Closer to Home

The COVID-19 pandemic required marketplace leaders from every industry to make life-altering decisions. Many leaders had to lay off valued employees and make swift changes to business operations and safety protocols.

Online LeaderImpact groups provided leaders with encouragement and accountability to help them lead through this crisis with integrity. In 2020, LeaderImpact groups grew to over 1,300 weekly participants, 17 new online groups were formed, and live-streamed Global Forums reached over 3,300 leaders around the world.

Marcio knows firsthand how to pivot.

In 2016, when he relocated from Brazil to Canada with his wife and two young children to live closer to family, Marcio knew he’d largely be starting over in his career.

He began working in a distribution centre in the Metro Vancouver area, while continuing to search for leadership opportunities in industrial production. Marcio even spent two years commuting between Langley, B.C. and Toronto, trusting that this sacrifice would eventually help him achieve his professional ambitions.

At the end of 2019, Marcio was on the hunt for a job closer to home when he was interviewed by Esther DeWolde, CEO of Phantom Screens in Abbotsford, B.C.

“Her questions about personal development and servant leadership awakened in me the need to improve my self-awareness and reevaluate my leadership style,” he says.

While browsing Esther’s LinkedIn profile, Marcio’s curiosity was piqued when he saw her involvement with LeaderImpact, a ministry helping leaders live lives of true significance. He also came across the name of Craig Johnson, the host of a weekly LeaderImpact group in Langley. Marcio reached out, but his email plunged into the depths of Craig’s overflowing inbox.

At another job interview a month later, Marcio asked one of the interviewers, “Are you the Craig Johnson that leads a LeaderImpact group?” Craig was sheepish about overlooking Marcio’s email, but also thrilled to invite him to attend the next LeaderImpact group meeting.

This time, Marcio landed the job — a position that was both aligned with his professional experience and in his own city. He joined Craig’s LeaderImpact group and found a supportive network of leaders.

“I felt welcomed and included from the very beginning,” adds Marcio. “I enjoy the exchange of different experiences and perspectives in the group. I am encouraged never to give up on my journey to know more about God and Jesus.”

Born and raised in a Catholic family, Marcio was familiar with matters of faith, but he was impressed by how well many group members knew the Scriptures. He expressed interest in knowing more, and the next week, Craig gifted him with a Bible of his own.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, LeaderImpact groups transitioned to meeting online, and Russ Swaim, LeaderImpact Area Director for Metro Vancouver, caught up with Marcio over the phone.

“On our phone call, Marcio downloaded the GodTools App and we walked through the How to Know God Personally booklet,” explains Russ. “At the end of our conversation, Marcio asked Jesus to come into his life.”

“I think I always believed in Jesus, but I was uneasy in my search for answers,” says Marcio. “I consider myself at the beginning of my faith journey, but enjoying every step of the way.”

Though the pandemic has been a challenging time for leaders, Marcio has found comfort in knowing he is a child of God.

“God never abandons us,” he says. “This certainty provides me with peace of mind and confidence and I hope one day this knowledge reaches the hearts of many other people.”

Gospel Presentations 4,926
Decisions for Christ 286
LeaderImpact Groups Online 140
Average # Of Group Attendees Over the Year 1,310