Advisors have an opportunity to impact the lives of their Christian clients – an opportunity with eternal implications. While most financial professionals focus on stewarding their clients’ wealth from an earthly perspective, it really is possible to guide your clients toward greater generosity.
So what’s the best way to be a good influence for giving?
It’s helpful to consider the other influences that shape your clients’ approach to financial decision-making. Here are three primary financial influencers that you may want to explore with your clients:
- Family: A person’s attitude about money is often deeply influenced by his or her parents’ financial beliefs and practices. As an advisor, you can help your clients consider how their family has influenced their thinking, and what type of legacy they want to pass on to their own children and grandchildren.
- Peers: The influence of peers does not necessarily wane as people grow older. Peers and culture can have a strong influence on people’s thoughts about giving. Most people use their peers as points of reference for their financial decisions. So, you can encourage your clients to become part of a generous community. Your local National Christian Foundation office will have resources, which can help your clients start making connections to other like-minded givers in your area.
- Scripture: Your clients may not be very familiar with what the Bible says about money and giving. In addition to encouraging them to study Scripture, there are many books that can help. Below are some of the most widely read generosity classics, as well as a few that are newer. And keep an eye on our site for new articles every week that you can share to inspire your clients!
Here are a few ideas for helping your clients develop their own generosity:
- What did your parents teach you about money, good or bad?
- What would you do differently or the same?
- How do you want to shape your children’s attitudes about money?
Make plans to attend a local Journey of Generosity (JOG) event with your clients. A JOG event is a unique retreat experience through which your clients can explore God’s calling for their giving among a group of like-minded peers. You can contact your local NCF office to learn more.
- The God Who Gives by Kelly M. Kapic
- Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley
- The Treasure Principle and Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn
- Generous Living: Finding Contentment Through Giving by Ron Blue and Jodie Berndt
- The Selfless Way of Christ by Henry Nouwen
- Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller
As Henri Nouwen writes in The Selfless Way of Christ, our ultimate mission as Christians is to reveal Christ to the world.
You reveal Jesus to your clients when you help them steward their finances in a way that glorifies God.
As a professional advisor, you have a very real opportunity to reveal Christ in your work with clients as you shepherd them along their journeys of generosity.