I love my job. Why? Because I get to focus on Advancing the Gospel. Although my position has looked different throughout my life, my calling has remained the same since I started at Siloam Springs Baptist Assembly. When I first walked that aisle as a teenager, I assumed it would be in youth ministry. Then I became a pastor and still serve in a wonderful church as an interim pastor (note we are all interim).
But now, I get to live out this calling in the world of finance. To help people give generously and make wise financial choices allowing them to support the ministries they believe in. While also assisting those ministries to get the most they can from the resources they have been entrusted with. It is a win-win for both and all in support of Advancing the Gospel.
Over the last few years, the Lord has continued to bless our efforts despite one of the most tumultuous financial periods, at least partially because of how we are doing what we are called to do. We call it Investing for Good, Investing for Gain, and Investing for God. Our trustees made a significant decision about three years ago regarding our investment strategy. We would not only seek to avoid investing in bad companies, products, and processes (negative screening); but also apply positive screens. We now invest in companies that not only give a financial return on the investment but also make the world a better place.
For instance, we recently invested in a company that has partnered with a well-known worship band to create a virtual training academy platform to help amateur musicians lead worship in their local church. Or divesting capital in countries where freedom is restricted and creating new ways to investigate supply chains to protect women and children in forced labor. We want to make the world better. We will never be able to do this perfectly, but we must try and do something.
Through investment, we also seek to influence industry. For instance, by taking positions on pharmaceutical company boards, we can influence those who raise the prices of life-saving drugs. Not only is gouging customers bad business but with unfair pricing practices, individuals who need treatments are left behind. We continue investing in biotech companies researching new treatments to alleviate suffering, regardless of the profit potential.
In addition, we still seek financial gain. Without capital, many ministries can no longer accomplish their purpose; we understand the stakes. We are humbled that the Lord allowed our Kingdom fund to post a small net gain after all fees in 2022, while other similar endowments were down 16%. As of this writing, all three of our pooled funds were positive YTD (end of February.) Plus, we have a cash fund rate, offering 4.75% (for March to help churches, ministries, and associations do more.
So, I hope you can see why I love my job. I get to Advance the Gospel by providing Money Management for Ministries and Possibility Planning for People.