Our Background: The BBT Story
BBT began with a calling in August 2008 – one that couldn’t be done … alone, that is. Founder and CEO, Brandon Mann, describes how he was called, in prayer, to start a Bible Study at work.“It really was work I didn’t feel prepared to do,” he says.“But I know when God calls someone to something, HE can make anything happen.”And so HE did.
Along with a fellow co-worker, Greg Schuster (whose heart, God had already prepared), Mann started a Bible study with other colleagues, in September of 2008.Throughout the course of the next six months Christ used the group to grow the concept of BBT.
“Our small group was hungry to study the Word, in the context of our work,” explains Mann.“We needed something that could help us apply Biblical truths and principles to the workplace challenges we face every day … and there really wasn’t anything out there that fit our needs.”
Then, the Lord led Mann down a very short path – to a book he already owned and had read, authored by a friend and mentor that he had known for years!
“Doing Business by the Good Book, by David Steward, was an excellent resource,” says Mann. “With Dave’s permission, I started pulling together a study guide, and found that people were responding. For our small group, work began to take on new meaning. Not only was our Bible study affecting our daily decisions, we began to feel a new sense of meaning and purpose.”
For Mann, God used this transformation to spark the vision for a global marketplace ministry … and BBT was born.“God had given us a scalable, sustainable formula for studying His Word in the context of work,” said Mann.“So, we just kept going.We began planting BBT’s, and God began growing new groups.”
The ministry held its first board meeting in December 2009 and by the next year, it was apparent that, to fulfill God’s plans, BBT would need full-time leadership.
After much deliberation and prayer, Mann left his executive position and his 15-plus year career in commercial real estate in January, 2011, to accept the full-time calling to BBT.“Once again,” says Mann, “I found myself doing something that I didn’t feel prepared to do.I am humbled and in awe that God has given us this gift,” he says.“BBT is here for HIS glory and purpose, and I am just thankful to be part of it.”
Now, BBT is a non-profit organization (approved by the IRS with 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status), with a growing staff, and a large group of volunteers and leaders.
This is just the beginning of the story for BBT. As BBT has grown to more than 70 groups globally, God’s vision for the ministry is becoming clearer.“BBT is more than a Bible study,” says Mann.“BBT is here to help small-group leaders grow in their relationship with Christ, so that they can pour into others’ lives, creating a Leadership Flywheel™ that naturally grows leaders for the Lord.”
Coaches work with group leaders to assess, equip and encourage their personal development in the Lord.“BBT group leaders begin to lead in every area of life.This is the key to sustaining and growing Bible-centered small groups,” continues Mann.“Because, leaders who are growing in their relationship with Christ will lead thriving, Christ-centered small groups.”
“Our mission is to help people apply Biblical principles at work.Our vision is to see people grow in their relationship with Christ, and expand God’s kingdom through their leadership … Faith for Work — Leadership for Life! In everything we do, we want to be true to that God-given mission and vision.”