I have been to a lot of conferences in my time. (I have always liked attending conferences and learning from others. I especially like learning from their mistakes so I can pursue my life goal of constantly making new mistakes, rather than repeating the same ones over and over again).
So, in my new role of serving you in the areas of development, management and distribution of financial resources while encouraging generosity, in order to Advance the Gospel, a whole new genre of conferences has been opened up to me.
Now not all of these conferences have been “Christian” in their orientation. Most have not, or at least not the Christianity that we would espouse. Interesting, when “non-profits” gather, how the agendas and beverage choices are beyond that of what I have been previously exposed.
And while the knowledge gained and practical application have been valuable as I have journeyed to Chicago, New York, Orlando and the like, I left each one believing there is something more we at MBF must consider.
Yes, we have responsibility to do our best to properly screen out those investments advancing an anti-Biblical framework, while realizing it is impossible to do so perfectly. (Remember we are no longer in the garden and this is not heaven yet, so even our best screening processes may come up short from time to time.)
And yes, we have responsibility to do the very best we can with our investment practices, portfolio construction and asset management to achieve the greatest gain while tolerating a moderate amount of risk. We as a “Christian,” “Baptist,” investment organization also should be looking for ways not just to avoid “evil,” but to do “good.”
Which is why I began looking for a conference that was distinctively “Christian” in its view of finance, economic theory, and asset management practice. I attended my first Kingdom Advisors conference last month. I was not sure what I was getting into as I had low expectations for a group of financial advisors gathering for worship, study and fellowship.
But, just like God does so many times, I was completely caught off guard and shocked. From the moment I arrived, I began to realize I had just been thrust into one of the most compelling movements of the Gospel I have ever seen.
The conference kicked off with our own SBC President J.D. Greear opening the conference. I was never more proud to be a Southern Baptist as he challenged the 1500 of us to focus our lives around Christ. Then Charles Billingsley led the worship, with Dr. Tony Evans providing the closing challenge, and Steven Curtis Chapman wrapping it all up with a concert. But all in between was session after session on topics like, “How Jesus saw finance as evidenced through His teachings in the parables”, or “economic theory that focused upon God as creator and man as producer,” to the more practical management of assets as it pertains to end of life issues.
I came away having finally found a brotherhood of individuals who are attempting to manage financial resources for the Glory of God! Which is where you come in. As a person of resource, you are a manager for God of all he has entrusted to you. How are you doing with that responsibility?
Are you actively applying biblical principles to your own finances? Not just in how you spend your money today, but how are you managing the monies you and your family will need tomorrow? Do you have a plan in place that once you no longer need your financial resources those dollars could go and support a Gospel Advancing Ministry? In ways like helping send a student to a Baptist College or provide Christian care for a child in the foster care system?
Does your church need help in starting the conversation?
I am finding the money discussion to be a critically important, but often neglected one. Please know that we are working diligently at the Missouri Baptist Foundation to change the world by encouraging a revolution of resources to Advance the Gospel. And, more importantly, we are one email away.
Neil Franks, D.Min, CEP, serves as President of the Missouri Baptist Foundation. He and his team are available to come to your church and provide a variety of seminars including “The Four H’s to Financial Wisdom” and “Six Questions Every Christian Must Answer Before They Die” at no cost or obligation.