How much is a billion? While most of us can quantify it numerically, few have conceptualized it quantitatively. If I asked you to count to a billion, and you spoke in a regular cadence, you would reach a billion in 95.1 years—assuming you counted 24 hours a day nonstop.
How about the volume of a billion? The following may help. Ten oranges would fill a large salad bowl, a thousand oranges the bed of a pickup truck, and a million oranges an Olympic-sized swimming pool. A billion oranges? That would fill up a modern-sized NFL football stadium to the brim.
In his book, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, Niall Ferguson offers a comprehensive overview of the evolution of money, banking, and finance. In 2007, the year leading up to the last major market correction and subsequent recession, Forbes magazine disclosed compensation packages for the top 10 leaders of major banks, investment houses, and hedge funds. Their compensation packages combined exceeded $5.2 billion. That is a lot of oranges.
I offer this introduction to pose a simple question: Have you considered the kingdom impact of the money under your control and your related investment strategies on those funds? I fully support and subscribe to a free market that determines compensation in response to performance. With that said, a significant amount of the liquidity on deposit in the commercial banking industry represents resources controlled and stewarded by Christians. The banks who, in turn, lend these deposits to a variety of borrowers have one objective—profits. Those profits fund salaries most of us cannot relate to in our everyday lives.
The Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation offers competitively priced certificates designed to attract liquidity from churches, Christian individuals, and faith-based institutions. Those certificates are used to provide financing alternatives to churches that are building, acquiring land, or renovating existing facilities. In offering competitive rates to investors and redeploying those resources to growing churches, investors and borrowers benefit and God’s kingdom is advanced. The resources stay within the kingdom and all surplus amounts generated from the foundation are utilized to fund kingdom endeavors.
How much is your bank paying on your individual passbook savings account? Do you have money invested in bank CDs? Would you be open to investing those resources in a way that directly impacts God’s kingdom? If you perform an administrative function in the church, how much money does your church maintain in its operating account? Designated fund accounts? Would your church consider an investment strategy that puts those resources to work for God’s kingdom until they are needed for your operations?
The foundation has 693 certificates issued with investments totaling more than $120 million. Only God knows the kingdom impact those resources have through the 79 loans the foundation has made to churches throughout the state. Opening an account is easy and access to your investments is available through automated platforms that can quickly move money in and out of these certificates as you manage your cash position. The foundation regularly runs promotional campaigns to remain competitive and attract new partners who desire to steward their resources in a way that maximizes a kingdom investment impact.