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The Finish Line Podcast
65 minutes | May 23, 2022
Todd Peterson, Former NFL Kicker, on Honing Your Focus in Generosity (Ep. 46)
Todd Peterson started his career with 13 years in the NFL, but has since become a powerhouse in fueling the bible translation movement and encouraging others towards radical generosity. When Todd was drafted by the NY Giants in 1993, he was initially distracted by the excitement of a substantial income. However, God got Todd’s attention with a dramatic wake-up call after his rookie year. From that point on, Todd and his wife Susan dedicated themselves to the exciting adventure God had in store for them. Throughout his NFL career, Todd and Susan delved deep into their generosity journey and began drawing others into that journey with them. Since he retired from the NFL in 2006, Todd has become significantly involved in many organizations in the generosity and bible translation spaces. From 2008-2013, Todd served as Chairman of Seed Company, one of the leading bible translation ministries. And through his involvement, he was able to participate in the formation of the IllumiNations impact alliance between 11 major bible translation organizations. Because of that collaboration, it is anticipated that the bible will be accessible to every language spoken on Earth by the year 2033. In Todd’s words, “The last bible translator is alive today.” Todd has served on numerous other boards including Global Generosity Movement, Passion Conferences, the Young Life Foundation, and Pro Athletes Outreach and has a depth of wisdom in living out radical generosity. Todd shared plenty of wisdom on topics like honing your giving focus and how to do more than write a check. Even more interestingly, Todd shared his unique insight into the relationship between givers and ministries, having spent significant time on both sides of the field. Listen now to hear all Todd had to share. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “We very early on saw the NFL as a mission field and we were very highly compensated missionaries in a sense.” “You can’t really be a man of humility until you’ve been humiliated.” “I’m never going to make another penny before we give to God first.” When the income really started to come, we were better prepared for it because we had made a decision that we were going to give first.” “As our income increases, our lifestyle doesn’t have to grow with it.” “My NFL career, all 13 years, felt like God had a plan for my life.” “At the end of the day, what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives is giving them away.” “We want to life full and abundant life and experience all God has for us. And the best way we knew how to do that was to hold things loosely.” “Football was one thing that God gave me a talent for, but it wasn’t the only thing he created me to do.” “We are people who really want to be invested in every sense of the word. We don’t want to simply write a check to an organization.” “All ministry hinges on the power of the gospel in the language of a person.” “Could there be a greater injustice than not having access to the Gospel in your language?” “By 2033, we can eradicate bible poverty, meaning every language on Earth has access to at least some portion of the scripture translated.” “We believe in the bible translation world that the last bible translator is alive now.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn The IllumiNations Bible Translation Collaboration Finishing the Task (see our interview with Global Church Planting Strategist Dan Hitzhusen from FTT) Seed Company The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Community LinkedIn Group BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Matt. 16:25 | Whoever Seeks to Save His Life For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Isaiah 55:8 | My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Ephesians 2:10 | We Are God’s Workmanship For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Revelation 7:9 | Every Tribe, Nation, and Tongue After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
49 minutes | May 9, 2022
Josh Newell, Executive Director of the Jesus Film Project, on the Impact of the Most-Watched Film of All Time (Ep. 45)
Josh Newell is the Executive Director of the Jesus Film Project. The Jesus Film started in 1979 as a ministry of Cru and is a film based on the gospel of Luke. Within 10 years of its creation the Jesus Film was the most translated and most watched film in the world, now reported to have been translated into over 2000 languages and seen by over 3 billion people in almost every country in the world. Jesus Film is a richly collaborative ministry partnering with a vast assortment of ministries in the bible translation, evangelism, and church planting spaces. Today, 90% of the Jesus Film projects final results come from their church planting partners in the field. Josh joined Jesus Film in 1998 as a film translator and has remained with the organization up to today, where he now serves as Executive Director. Josh has developed a deep and thoughtful perspective of the global missions landscape and the work that remains ahead to reach every person everywhere with the gospel. Listen now to hear all he had to share. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “I find it humbling to be a part of a project that can be a catalyst to see cross-denomination cross-traditions work together in a way that is collaborative and to see spiritual fruit.” “We want to be creating a faithful translation of the Jesus Film that accurately reflects the Word of God in a given people group. And to do that, you need to work with bible translators.” “For us, the mission hasn’t changed. It’s all about getting the gospel to everyone everywhere.” “If the map of where the church needs to go has remained the same for nearly 2000 years, why hasn’t it gone?” “The Spirit of the Lord seems to be moving is such a way to bring about collaboration on a radical level where churches and organizations are throwing everything into the middle of the table and saying ‘We’re all in’ to reach everyone everywhere. It doesn’t matter who goes, let’s just make sure that we do!” “We get to be a catalyst for partnership.” “Where is the task and what will it take to get us there?” “About 75% of the 6 billion unreached people live in just 12 countries.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW The Jesus Film Project Watch the Jesus Film Cru (Campus Crusade) Biblica Wycliffe Elijah 21 Joshua Project Finishing the Task (see our interview with Global Church Planting Strategist, Dan Hitzhusen, from FTT) The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
62 minutes | Apr 25, 2022
Jonathan Reynolds, CEO of Titus Talent Strategies, on Why a Culture of Generosity is a Smart Business Move (Ep. 44)
Jonathan Reynolds is the CEO of Titus Talent Strategies, an innovative company in the recruiting and hiring space. Jonathan was raised in a strong culture of generosity and that theme has continued on through his life. And Jonathan has infused that same generosity culture into his company’s very foundation. One way Jonathan has done that is by creating a company giving fund. Any employee can recommend an organization that is doing work in the community, and Titus Talent will help support that organization from their giving fund. In this way, Titus has contributed millions of dollars to support the community with an ultimate goal to give away 30 million dollars by 2030. And they’re ahead of schedule! While Jonathan is a passionate Christ follower, and believes generosity is baked into our original human design before the fall, he also talks about how generosity actually makes perfect business sense. He goes as far to say that he would recommend a strong culture of generosity even for a business leader with no background in faith. Jonathan shared not only the amazing fruit he’s seen from Titus’s generosity culture, but also the challenges that have arisen too. He had thoughtful insight into how to navigate some of these challenges and recommendations for those who don’t even know where to start. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Whatever you do, just do it for the glory of God. And live in such a way as to hasten his return.” “God is the ultimate priority and he is the one I want to please. And I am a steward of his resources.” “If I was an ungodly person who wasn’t living for eternity, I would actually choose the generosity route as a strategic business position. It just works. It’s magnetic and creates a sense of unified meaning.” “Is generosity a part of your life today? Because it won’t be later if it isn’t today.” “I want to stay in the business world to take people on that journey with me rather than get out as fast as I can.” “Even through the pandemic when the bottom fell out from most of our businesses, our first reaction was how do we keep meeting our giving goals?” “Generosity is contagious. It’s the most amazing experience and you want others to experience it too.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Titus Talent Strategies Homes of Hope, a ministry of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) National Christian Foundation The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Community on LinkedIn WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
58 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
Calvin Edwards, Philanthropy Consultant, with an Inside Look into Evaluating Ministries (Ep. 43)
Calvin Edwards is the founder of the philanthropic advisory firm Calvin Edwards and Company, a consulting firm that helps philanthropic donors perform due diligence for ministries they might seek to support and to help determine the quantitative impact these organizations are having. Calvin started his career with 20 years in the nonprofit world working for a number of ministries including Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. He then pivoted to spend several years in leadership at the Ronald Blue & Co. accounting firm before going off to launch Calvin Edwards and Company. In addition to sharing all about how his firm evaluates ministries, Calvin had much to say about what “being a good steward” actually entails. In his words, no giver is off the hook for how they invest their giving dollars and philanthropy is a responsibility that should be taken quite thoughtfully. Calvin also had plenty of helpful guidance for new givers or those seeking to ramp up their giving. Listen now to hear all Calvin had to share! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Charitable organizations have trouble telling you what their strategy is.” “Good stewardship pushes through supporting kingdom work to supporting kingdom work that is carried out in a positive manner.” “It’s interesting that in scripture, fruitfulness is praised.” “God does care what our giving achieves.” “Good stewardship goes beyond the ‘I gave it away’ to ‘to whom did I give it to and what was accomplished?’.” “I don’t think good stewardship can be outsourced. I don’t think you can let someone else be your good steward for you.” “When we give, we should sense God’s pleasure.” “What is it that upsets me or gets me going? Maybe I should help people that are addressing that problem.” “It is the work of the giver in their relationship with God to work out where they should give.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Calvin Edwards & Company, Calvin’s philanthropic advisory firm Walk Thru the Bible Ministries Ronald Blue & Co. Maclellan Foundation The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Community LinkedIn Group BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Matthew 25:14-30 | The Parable of the Talents 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our Facebook Group and our LinkedIn Group. Join the conversation!
78 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
Brian Fikkert, Co-Author of When Helping Hurts, on When Helping Hurts in How We Give (Ep. 42)
Brian Fikkert is the Founder and President of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development as well as the co-author of the well known book When Helping Hurts. From an early age, Brian felt called to work in the area of poverty. Despite his formal training in economics, he felt early on that the prevailing understanding of poverty left much lacking. On one hand, economists tended to define people as entirely physical. On the other hand, the church tended to define people as purely spiritual. But the more Brian was exposed to the poor, the more he came to see poverty as a complicated blend of the two. Brian founded the Chalmers Center at Covenant College to guide the Church in it’s response to poverty. Their initial work with microfinance and local savings unions worldwide has gone on to large scale operations with organizations like Hope International and Five Talents. And their work in the U.S. has expanded to include jobs preparedness, welfare training, and financial literacy. A number of years ago, Brian and the Chalmers Center published the well known book When Helping Hurts, which has become a cornerstone on the core principles of poverty alleviation. Brian had a wealth of wisdom to share on topics like knowing when to provide relief, rehabilitation, and development as well as how to flip from a needs-based approach to an assets-based approach. He also had some insightful thoughts on the ways that donors and nonprofits interact with each other and how we as givers can most wisely steward the dollars given to us. Listen now to hear all Brian had to share! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “We tend to define poverty as a lack of physical things, hence our solutions tend towards providing physical things” “The poor tend to describe their condition in far more psychological and social terms.” “If you can actually get people working again, it has it’s own therapeutic effect.” “Most poor people in the world are not in a crisis, they are actually in a chronic condition.” There is a place for bringing in outside resources when the local resources are inadequate, but those outside resources should only be brought in when they compliment the internal resources rather than crush them.” “I think financial supporters have one of the most difficult jobs in the whole world.” “We’ve got to start moving into how God really works in the world, and most of us aren’t functioning out of that very well.” “We are functioning out of a theory of change that is more reflective of a Western individualism than of a proper understanding of what a human being is.” “There’s a better story for the poor, and there’s a better story for us, than the story of the American Dream of highly individualistic, highly self-centered, highly materialistic existence.” “God has wired us to be priest-rulers to extend his reign and his worship from the Garden of Eden throughout all of creation. “ “Every nonprofit is terrified of their financial resource partners.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College The Innovate course by the Chalmers Center Brian’s book When Helping Hurts Brian’s books Becoming Whole and A Field Guide to Becoming Whole Hope International Five Talents Compassion International Tear Fund Reconciled World Seed Effect First Fruit The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW 1 Peter 2:9 | The Royal Priesthood 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Revelation 5:10 | Kings and Rulers 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our Facebook Group and our online forums.
47 minutes | Mar 14, 2022
Rod Brenneman, Former CEO of Butterball, on Building Continuous Giving Engines (Ep. 41)
Rod Brenneman has spent much of his career in agribusiness leading up to his role as CEO of Butterball. When he left Butterball in 2014, he wasn’t sure what he would do next. However, God certainly had some interesting plans in store for him. It was around that time that Rod was introduced to Gary Ringger, the founder of Lifesong for Orphans. As God began to develop their relationship, Rod began to wrestle with one particular question: Is there a way to blend business and ministry to support Lifesong’s work indefinitely? Since that time, Rod has developed a passion for what he calls giving engines. Giving engines are businesses whose profits are used to support the work of a ministry in an ongoing manner. Together with Lifesong, Rod has used his agribusiness experience to develop berry farms in Ukraine, Zambia, and Uganda. Today, these giving engines operate over 100 acres of berry producing land, employ 325 people, and generate over $600,000 annually to support Lifesong’s work with orphans. When they are fully operational, the berry farms will generate over a million dollars per year, all while employing many of the orphans they support. Rod is passionate about the idea of giving engines not only for their strategic effectiveness, but also for their ability to re-engage business minds when people are finishing up their corporate careers. Listen now to hear all Rod had to share. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Everything really belongs to God. We’re just called to be stewards of what He’s given us.” “A giving engine is simply a business that directs all or a potion of its profits to ministry helping to make that ministry sustainable.” “A giving engine represents an investment in economic, social, and spiritual transformation that provides ongoing sustainable support.” “We expect them to deliver adequate or market-rate returns to provide sustainable cashflow for ministry.” “I really want to challenge other people like me to think about finding ways to use their A-game skills for kingdom purposes.” “Dream big, so that when it happens you’ll know that it was God and not you.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Lifesong for Orphans National Christian Foundation Impact Foundation NeverThirst The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Luke 3:11 | Whoever Has Two Tunics And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our Facebook Group and our online forums.
65 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
Dan Hitzhusen, Global Church Planting Strategist from Finishing the Task, on Reaching All Nations with the Gospel by 2033 (Ep. 40)
Dan Hitzhusen is the Global Church Planting Strategist for Finishing the Task. FTT was formed in 2000 to unify the global church and the many parachurch ministries towards the completion of the great commission of making disciples of all nations. In 2000, when FTT was formed, there were about 3,000 of the 12,000 people groups across the planet that remained completely unreached by the gospel. In 2018, that number was down to 1800. And in just the last few years, there are now fewer than 200 groups remaining to be reached. Dan has worked in over 100 countries, leading multiple major ministries including serving as International VP of e3 Partners and President of Global Missions Fellowship. He has seen lame men walk and blind men regain their sight. And he has a deep passion for unifying the body of Christ around his final command to make disciples of all nations. Dan laid out a spectacular birds-eye view for us of what God is doing in every corner of the world and what work remains. Even more exciting, he shared countless stories of how the gospel is moving forward at an unprecedented pace thanks to some major developments in recent years. Dan also explained Finishing the Task’s targeted approach to bringing believers, bibles, and bodies of Christ to all 12,000 people groups by establishing initial believers in every single group, translating the Bible into every language in the world, and establishing a church for every 1,000 people across the planet. And they want to do it by year 2033. Listen now to hear Dan’s incredible insight into how God is moving and what work remains. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “To unite the body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission” “We began to see how to start churches that multiplied.” “The momentum right now, in terms of the body of Christ reaching people groups, is phenomenal, just in the last 4 or 5 years.” “Rick likes to describe the Great Commission with the 3 B’s: Believers, Bodies (of Christ), and Bibles.” “If this is such good news, why has it taken you so long to get it to our village?” “COVID has really opened a lot of doors for the gospel.” “People are around Jesus first, not their logos, not their organizations.” “The technology today gives us the capacity to reach everyone in the world.” “One of the biggest barriers right now is knowing where the church is and where the church isn’t.” “As you begin to give your treasure away, God tends to multiply it in phenomenal ways.” “There’s a lot of money tied up in foundations that isn’t out working now.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Finishing the Task Campus Crusade Josh McDowell E3 Partners Jesus Film Doug Cobb and the Finishing Fund (see our interview with Doug in episode 35) Rick Warren, Executive Director of Finishing the Task and author of the Purpose Driven Life Bekele Shanko, President of GACX (Global Alliance for Church Multiplication) Josh Newell, President of Jesus Film John Chestnut, President of Wycliffe Bible Translators The Illuminations Bible translation collaboration The Go Movement The Lausanne Movement World Evangelical Alliance National Christian Foundation The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Revelation 7:9 | Every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. Matthew 28:19-20 | The Great Commission 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 10:18-20 | You Will Be Brought Before Kings 18 rand you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. John 17:11 | Jesus’ Prayer for Unity bHoly Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also contact us directly from our contact page. If you want to engage with the Finish Line Community, check out our Facebook Group and our online forums.
68 minutes | Feb 14, 2022
Tim Mohns, Seasoned Financial Advisor, on Giving WITH God Rather than Giving TO God (Ep. 39)
Tim Mohns is a seasoned financial planner who has had a financial finish line for the last 15 years after trying it out during a 6 month experiment. In addition to his advising career, Tim is heavily involved with the National Christian Foundation, a donor advised fund platform, as well as Kingdom Advisors, which seeks to equip financial planners to integrate their faith into their work. Tim shared an inspiring testimony of learning to walk in step with God, including experiencing the fruit of some impressively specific instructions from God. But even more than that, he shared through his own story how God is so much more interested in us giving with God rather than giving for God. In more recent years, Tim has been exploring giving away parts of the business he’s spent his life building with some exciting developments on the horizon. Listen now to hear Tim’s entire story. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Is this really all there is? … I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing. Why does it feel like I’m just eating paper? It’s tasteless!” “What really struck me was hearing the testimonies of people who had really tried generosity.” “I’m more of a save-a-holic than a spend-a-holic.” “Giving went from just another box to check as a good Christian boy scout to an invitation to do something with my heavenly father.” “The giving piece of it has been way more about me and intimacy with God and leading me back to what my heart’s desire really is, which is to have a great relationship with my heavenly father.” “I used to think that God needed me to ‘fund the kingdom’.” “I don’t think God’s heart is always about maximizing ROI, like somehow he’s going to run out of money.” “We don’t have to worry about the results, we just get to be a part of the process.” “You cannot take someone through something you’ve never done yourself.” “People talk about giving as something you ought to do, but I talk about it as an opportunity.” “I really want to come beside people and give them the freedom to take risks.” “Find a way to create a little bit of financial margin, and then get into a listening posture.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Fountain Wealth Management, Tim’s financial advisory practice Todd Harper, cofounder of Generous Giving (listen to our interview with Todd here) Journey of Generosity (JOG) experience through Generous Giving National Christian Foundation Ron Blue and Kingdom Advisors The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Matthew 6:19-21 | Store Up Treasures in Heaven 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
51 minutes | Jan 31, 2022
Finish Line Q&A with John Cortines: Expensive Cities, Growing Families, Managing Windfalls, and Giving Out of Savings (Ep. 38)
For this episode, we’re taking a break from our typical interviews to cover a number of questions that have come in to the podcast. We’re lucky enough to be joined by repeat guest John Cortines to help us explore some of these ideas. John is the Director of Generosity for the Maclellan Foundation and past Chief Operating Officer of Generous Giving. He is also coauthor of the books God and Money and True Riches, along with another of our past guests, Greg Baumer. If you want to hear John’s full story, you can find it back on episode 13. The questions we covered in this episode are: [6:45] I live in an expensive part of the country. How would you account for this in setting a financial finish line? [16:56] If I set a finish line, how do I account for things like inflation, growing family, kids getting older (and more expensive), etc? [25:19] I recently received a large inheritance, although I am already in a decent financial position with a mortgage but no other debt. How would you handle that situation with a finish line in place? [33:47] God has really stretched me in giving out of my income, and that process has been very rewarding. My husband and I want to start giving out of our savings too. Do you have any advice? [38:36] Do you think that everyone should have a finish line? If you have a question of your own, there are a number of ways you can jump into the conversation. First, you can join our facebook group to find other likeminded people discussing all aspects of generosity and impactful giving. You can also check out the Finish Line Forum. If you’d prefer to send in your questions directly, you can reach us via our contract page. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “There’s nothing right or wrong about living in a high cost area.” “This is a matter of walking the adventure with the Lord, seeing what he’s called us to, and yeah, sometimes making tradeoffs.” “Your finish line will need some continuous tweaking. It’s not meant to be set in stone for the rest of your life.” “What are those dollars doing in an investment account that you don’t need versus what could those dollars do if they were injected into the kingdom?” “There’s a real pride in thinking you can out-invest God.” “I can figure out how much is enough income, but how much is enough security?” “Nobody stumbles into enough.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW God and Mammon by Andy Crouch at the Faith Driven Investor’s Conference Larry Burkett’s list of the 2300 Bible verses on money The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Acts 5:1-6 | Ananias and Sapphira But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
53 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
Aaron and Miran Cho on Committing to Give More Than You Can Budget For (Ep. 37)
Aaron and Miran Cho took some of their earliest steps of faith when they first met each other. And right from the beginning, God began challenging them in the area of generosity. On the podcast, we have heard all sorts of strategies for deciding how much to give and how to give it. But Aaron and Miran have one of the most Spirit-led strategies we’ve heard so far. Every year, Aaron and Miran set aside 2 days where they each separately spend a day in prayer. During that time, they ask God how much he would have them give away the following year. Afterwards, they come back together to discern how he might be leading them. As that process has grown over the years, they now often find themselves committing to more than they can actually budget for, yet God continues to provide for them in radical ways. We were deeply inspired by the Cho’s personal story, as well as their wisdom on topics like impact investing, giving together as a couple, and choosing what to give to. Listen now to hear all they had to share! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “There’s gotta be more to life than tithing our 10% to our local church.” “There are many [spiritual] teachers, but not a lot of [spiritual] fathers.” “Every year we pray for the forthcoming year, saying, ‘God, what do you want us to give over and above our tithe?'” “When you’re debt free, you can just ask God, ‘What do you want me to do? Who do I give to? What do I give to?'” “We fund our kingdom fund before we fund anything else.” “We commit to a number that we feel like God is telling us to commit to for the next year, even if it doesn’t make sense for our budget.” “God provides the money for his bank account. All he wants from us is the yes that we’ll do it. If the money shows up, we will put it aside in another bank account. That’s all he wants from us.” “I would rather plan on working for the rest of my life and be extravagant givers along the way.” “You can’t out-give God.” “At the end of the year every year, we set aside two days and go to a prayer mountain separately. And then we spend all day praying and spending time with God. And during that time we ask God how much we should give away the following year for the kingdom fund.” “That’s how we do everything. We pray separately and then come together and see if we are in agreement.” “We’re always praying for God to open up doors to new ministries and to identify needs.” “Investing in people is the model of Jesus.” “God, here’s my treasure LINKS FROM THE SHOW Impact Foundation Faith Driven Investor Ambassadors Impact Network Crazy Love by Francis Chan Doulos Partners (see our interview with founder, David Johnson, episode 20) Neverthirst (see our interview with CEO, Matt Letourneau, episode 18) Journey of Generosity (JOG) experience through Generous Giving The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Matt. 6:33 | Seek First the Kingdom 33 Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:21 | Two Masters 21 You cannot serve God and money. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
92 minutes | Jan 3, 2022
Morgan Jackson, Senior VP of Faith Comes by Hearing, on Reaching the 70% of the World Living in Oral-Dominant Cultures (Ep. 36)
Morgan Jackson is the Executive Vice President of Faith Comes by Hearing, an audio bible recording ministry that has recorded the bible in over 1500 languages to reach over 1.3 million communities around the world. Morgan’s parents founded the organization in 1972 with a strong conviction to share the gospel and an unwavering commitment to God’s calling for their lives. About 70% of the world live in predominantly oral, rather than written, cultures. Today, Faith Comes by Hearing partners with over 400 organizations to make the gospel accessible in audio and visual formats in the heart language of over 80% of the world’s population. Using custom designed solar-powered audio devices called Proclaimers, Faith Comes by Hearing and its partner ministries are able to share God’s Word with sometimes thousands of people at a time. And Morgan had countless stories about how each culture relates to God’s Word in a unique and powerful way. Faith Comes by Hearing is also part of a larger collaboration of organizations that are united in the goal to make the bible accessible to everyone on the planet by 2033, two thousand years after Christ’s death. And they are making incredible progress. We were deeply encouraged by the stories and vision Morgan had to share. This is definitely an episode you won’t want to miss. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Blank villages, those without a church, were being reached and churches were being planted simply by bringing the word of God for people to hear.” “In 2 Kings 23, the whole nation is assembled, and you have the record of the largest revival in Jewish history from not prayer, not fasting, not singing, but from simply hearing Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.” “In oral communities, anything that is important comes to you in a story, parable, proverb, song, or drama, with memory cues. That way you can hold onto it, because you don’t own it until you memorize it.” “We believe by 2033, two thousand years after Christ’s death, we could see a translation complete for every language of the world.” “There are going to be a lot of people who will die getting these translations done.” “The Word of God is spoken… it is written primarily to be heard.” “We’ve experienced the greatest revival in history in the last 100 years and almost nobody knows it.” “This next age is going to be the national [missionaries]. They are going to be asking for tools and resources, and we need to be ready to resource them.” “The body of Christ has become unified around the world. They’ve dropped their banners and are saying ‘Let’s get this job done’.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Faith Comes by Hearing Answers to Prayer by George Muller American Bible Society Open Doors International The Timothy Initiative Wycliffe Bible Translators The Bible Brain – FCBH’s accessible hub of translations and recordings The LUMO Project – a visual translation of the bible available in over 1000 languages Seed Company bible translators Pioneer bible translators Jesus Film the Render app for bible translation Bible.is app – all of FCBH’s translations in app form The Illuminations collaboration – making God’s Word accessible to all people by 2033 Cru YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Charity Navigator One KC (Kansas City) The Grace and Mercy Foundation The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Matt. 10:11 | When You Enter a Strange Town 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. Deuteronomy 6:4 | Hear O Israel 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 1 Timothy 4:13 | The Public Reading of Scripture 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Mark 12:27 | The God of the Living 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. Matt 24:14 | And Then the End Will Come 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
61 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
Doug Cobb, Founder of the Finishing Fund, on the Sprint to the Ultimate Finish Line (Ep. 35)
Doug Cobb is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who is passionate about completing the ultimate command Christ left us with: making disciples of all nations. Using the skills from his private equity background, Doug founded the Finishing Fund, a sort of venture capital fund connecting those with resources to those on the final frontier of global missions. In particular, the Finishing Fund finances projects with an extensive network of vetted ministry partners specifically to reach the final unengaged unreached people groups in the world. In 2017 when the Finishing Fund was founded, out of 12,000 people groups in the world with 500 or more people, there were 1450 unengaged people groups without a single Christian living among them. Today, that number is 149, and Doug believes that there can be workers engaging every one of those remaining groups by the end of 2022. We had all sorts of questions for Doug, like how do you find ministries to work with? What barriers will there be to reaching the remaining groups? What exactly is the Great Commission? And how will we know when the work is complete? You won’t want to miss Doug’s interview for the answers to these questions and more. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Right from the beginning, generosity was something that found its way into our lives.” “That was the most amazing experience of our giving lives.” “Ours could be the generation to see this work finished. I absolutely believe that it’s within our capability by God’s grace to finish this within our generation.” “The business you end up doing is almost never the one you thought you were going to do.” “Finding those things, those good works that he’s prepared in advance individually for each of us, to me just makes life such an incredible adventure.” “God is determined to see this work completed.” “If you compare the amount of time people spend managing their secular portfolios and the amount of time they spend managing their kingdom portfolios, for most people there is not even a comparison.” “There is hardly anything to be more excited about then the completion of the Great Commission.” “When you become convinced that we are living in the era of the finishing of the Great Commission, it just needs to change our view of money, possessions, and eternity.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW The Finishing Fund Doug's book, And Then the End Will Come Money Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis Finishing the Task, founded by Paul Eschleman FTT’s Unengaged Unreached People Group List List of Unreached People Groups by The Joshua Project Map of Unengaged People Groups by The International Missions Board The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Zechariah 4:6 | Not by Might 6 Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Ephesians 2:8-10 | Created for Good Works 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 2 Peter 3:11-12 | Hastening the Coming of the Day of God 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! Matt 24:14 | And Then the End Will Come 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Luke 12:16-21 | Bigger Barns 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
75 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
Ravi Jayakaran, CEO of Medical Ambassadors International, on the Transformative Power of Community Health Evangelism (Ep. 34)
Ravi Jayakaran is the President and CEO of Medical Ambassadors International which works to sustainably transform communities around the world through Christ-centered partnership, resource assessment, and customized training. Ravi’s story begins with his grandfather who left behind a 2000 year family tradition of Hinduism to become one of the first Christians in his community in India. Growing up in the faith, Ravi went on to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine before transitioning to full time work with World Vision. In 2017, he took over leadership of MAI full time. Founded in the late 70s by Dr. Ray Benson, Medical Ambassadors International began as a traditional medical mission-trip style organization with U.S. surgeons providing medical care in Vietnam and several other countries. When Dr. Paul Calhoun took over as President, MAI began to shift from a provision-style ministry to prevention, with notable success. In the ensuing years, that focus began to expand well beyond medicine to a broader community health model now known as community health evangelism (CHE). Today, MAI’s model involves beginning with a community assessment, identifying several village leaders who can take an inventory of the community’s raw material, learned skills, and human resources. Those leaders then identify their community’s greatest needs. Once those needs are identified, MAI provides training so that the community can work towards meeting its own needs with as little external support as possible. Most importantly, each training curriculum is fused with gospel teaching that points to Christ as the ultimate provider and savior. In each community where the CHE process is implemented, MAI routinely sees large numbers of people come to accept Christ as their own saviour as they work to build and strengthen their community. Over the last few decades, MAI has amassed lesson plans on over 10,000 topics from rabbit rearing to mushroom harvesting to microenterprise to serve over 2600 communities in 75 different countries. And each village has at least 20 native volunteers leading the change in their community. Ravi has amazing insight into what it takes to drive sustainable change and gospel rootedness. Listen now to hear all he had to say! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Word and deed need to be in balance. We call that integral mission, or wholistic mission.” “With the resources that they have, what is the best thing to do?” “The drive is constantly to see how we can be more efficient and effective.” “What you put into the center of your development is what drives it. If it’s community resources, community ownership, community capacity, that’s what will drive it. If you bring in an external big box and drop it there, that’s what they’ll wait to see driving the process.” “A community must own its own transformation.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Medical Ambassadors International Dr. Ray Benson – founder of MAI Dr. Paul Calhoun – second president of MAI who shifted focus to prevention Global CHE Network MAI’s specialized programs for women, men, the disabled, and children When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett The Chalmers Center MAI Video: CHE Explained MAI Video: From Then to Now Ravi’s book Healing Lives: Post Crisis MAI’s virtual vision trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Matt 5:14-15 | The Salt and the Light 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
59 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Eric Most, VP for NCF Rocky Mountains, on How to Avoid His Biggest Giving Mistake (Ep. 33)
Eric Most is the VP of the Rocky Mountains region for the National Christian Foundation, a donor advised fund platform that happens to be the 6th largest nonprofit and the largest Christian grant maker in the U.S. Eric began his career at his family’s insurance business, Most Insurance, which he later went on to run. He later went on to sell the business for a significant profit which he used to start a real estate firm and fuel his passion for generosity. However, it wasn’t until after selling his business that he realized that he could have given far more from the proceeds if he had orchestrated the transaction differently. That mistake left a large enough impact on him that he later took a position with the National Christian Foundation to help others avoid the same mistake. NCF was founded over 40 years ago by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue, and Terry Parker as a platform to mobilize resources for the sake of the gospel and inspire generosity. Over this time, NCF has served over 24,000 givers to receive almost 19 billion dollars and deploy 15 billion dollars to charitable impact. Eric had a wealth of advice and experiences to share, particularly about asset-based giving. Over 90% of our wealth as a nation is wrapped up in the things that we own. And by giving out of those assets, like stocks, real estate, and even our own businesses, instead of giving cash, we are able to add several multipliers to the impact of our giving. Eric also had some fantastic advice for financial planners wanting to help their clients through some of these processes. Listen now to hear all he had to share! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “I didn’t know about asset-based giving. I didn’t know about the power of giving before a sale.” “Don’t make my mistakes! There is a better way.” “91% of our wealth as a nation is wrapped up in the things that we own. And we do most of our giving out of that remaining 9%.” “This just became an engine of generosity.” “We are called to greater things than we think.” “There are zealous goers, zealous senders, and the disobedient.” “NCF mobilizes resources and inspired generosity.” “We look as stewarding everything that God has entrusted to us, our business, our assets – these can all be vehicles of greater generosity for the sake of the gospel. And that excites me to no end.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW National Christian Foundation (NCF) John Piper’s sermon entitled “Boast Only in the Cross” at the Passion OneDay Conference in 2000 (also featured in our very own SPRINT program for financial finish lines!) John Piper’s sermon entitled “Doing Missions When Dying is Gain“ Look at the Book by John Piper at DesiringGod.org YouVersion Bible app John Piper’s sermon entitled “A Passion for the Supremacy of Christ—Where He Is Not Named” discussing zealous goers, zealous senders, and the disobedient Kingdom Advisors, and founder Ron Blue Generous Giving (see our interview with Generous Giving founder Todd Harper) Pete Ochs The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
60 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
Chris Hunsberger, CEO of Radical, on Why Something Needs to Change in Global Missions (Ep. 32)
Chris Hunsberger is the CEO of Radical, a ministry founded by pastor and author David Platt. Radical was initially created to help manage and steward the teaching ministry of David Platt, but has grown significantly in recent years to focus on one overarching goal: equipping the church to make disciples of all nations. Today, Radical has a variety of initiatives and events that are designed to accomplish just that. One of Radical’s initiatives called Urgent helps identify strong believers who are advancing the gospel in parts of the world that are completely unreached. Alongside Urgent is the strategic database that Radical has built called Stratus. The Stratus Index provides a comprehensive cross section of every country in the world to identify the intersection of spiritual and physical needs. This information is meant to help missions organizations as well as individuals strategically identify the most effective approaches to reach different areas of the world. Chris has a unique perspective on global missions and what it will take to complete Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Chris shared the sobering fact that the number of unreached people in the world is actually growing, not shrinking, as the population continues to grow, and that our strategy needs to change if we want to see meaningful progress. Listen now to hear what Chris had to say about how we should focus our giving in order to start to shift the pendulum. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “I want to do everything in my power to get the gospel to those who’ve never heard it.” “If we’ve all received the same command, to be part of making Jesus known in all nations, then what does that look like for the local church?” “99% of global missions funding is going to places where the church already exists. That’s called the Great Imbalance.” “We know that for a lot of global missions work, the type of work that’s done is not necessarily the type of work that’s most needed.” “Your giving or missions portfolio must have space for the unreached.” “If we really believe in this command to go and make disciples of all nations, then shouldn’t that drive everything that we do?” “If you are not equipping those that are a part of your faith family to make disciples of all nations, then you are directly disobeying that command.” “Just introducing people to the saving power of Jesus is not enough. So what does the end of the road look like? It looks like healthy churches all over the world.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Radical The Urgent Initiative The Stratus Index Desiring God and John Piper The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
56 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Jeff Gowler, CEO of Global Media Outreach, on Reaching 2 Billion People with the Gospel by Leveraging Technology (Ep. 31)
Jeff Gowler is the president and CEO of Global Media Outreach, which seeks to give every person on Earth multiple opportunities to know Christ by leveraging technology and the internet. Jeff started off in the business world working his way up to Executive Vice President of Operations for one of the top 5 home building companies in the country before setting off to start his own home building company. After God abruptly got his attention, he pivoted to full time ministry, eventually becoming the CEO of GMO. The idea for Global Media Outreach began in 2004 when it’s founder, Walt Wilson, a project manager for Apple under Steve Jobs, was sitting in a meeting at MIT about how to best monetize the internet. As he listened to the discussion, he realized that the internet could be one of the most powerful tools to date in reaching the rest of the world for Christ. Since 2004, GMO has had over 250 million indicated decisions for Christ and has reached over 2.2 billion people with the message of the gospel using digital technology including social media and over 110 different websites. With numbers that large, it is easy to think that these gospel presentations or indications for Christ are simply clicks on a website and nothing more. However, Global Media Outreach has an intensive network of over 3500 online volunteer missionaries who follow up every online interaction with personal conversations and discipleship. As a testament to GMO’s commitment to follow-up and discipleship, in 2020 there were over 750,000 people who had been in a relationship with an online missionary for over 1 year. Jeff has an incredible perspective on the great commission and the work it will take to complete. You won’t want to miss this episode. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “There’s a heavy burden that comes when you are responsible for God’s money.” “We want to make sure that every person on Earth has multiple opportunities to know Jesus.” “The goal is not just to have a disciple, but a reproducing disciple.” “We had to make sure the message wasn’t just translated into the right languages, but also culturalized.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Global Media Outreach GMO’s Live Map (Witness to All) Every Home for Christ Faith Comes by Hearing YouVersion Bible App ExploreGod.com Finishing the Task The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Psalm 46:10 | Be Still 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
57 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
John Mark Eager, Director of the Mailbox Club, on Why Children are the Largest Unreached People Group (Ep. 30)
John Mark Eager is the executive director of the Mailbox Club, an international organization dedicated to advancing the gospel through the discipleship of children. If you haven’t heard of the Mailbox Club, that is probably because they work behind the scenes with many other missions organizations to provide discipleship training and resources to communities all over the world, including many regions that are completely closed to the gospel. Their extensive discipleship programs focus on kids 4-14 as well as teenagers, and even adults at times. Each program is designed to walk a new believer through the core foundations of the Christian faith, the Bible, and the Great Commission. Last year, the Mailbox Club partnered with over 60 thousand churches and 500 thousand volunteers all over the world to disciple 4.4 million children through the core of the gospel and the freedom that Christ offers. One of the incredible parts of the Mailbox Club’s strategy is just how widely adaptable the message of the gospel truly is. John Mark shared how their discipleship materials are being used in unique ways from Eastern Europe to Africa to underground communities in Afghanistan. The gospel hits each culture in a unique way, and it is amazing to watch it take root at an indigenous level and truly become viral. John Mark shares why children should be one of our highest priorities as we seek to bring the gospel to every tribe, nation, and tongue. And you won’t want to miss the incredible stories he had to share of how the church is moving all over the world. Listen now to hear all he had to say! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “And I realized … I could make a million dollars, so what? What does it matter?” “The approach we take is to equip believers around the world – churches and believers – to evangelize and disciple children.” “It literally is like the feeding of the 5000. If you take Jesus out of the story, there’s just no way.” “Children are the greatest harvest field in the world. And they are the most responsive to the gospel. “Adults become proud from success, or bitter from hardships they’ve faced. So it’s very difficult for a lot of adults to bend a knee and become like a child to receive Christ.” “Children are the most unreached people group in the world.” “Children, if won to Christ and properly discipled, can lead long, fruitful lives for Christ.” “It looks different in various countries because it’s indigenous – it’s gone viral, it’s organic, which is beautiful.” “We love to come in behind an organization that has a big evangelism presence and partner with them to provide long term discipleship.” “We cannot name anything we have that has not been given to us by God.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW The Mailbox Club Child Evangelism Fellowship Operation Christmas Child, the shoebox ministry of The Samaritan’s Purse Rodney “Gipsy” Smith My Hope India Evangelism Explosion ROI Ministry Maclellan Foundation Josh McDowell The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Luke 18:16-17 | Let the Children Come to Me 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
55 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
Janine Maxwell, Cofounder of Heart for Africa, from Marketing CEO to Saving a Nation One Child at a Time (Ep. 29)
Today, we’re joined by Janine Maxwell, cofounder of Heart for Africa. Janine began her professional career in marketing, starting her own company in Canada at a young age. She quickly found success in the business world and rose to be one of the first female CEOs of a major marketing company in the world, with all the status and lifestyle that came with it. However, God had a radically different purpose for her life. After a series of life-changing events, God led Janine to abruptly shut down her successful company in order to better hear his voice in her life. And that initial step of faith allowed Janine and her husband Ian to eventually found Heart for Africa, a faith-based humanitarian aid organization. Unlike a number of organizations we’ve spoken to which try to tackle a specific problem across multiple regions and people groups, Heart for Africa is completely dedicated to systematically and sustainably serving the Eswatini people in Southern Africa. They use the acronym HOPE to define their mission addressing hunger, orphans, poverty, and education through project canaan, a 2500 acre land development project. Janine has an incredible personal story as well as some fantastic insight on sustainability in faith-based humanitarian aid that you won’t want to miss, so stay tuned. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “And I explained to God why it would be better if I sold my business, because then I would have more money to give him… but the need was immediate, and He was calling me immediately.” “So many Americans need to get out of the little bubble that they live in, to get out of the reality that they live in and see what’s happening in the rest of the world.” “We love them back to life.” “If it wasn’t us, it would have been someone else. Someone else would have had the blessing of rescuing that child. I would have missed out on a lifetime of blessing.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Heart for Africa Project Canaan Farm Flyover Tour The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren Janine’s new book, Hope Lives Here Heart for Africa’s online artisan shop, Khutsala.com Heart for Africa on Facebook Heart for Africa on Instagram The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
73 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
Adili Kea, COO of SERV International, on Using Food as a Platform to Share Christ (Ep. 28)
Adili Kea is the chief operations and development officer of SERV International, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that uses food as a platform to share Christ. Born in Kenya, Adili shares about experiencing poverty, hunger, and death from a young age, and about how missionaries and other nonprofit organizations helped him at different stages of growing up. He ultimately moved to the U.S. and later joined SERV International to help bring food, and more importantly, the gospel, to his home country. SERV trains and supports farmers in Kenya to produce large volumes of food which SERV then purchases from them. The food is brought by native Kenyan missionaries to communities in Kenya and throughout Africa in need of disaster relief. Wherever they bring food, these missionaries share Christ with the people they meet. The model has allowed them to support hundreds of women farmers in Kenya, pouring funding into the local economy, and creating an impressively sustainable model where Kenyans are supporting their own community when there is need of immediate relief. Having experienced life in Kenya and in the U.S., Adili had all sorts of perspective and stories to share on topics like why Christians in Kenya tend to live out their faith more radically and the incredible power of organizations working together towards a common goal. Listen now to hear all he had to say! QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Money amplifies what is in your heart.” “Ministry is a lifestyle for me. It’s not going to serve. It’s not going to church.” “For 15 years, SERV did not fundraise. As God continued to bless Steve’s business, he continued to take his money and pour it into SERV International. “If you go in with Jesus as the good news, then people get attached to Jesus, not the resources that you’re bringing.” “Food is key to our success, but it’s not the reason we go out every day.” “We need to trust God’s vision more than our own.” “If we genuinely want to share Christ, then we should all be on the same team.” “I don’t need you to partner with us. I just need you to partner with somebody.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW SERV International Revolution in World Missions, by K.P. Yohannon Atlanta Dream Center (now called Frontline Response) Convoy of Hope Feed the Hungry Unstoppable Foundation Mission Aviation Fellowship Charity Water The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
51 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
Chuck Andrews, Financial Advisor, on Finish Lines, Choosing Nonprofits, and Creative Tax Savings (Ep. 27)
Chuck Andrews is a Financial Advisor based in Birmingham, Alabama who comes from a long lineage of generosity minded Christians, and it is clear that that mindset has permeated every aspect of his life. Like many of our guests, he also lives with a financial finish line, and we had all sorts of questions for him on the topic. Aside from finish lines, you’ll get to hear Chuck’s thoughts on things like how he divides up his giving, how he chooses nonprofits to partner with, and how he incorporates his kids into the process. Stay tuned until the end because Chuck had one of the most fascinating and strategic manager minutes we’ve heard on the podcast so far and you won’t want to miss it. QUOTES TO REMEMBER “Don’t be a reservoir, be a conduit.” “It’s not mine, it’s all His.” “Nearly 100% of my giving goes to something gospel centered, that has eternal focus.” “When I have structured my giving, I’ve said those offerings are going to organizations that serve widows, orphans, and the poor.” “If it’s anything above this line, I’m giving it away – all of it.” “I like to pick a handful of organizations and go deep with them.” LINKS FROM THE SHOW Radical by David Platt Doulos Partners (see our interview with CEO and founder, David Johnson) Neverthirst (see our interview with CEO, Matt Letourneau) International Justice Mission Compassion International The American Gospel Donor Advised Funds through the National Christian Foundation Ron Blue, founder of Kingdom Advisors The Finish Line Community Facebook Group The Finish Line Forum BIBLE REFERENCES FROM THE SHOW Luke 12:48 | To Whom Much is Given 48 Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Matt 25:14-30 | The Parable of the Talents 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Mark 12:17 | Give to Caesar What is Caesar’s 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. Matt 26:7-11 | Jesus Anointed 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! If you have a thought about something you heard, or a story to share, please reach out! You can leave a comment below or reach out on our contact page.
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