Speaking at the first Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC) Large Group Gathering at EPIC Church in Downtown San Francisco, VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger shared the organization's vision and revealed that it was born out of a strong desire to see revival in the Bay Area.
Co-founded by Gelsinger, TBC is a coalition of business leaders, venture capitalists, pastors, and nonprofit leaders, focused on helping to develop a grass roots activity that will transform the Bay Area through social compassion and service. Best-selling authors and pastors Francis Chan, John Ortberg, Jon Talbert, and Chip Ingram are some of the leaders who are also involved in this movement.
"The Bay Area is ... a unique place that God has chosen on the earth today," Gelsinger began his 20-minute talk. "There's an incredible geographical diversity that we have. There's also a great deal of cultural diversity ... and extraordinary innovation and worldwide influence as a result. The world wants to know what we got. They want to know, 'What is it that we do right here in the Bay Area?'"
Despite such extraordinary success, Gelsinger charged that the Bay Area is "broken."
"This is a broken area. It is no better than any other major city in terms of the social issues that we have, in terms of poverty, in terms of all those other social indicators," he said. "There are a little over 7,000 foster kids, and there are 2,500 Evangelical churches...and 3,5000 churches in the Bay Area. If churches adopt 3 foster kids apiece, there would be no foster system in the Bay Area. We could solve the problem...if together, we attack the problems of the Bay."
While the Bay Area is one of the most affluent regions in all of the world, Gelsinger shared statistics revealing that not only is it one of the most miserly areas in the United States, it is also of the least-churched areas in the nation.
"Don't you find that stunning?" he asked. "I'm embarrassed by that...We're rich, we're miserly and we don't know God."
TBC was born out a recognition of these challenges, Gelsinger revealed. "Our mission catalyzes the holistic Gospel -- we want people to come to know Jesus Christ as part of that. Our vision is that every person in the Bay Area would have a difference in their body, in their soul, and in their spirit by experiencing the life-changing work of God," he said.
In order to transform the Bay Area for Christ, TBC has a series of audacious goals it hopes to accomplish in the future.
First, TBC seeks to unify: "We come together, truly, to unify," Gelsinger explained. "If we go back to the Gospels, what does it say? What does Jesus say in John 17:21? He says, 'That all of them may be one.' That's such a simple idea. As we come together, our purpose isn't to make our church the best...it is to make the Kingdom the best."
Second, TBC works to amplify: Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
"It's not based on the best theology, it's not based on the best arguments or logic, but on our good deeds," the speaker continued. "We are here because we love people and we are here to demonstrate that."
Third, TBC hopes to multiply: "We want to change people's lives, we want to multiply churches," he said. "Imagine that every school had a church that's partnered with it...We're so proud of the Bay Area for its innovation in business, but what if we became proud of the Bay Area for its innovation in church planting? What if people came here and said, 'I don't want to learn about startups; I want to learn about what the church is doing.'"
"These are some goals we would suggest...for us coming together in unity, coming together to amplify good works and multiplying the church of God in the Bay Area," Gelsinger concluded. "Simply put, our goal is to see revival in our day, in our land, in the Bay Area."
Gelsinger, who is widely known as the CEO of VMware, the $6-billion-in-revenues/$30 billion in market-cap star child of EMC's "federation" of subsidiaries, puts his money where his mouth is. In August, he told Business Insider that his dedication to sharing the Gospel and passion for those in need has inspired him to give 50% of his gross income to charity.
"I make a lot of money so I can give a lot of money away. We have a small foundation, but most of it we just give directly from our revenue and overall holdings that we have," he told the outlet.
"My wife and I set an objective early on to increase the percentage of our gross income every year to charities. We're almost at 50%. For every dollar I get, I'm giving away 50% of gross income."
He gives away so much of his income that he's "running into tax limitations," he says. "They don't even let you write it off at that level. Appreciated assets is 30% and cash is 50% of income. So, I'm just accruing this deductible bucket for the future," he added.