Denver Institute for Faith & Work is excited to welcome Darius Wise as our newest board member. Learn more about Darius and his interest in serving with DIFW.
Why do you care so much about the Denver Institute mission?
I care as much as I do because DIFW’s missions aligns with the gospel I both believe and hope to live: that through the shed blood of Christ, God is actively redeeming all things everywhere to Himself. I have believed for years that the most expansive mission field in our world is the marketplace. Most of us spend more hours at work then we do anywhere else. The work of DIFW is to diligently equip the believer to live their faith in the context of their work. To love God fully is to live fully with and for Him, resisting the temptation to compartmentalize our faith, but rather living holistically integrated lives.
What's it like moving from pastoral ministry to leadership at a bank?
This transition has been both challenging & fulfilling. I’ve stepped into a role where there was an immediate need for my leadership. I tend to thrive in complexity and challenge, so having been asked by our CEO to lead our company through a turnaround, in the midst of a global pandemic, has been daunting, but it’s the kind of challenge that I live for. The results have been nothing short of God’s mercy and blessing. I get the privilege of leading some of the sharpest, high quality and capacity leaders I’ve ever met, and the opportunity to shape and be shaped by the people you labor alongside. This is where I’ve found the most joy in my work. Whether as a pastor for the last nineteen years, or in the finance industry the past ten months – developing and inspiring people, communicating and leading change, and contributing to the greater good of God’s redemptive work in the earth has not and will not change. So it’s been what most things should be, good and hard.
What are you most excited about in Denver Institute’s future?
I’m most excited to see us scale. In my opinion, the message, mission and work of DIFW needs to be national and eventually global. I believe that it’s the heart of God to equip the saints for the “work” of ministry (Eph 4:12-16). I believe that the greatest mission field in our country is the marketplace. There are no dividing lines between sacred and secular. Our work is an expression of our worship to God and ministry in service to others. What would our world look like if the estimated 2.2 billion followers of Jesus worldwide began to reflect the nature, character and image of God in regard to how we approached our work? We’d radically shift our culture.
Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.