Many young Christians may wonder about how to live out their faith after college when they are no longer kept accountable for their walk with God through their brothers and sisters in Christ. At Higher Calling Conference (HCC), a Christian young adult conference hosted by Korea Campus Crusade for Christ (KCCC) that challenges the young generation to live out missional lives, attendees were invited to listen in on a panel where they could hear testimonies from various people from the work force about their walk with God in the real world.
Panel speakers included Alex Ok, the president of Forever 21; Julia Choi and Bill Hwang from Archegos; and David Kim, former CEO of Baja Fresh and current owner of Gen BBQ. Bobby Oh, a full-time staff at KCCC, moderated the panel.
The panelists were asked a number of questions about their personal walks with God, and their own struggles while trying to live as a Christian in a world where faith is being discouraged more and more.
One question that Oh asked the panel was, “How well do your actions at work reflect your Christian values?” All four of the guests responded that there are definitely struggles when it comes down to maintaining faith in today’s world, including in the workplace. Julia Choi, who got her MBA at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, shared how one of her greatest idols in life was achievements, how she had live out her life thinking she had to be “good enough” for God. Speaking out of her experiences, Choi reminded the attendees that their identity does not come from achievements or performance, but in who we are in Christ. Being confident in that identity allows Christians to be free to simply give their best in being faithful to what God has entrusted to them, she said.
At the same time, all the speakers noted that one of the best ways to live out the Christian walk in the workforce is through one’s actions. Alex Ok shared how he had committed to dedicate 10 percent of his time to serve God, as well as offering his monetary tithe.
David Kim also shared about his experience while he appeared on the CBS reality show Undercover Boss. The CBS producers that were in charge of the episode with David Kim and his company were deeply concerned that they would receive a huge number of calls from viewers because of “this Christian guy”. In fact, CBS did get a great many calls from viewers of that particular episode, but 98 percent of them turned out to be very positive responses to David Kim’s Christian faith in his workplace. He testified that there certainly will be oppression out there waiting for us, but that God will take charge of the outcome of our actions.
At the end, the guests encouraged the students at Higher Calling that God can work in their lives regardless of their talents or their pasts. Specifically, Alex Ok mentioned how important it is for young students to participate in retreats or events like Higher Calling to be blessed. But he noted that it is what happens after the blessing experience that really matters. The students were encouraged to continue to pray that God will reveal to them their talents and to build their dreams.
This panel and the other plenary sessions throughout the four-day conference were centered on the theme, "The Light," and challenged attendees in various and specific ways to actively live out their daily lives being a light and a positive influence to their communities. The conference was located in San Diego, CA, and took place from December 21 to 24.