Narrow Gate and what is your hope for the craftsman and employees at Narrow Gate Trading Company?
A: The thing I love most about Narrow Gate is its tangible example of the redemptive work of Christ. You watch a man be completely transformed, and then you watch as it goes on to change his family. There’s just nothing like it.
My final hope for the craftsman and employees at NGTC is that they would continue to grow as a company, but never to lose sight of the reason that they exist. To continue to create beautiful products of wood and leather, build lasting relationships, and make disciples.
To learn more about Narrow Gate Foundation, click here.