3 Key Questions: How We Define and Evaluate Kingdom Impact

By Will Thomas

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Ambassadors Impact Network

Ambassadors Impact Network (AIN) is an angel investment network based in Dallas, Texas, connecting Christian accredited investors with gospel-advancing entrepreneurs. Since inception in 2018, our members have deployed over USD $20 million across more than 50 companies and funds. In addition to targeting competitive financial returns, we are equally committed to seeking intentional and measurable spiritual impact.

One of the most common inquiries we receive from prospective members and applicant entrepreneurs relates to how we define, evaluate, and measure these kingdom returns. At the heart of our approach is a recognition that entrepreneurs come from diverse spiritual backgrounds, each with unique giftings, passions, and contexts. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to gospel advancement. Instead, we encourage entrepreneurs to articulate how they intend to make Jesus known through three key aspects of their businesses: codified values, business activities, and products and/or services. Below are the questions we ask in our application and some background on each.

1. Incorporating biblical truth into company values

Does your company include biblical principles in the corporate documents (such as mission statement, manuals, etc.)?

Context and examples: Scripture tells us repeatedly of the immense power of words. “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook” (Proverbs 18:4). Indeed, it is through speech that our God brings things into existence. Similarly, we believe that the values of a company, when explicitly stated, play an enormous role in shaping organizational culture, guiding decision-making, and providing a stable foundation for God-glorifying growth. In our diligence process, we ask applicants to share about their corporate values, their alignment with biblical principles, and the extent to which these are formally codified in corporate documents, such as in mission statements, operating manuals, external communications, employee policies, etc. Read more

Scarcity versus Abundance

by Don Simmons

Many of us suffer from a “scarcity” mindset in which we believe that life is a finite pie and if one person takes a big piece, there will be less for everyone.  Counter to this is an “abundance” mindset in which there is plenty available for everyone.

The Apostle Paul challenges the scarcity mindset in his discourse on sowing and reaping in 2 Corinthians 9:6-10.  As you read, you will see words like generous, abundant, abounding, increase, and enlarge—which are an obvious contrast to the limits of scarcity:

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.’ [Ps 112:9]

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”

Wealth Creation: Making More Pie

What Paul seems to suggest is that giving  leads to abundant blessings so that the giver is not depleted, but rather added to. The addition should not be misunderstood to be for our own benefit, but it is given so that we can continue to bless others. The same principle can apply to harnessing the power of investing to increase the wealth in our worldwide economy. Read more

Matching A Steward Investor’s Goals with God’s Goals

by Don Simmons

In my previous post I offered the good news of engaging in worldwide missions through investing into missional businesses.

In order to effectively move capital from where it is stored up (retirement accounts, charitable funds, savings accounts) to where it is in short supply (SMEs in emerging markets, corrupt communities, or impoverished lands), we need to reconsider our personal investment goals.

What are your investment goals?  If you are like most people, your goals probably include high financial return, minimal risk, and tax avoidance. Have you ever thought about why you have those particular goals?

What do you believe matters to God? Frequently people respond by saying that the Great Commission and the Great Commandment matter to God. Have you ever considered that your investments should be aligned with God’s objectives and His purposes since He is, in fact, the true owner of your investments?

What is the connection between our wealth and the kingdom of God?

The familiar story of Jesus’ conversation with the Rich Young Ruler, in which he asks him to sell everything and give to the poor, challenges the common blindness we exhibit when viewing the connection between our wealth and the kingdom of God.

Fiduciaries are obligated  to manage another’s resources according to the true owner’s wishes. As God’s fiduciary, managing God’s resources, we must do some hard work and think through questions like these:

1. Does my portfolio look any different than someone’s who does not proclaim Jesus as their Savior?

If we are merely investing to achieve financial returns and protect our holdings either for our own comfort or to pass on to our children, then we are not investing any differently than the majority of investors on the planet.  We cannot ignore Jesus’ teaching on Mammon in Matthew where he challenges the assumption that a person can serve both God AND Mammon. Read more

God’s Steward Investor and the Great Commission

by Don Simmons

I want to challenge those of us who have achieved basic financial competency and have plans in place for our investments to earn financial returns. If we truly believe that God owns all of our resources, we must believe that includes our investment holdings as well.

We need to become God’s steward investor, one who is charged with managing His resources for His purposes.  He is the true owner, and we are his managers, his oikonomos. An oikonomos, in a Greek household, was the manager of the owner’s resources. As God’s oikonomos in the 21st century, the investments under our management are actually assets that belong to God himself.

An oikonomos commits capital with the expectation of furthering the kingdom of heaven on earth. These steward investors do this by seeking to achieve not only financial returns, but also positive spiritual, social, and environmental impact. A steward investor knows first and foremost that they are a fiduciary,  managing someone else’s resources.

Fulfilling the Great Commission through Investment

Inherent in the term “Business as Mission” is the word mission. Ever since Jesus sent out the seventy-two  into his harvest field, and then charged the believers gathered after His resurrection to go and make disciples of all nations, many followers of Jesus have accepted the call to go as missionaries.

Often willing to risk what’s familiar for what’s foreign, what’s comfortable for what’s complicated, what’s predictable for what’s problematic, men and women stake their lives on God’s faithfulness to go ahead of them and produce fruit from their ministry for His kingdom. Read more

God’s Steward Investor: Investing for Eternal Impact

by Don Simmons

To the BAM Global audience: thank you for the chance to engage with you this month through a series of blogs dedicated to themes of investing God’s resources for eternal impact.

I have been a financial planner for over three decades and a follower of Jesus during my entire career.  In recent years, God has opened my eyes to truths I cannot escape regarding the role we all have to play in connecting our financial resources with God’s eternal purposes. In short, I have come to believe that we are all God’s resource managers, his fiduciaries, and as such we are to become his steward investors. Simply put, we must move beyond financial competence to proactively investing God’s resources to achieve His eternal purposes such as the Great Commission. We must not simply invest for our own temporal financial goals.

What is a Steward Investor?

A steward investor is a person who acknowledges that God owns it all and seeks to invest in a way that accords with God’s purposes.

By definition, a steward is a manager of someone else’s resources. It derives from the Greek word oikonomos, who was the manager in an ancient Greek household. A steward knew he didn’t own anything but had an obligation to manage the resources and affairs of the owner as the owner himself would.

All of our resources—financial and otherwise—have been given to us by God, the true owner. God tasks us as his stewards with managing those resources according to His values, goals, and precepts communicated in scripture.

While many of us value “good stewardship” of our finances, making sure we live on a budget, save, and give generously, most of us have not considered how to steward our investments. Read more

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