In a business world that prioritizes productivity, speed, and profits, Christians may feel like Monday through Friday belongs to the world while Sunday belongs to God. But Scripture beckons Christians toward a more holistic lifestyle. “Whatever you do,” Paul says in Colossians 3:17, “do it all to the glory of God.”
We spoke to five Christian CEOs – including a co-CEO of the nationally renowned Camp Gladiator, Jeff Davidson – who want to do more than simply run another successful company. These leaders want their faith in Christ to be fully integrated into their business practices, influencing everything from production to employee relations, from hiring practices to strategic planning.
Jeff Davidson, Camp Gladiator
Overhauling benefits to create a company culture of abundance.
Jeff Davidson’s wedding day wasn’t just the beginning of his marriage union, it was the first step toward a professional partnership as well. While food was being prepared and flowers were delivered, hours before their wedding, Ally – his bride-to-be – snuck away to try out for American Gladiator and made it back just in time to walk down the aisle.
A few months later, Ally won the American Gladiator Grand Championship. With the winnings, Jeff and Ally started Camp Gladiator with a stack of cones and 40 people in a parking lot. Now, Camp Gladiator is one of the nation’s fastest-growing fitness companies with more than 1,000 trainers who have impacted more than 300,000 lives.
It would have been easy for the Davidsons to coast, riding the wave of success. But instead they want to live generously in every way. “God has created a world where there’s enough to go around,” Jeff says. “He clothes the flowers and feeds the birds, and he’s going to take care of us. So, we have an abundance mentality because we have faith in God.” As he works to pass on this abundance mentality, addressing the needs of members and employees, Jeff is also keenly aware of businesses that eat away at the Camp Gladiator client base: “Our main competition is Netflix.”
While he studies the ways other fitness companies operate, Jeff believes he will lose the most members to couches and chips as people settle in for an evening of entertainment, holding on to the hope that they will exercise tomorrow. Recognizing this reality, Camp Gladiator designed their packages to be as accessible as possible. Their classes meet in low-pressure, community-based environments like parks, schools, and church parking lots. And Camp Gladiator keeps their rates flat, contracts clear, and class schedules updated online.