The Confessions of a Christian Based Financial Planner

Imagine living (in career terms) in a world where money is the focal point of everything. It’d be very easy to become vain and self-absorbed extremely quick. It’s one reason why you can’t attend a Financial Planning conference and look throughout the parking lot and witness a sea of luxury car brands. I promise you it’s not because they are all doing so well financially, but rather as my friend Dave says, they’re driving those cars to impress someone at a stop light or an industry conference they’ll never meet. Of course, I don’t have issues with luxury cars, but the point is valid: my vehicle is often bought for the wrong reason. It’s why one of the hardest things we must do is merge the following two issues: the Bible instructs us to save and invest and it instructs us to have a Kingdom mindset. 

A client once asked a Financial Planner I knew if their home, well into the seven figures in value, was too expensive for a Christian. The heart of his question was, “should I sell it because I feel guilty?” The Financial Planners' response was incredible! He answered, “Have you asked God what you should do with it?” The client responded that he had not and sought the Lord in prayer around this decision. He decided to sell, and a strange thing happened. The house wouldn’t sell. No one was interested in it nor could afford it. So, the family decided to begin figuring out ways they could use this impressive piece of architecture to further the Kingdom of Christ. Well, wouldn’t you know, this home would become a ministry tool over the next ten years like no other. When the family was willing to give up the house, God was ready to start using it for His glory and our amazement.

My desire to be a Kingdom Advisor is centered around James 3:17, which says, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy, and good fruits without partiality and without hypocrisy." God's word is sufficient in all areas of my life, including finances! Through this worldview and my extensive work with Dave Ramsey, I believe a faith-based Advisor will be able to advise families better about what the Bible has to say regarding finance. There is so much prescriptive teaching in the Bible that we can learn from to make a more significant Kingdom impact. 

The need certainly is great. In America, 7 out of 10 Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and it isn't much better in the church. We know from recent trends that while wealth is growing in America, it's concentrated in the hands of a few. That’s not to say anything is structurally wrong other than our poor financial habits. Most 65-year-olds today are not financially independent, and the assets they own, they haven't even directed to who would receive them when they die (no will), let alone thought about how they could make a Kingdom impact with them.

Additionally, most Evangelical Christians in America don't have a Biblical worldview, which extends to their views about money. Because of this, many are not tithing to their local church, making it harder for the local church to fulfill its mission to make disciples. I don't say this to say we are defeated. Quite the opposite! This is why Kingdom Advisors like those at Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers are so important. Just as the blood of the Lamb has redeemed us, we, as Kingdom Advisors, are here to redeem money and finance in the church through the wisdom of the Bible! 

As a Kingdom Advisor, it is our (Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers) commitment to our clients, our community, and Christ that we live our lives from a Biblical worldview with a passion for delivering consistent biblical counsel and wisdom as a competent and skilled professional. Additionally, our team is qualified and becoming better prepared through designations like the CKA® (Certified Kingdom Advisor) in charitable giving and life counsel so that our impact can be multiplied across my hundreds of clients. As a Kingdom Advisor, we teach five basic principles of money, which are: 

  1. Spend less than you earn
  2. Avoid the use of debt
  3. Build liquidity and margin
  4. Give generously
  5. Set long-term goals

The underlying theme within all the principles is the mindset that God owns it all; thus, we make decisions with that in mind. This consistent process allows our clients to understand our advice clearly and as Dave Ramsey always says, “to be kind is to be clear.” It’s often said that to fail to plan is to plan to fail. However, when planning is done right, it helps our clients create consistent behavior. I’ve often said the best book for financial planning is the tortoise and the hare because one needs to be consistent over a long period like the tortoise.

I, like you, am a fallen creature with many flaws. My wife would be the first to confirm this. However, as we continue to pray for you, our valued clients, would you continue to pray for us? Pray that we, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of Christ, can add value to people's lives through the advice we give, the investments we make, and the impact we all together can have for the Kingdom of Christ.

Author: John-Mark Young