After I had been a member of the Board of Baptist Savings for a couple of years, we recognised that some significant changes were needed to meet the demand for growing churches. A strategic planning day for Baptist Savings highlighted the need to find and employ somebody who could enhance the Baptist Savings ministry.
When I accepted that position in March 2011, I gave the Board a business plan with four key things I want to achieve:
1. To lift the profile of Baptist Savings. The organisation has been running for 50 years, and still too few people know who we are. Baptist Savings enjoys a good relationship with most of the leadership of the Baptist Churches of NZ, particularly pastors and church secretaries and treasurers, but it’s important that we connect with the people in the pews.
2. To make sure that Baptist Savings is commercially competitive by offering genuine commercial value to people when they invest with us. Baptist Savings is a viable and commercially competitive investment.
3. To show people how they can leave a legacy and help build God’s Kingdom if they invest with Baptist Savings, rather than putting their money with big institutions that send the profits overseas or line the pockets of unscrupulous business people.
4. Last, but not least, to find a way to show all people in the churches how to reduce their debt, rather than just offering superficial advice.
One of my goals is to ensure that Baptist Savings, together with the Church, becomes a trusted organisation when it comes to advising people on their finances. We must build a voice that is unbiased and not commission driven.
We should be a voice that tells the truth – however difficult that truth may be to say in a public forum – about where to invest and who you can trust.
Already 70 pastors in New Zealand have changed their financial position for the better since the Gathering in November 2011, so why not spread the word to our congregations, families, friends and neighbours? We could use “money” as the new evangelism tool, genuinely help people get rid of debt, and earn the right to tell them about the one who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills!”
Baptist Savings must be an organisation that does those four things.
Always before us is that the need for money in the Baptist family outweighs the money we have to lend. So we are reliant on people investing with us – no matter how small that investment may be. Even a thousand dollars can make a difference. We can do this ... together!
– Andrew L’Almont is the Baptist Savings Business Development Manager