I was supposed to write about something else today, but ever since leaving the annual Kingdom Advisors conference, what I experienced there has been heavy on my heart.
Kingdom Advisors is a membership community of Christian professionals mainly within the finance industry. And it held the “Redeeming Money” conference this year.
Many different Christian-based organizations were there as an opportunity to network and connect, including Compass – finances God’s way. We knew this conference was a great place to share about our Charting Your Legacy financial discipleship study for them and their clients who have excess. The best part of it is the aspect our founder, Howard Dayton, calls “Finishing Well.”
I knew I’d come away with more investing knowledge than I had gone there with. And I did. Only, the takeaways I made mental (and written) notes about had everything to do with a different kind of investing…
The world always has its eye on the major stock markets. The New York Stock Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange. And with what’s going on in the world, financial advisors and other experts have all kinds of advice to share to weather the volatility: “buy on the dip,” “hedge with precious metals,” “avoid these five stocks,” readjust your portfolio allocation.” But the best advice I heard at Redeeming Money was to invest in the Kingdom.
Yes, the Bible says plenty about investing. Spread among seven or eight (Ecclesiastes 11:2); steady plodding brings prosperity (Proverbs 21:5); seek counsel (Proverbs 15:22). The Lord wants us to be productive and make a return using all of the resources He has given us. And investing is one way to do so. But more importantly, He wants us to use what we’ve been given to fund the Great Commission.
At the Compass booth, I was talking with Ken Battles, who serves as an executive director for Compass, when one man walked up to us and simply asked for prayer. He said he didn’t know what to do but asked God to show him whom to pray with, because he didn’t want to do it alone. So, for the next few moments, we laid hands on him and prayed for and with him.
At one of the general sessions, one of the speakers talked about fear. He said, don’t fear the future, and don’t fear what others’ perception of you will be. Why? Because no matter what, God is in control.
At another session, a speaker talked about forgiveness, of all things. She said, forgiveness isn’t based on our determination; it’s our cooperation with what Jesus Christ has already done for us. After being ridiculed, beaten, and crucified, He died for you and me… On a cross we each nailed Him to. But He chose to forgive us for what we’ve done—and for the things we’re going to do—and love us anyway.
This conference was a reminder of what’s really important in the eyes of God—and what should also be important to us as financial disciples. Pray! Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Fear not! God doesn’t take you to it, not to bring you through it. Forgive! It’s a process, to say the least. But because He forgave us, we must choose to forgive others (Mark 11:25). And sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is the person looking back in the mirror. But God forgives us when our heart is in the right place. So, He grants us the ability to forgive ourselves.
Prayer, trusting God no matter the circumstance, forgiving… Through it all, we must follow.
Because Jesus had His eye on the Kingdom, He made an investment in people… So, He prayed (Luke 9:18-20), trusted God wholeheartedly (Matthew 4:3-5), and forgave with love (Luke 23:24). These are the stories we read about in God’s Word. And I am now challenged every day on this financial discipleship journey to use all the resources I have been given, including money, to pray, trust, forgive and show others how to do the same. Because I know the return is the treasures waiting in Heaven (2 Timothy 4:8).
I want to challenge you to pray about how you can do the same.