I’d like to take a trip back in time, say, 30 years or so.
I have quite a heritage. My dad, Steve Wike, was a hero in the church market. Back when card decks could produce response like no other medium, his publication Ministry Values for Growing Churches was the leader. To this day I still talk to advertisers who declare, “there was nothing like MVGC”.
But for his company Media Management, MVGC was simply the beginning.
Steve also knew how to grow a business. Over the years I’ve definitely come to learn that entrepreneurs are a dime a dozen – simply idea people. But looking over his career, I see that entrepreneurs who are also gifted leaders are rare. That’s who he is.
My Dad had a vision to share God’s glory to the ends of the earth. At the start of the internet in the mid to late 90’s he started GOSHEN.net (Global Online Service Helping Evangelize Nations). It wasn’t just the first of it’s kind, GOSHEN.net was the only of it’s kind – it was the “Google for Believers” you could say. This comprehensive search engine then evolved into a massive online Christian portal. Tools like StudyLight (searchable online Bible), LiveIt (resources/excerpts for living out ones faith), Religion Today (Christian News) just to name a few, grew GOSHEN.net’s traffic in the millions on a monthly basis.
It would be easy to assume his success was the result of a booming economy, but his journey did not come without its trials. Several economic down turns (including Black Monday) almost prevented MVGC from mailing. Then in the early 90’s when he felt led to start National and Int’l Religion Report, a newsletter sharing the stories of God’s work from around the globe, it seemed as if it would never get it off the ground. At one point the project was ended, but with patience the vision was eventually carried out online with great success at ReligionToday.com while being aired on the major Christian radio networks.
With hard times, when most would’ve given up, he tightened his belt both personally and corporately.
With good times, when most get comfortable with success, he used that growth to make ideas a reality.
Most importantly, he trusted God.
This post is barely the tip of the iceberg of my dad’s adventures and scares, and joys and risks in business, so…
To a great visionary, leader, and dad… Happy Father’s Day.