I really enjoy my job. But, I have to admit, I questioned God about a move from the pastorate of the local church into becoming your Foundation president. I never really sought to be a “convention guy;” however, the Lord had placed me in certain roles and positions which seemed to confirm this was in fact His unique calling for me. I do have the desire to make our convention a better place to serve the Lord while serving each other. I am happy to do so as opportunities present themselves. While I knew I was going to be helping churches and our pastors, I just did not realize how pastoral I was going to become to individual people.
You see, at the Foundation we serve two sides of the same coin. On one side, we help manage money for ministries. By this I mean, we help ministries, associations, churches and entities get the very most out of every dollar by helping them invest wisely. We have short-term cash accounts, term deposits, and long-term investment strategies, all to help our churches have ministry funds for today, tomorrow and ten thousand tomorrows.
On the other side, we do possibility planning for people. By this, I mean we are able to sit down with individual believers to discuss the problems and possibilities that money presents. All with the goal of helping every person make a lasting investment into accomplishing ministry. It is in the sitting down with individuals, that I have found myself becoming a financial pastor to people.
Just like in pastoring, I find people in various states of financial health. From their view, they share how they could contribute to God’s work of Advancing the Gospel. But generally most people want to meet because of one of three reasons. Some people come needing to GET WELL financially. They know something is wrong, may or may not know what to do, and looking for hope and encouragement.
Others come to meet because they need to start LIVING WELL. They have plenty of resources, but no peace. They are beginning to figure out that the American dream may not be the end all, after all. They have margin, but are not quite sure how to get started in leveraging what God has given them. They understand money is a tool, a means to an end with the end not being them, but don’t know where to turn.
And while all of us know we need to FINISH WELL, some people are more attuned to this need. Maybe they have had a family member die recently or have heard a horror story about probate court and do not want to make the same mistakes. Some even come wanting to create or leave a legacy for their families or favorite ministries. Some, simply need pointing in the right direction.
In all three of those cases, I am discovering a deep need for people to have real conversations with people they can trust outside of their local church. In my twenty-plus years of service in the local church, I cannot remember a single conversation with a person who was coming to me as their pastor for financial advice. Money is a strange topic both in culture and in church. We just don’t talk enough about it.
I mean, has your small group every discussed how much money each couple makes, how much debt they are in or their current IRA balance? If so, you might want to find another small group because polite people just don’t ask those kinds of questions. Yet, they are really important, real life questions, even with theological answers. Where should a person turn? Well, glad you asked. We are hoping to develop trust-filled, God honoring relationships like that here, at your Missouri Baptist Foundation. Reach out to us as we help pastor God’s people, financially.