December 4

Episode 1378: Interview with John Finkelde About the Connection Between Church and Business Leadership

Inspired Stewardship Podcast, Interview


Join us today for the Interview with John Finkelde, about the connection between church and business leadership...

This is  the interview I had with speaker, coach, and pastor John Finkelde.  

In today’s podcast episode, I interview John Finkelde.  I ask John about how he went from pastor to business leader and how the two are connected.  John also shares how his personal journey with money and finances affected his views on faith. I also ask John to share how church leadership and entrepreneurial mindsets are related.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1378: Interview with John Finkelde About the Connection Between Church and Business Leadership

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1, 378 of the Inspired Stewardship

[00:00:08] John Finkelde: Podcast. Hi, I'm John Finkelde. I want to challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time. Your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to get your heart and mind set on God is key.

[00:00:22] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer,

[00:00:38] how challenging it is. And you're not leading robots. You're leading humans. You're leading people who have opinions and ideas that are contrary to what you're thinking, where you want to go and how you lead them in a way that honors them, that engages with them. Uh, but also at times kind of even provokes them, at times exhorts them, encourages them, Hey, maybe have a look at it from this angle.

[00:00:59] [00:01:00] Welcome

[00:01:01] Scott Maderer: and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:33] In today's podcast episode, I interview John Fucheldi. I asked John about how he went from pastor to business leader and how the two are connected. And John also shares how his personal journey with money and finances affected his views on faith. I also asked John to share how church leadership and the entrepreneurial mindset are related.

[00:01:54] I've got a new book coming out. called Inspired Living. Assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering [00:02:00] your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up for getting more information over at InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living. That's InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living.

[00:02:17] As lead pastor at C3 Church Hepburn Heights, John led his church through generational renewal, which saw the church grow while planting a new church every three years, and also moved to a purpose built, multi million dollar worship center. When John finished pastoring in 2012, he founded Grow a Healthy Church and has conducted over 160 on site and online church consults in five nations.

[00:02:42] Through Christ's grace, he has helped churches improve their health. grow numerically, increase their volunteer numbers, develop stronger connections with visitors, raise more money and build leadership pipelines. He is also the author of five books on church leadership. John has a wife of 45 years with [00:03:00] two adult children and four grandsons.

[00:03:03] Welcome

[00:03:03] John Finkelde: to the show, John. Hey, Scott. Great to be with you today. So we're,

[00:03:09] Scott Maderer: we're talking across time zones. So it's always fun when you talk to somebody who's in like the next day how's the day shaping up? Is tomorrow going to be good for us?

[00:03:19] John Finkelde: It's Saturday evening here. We've had a fabulous day.

[00:03:22] So you can look forward to an absolutely magnificent day ahead of you. We've got it all signed up and polished for you.

[00:03:28] Scott Maderer: Yeah it's always fun working with the times and things. So I shared a little bit in the intro of your journey and a few of the things that you're doing now and how you got there, but I joke with people and say intros and bios are always like the Instagram photos of our life we make sure that we leave the dirty laundry out of the frame.

[00:03:50] Yeah. So let's dig into it a little deeper. What what brought you through the journey of doing. Doing the church stuff yourself, doing all of the [00:04:00] work and the renewal and all of that. And now backing up, reframing a little bit and focusing on helping other churches with the growth problems and the changes and the leadership and the things that they struggle with.

[00:04:15] John Finkelde: Yeah, I think a huge passion of my life over my journey as a pastor, even back as a youth pastor back in the day. Some people say that all pastors are recovering youth pastors. I was going to say,

[00:04:27] Scott Maderer: bless, bless you for your service. Thank you.

[00:04:30] John Finkelde: Even back in the youth day, I used to prepare youth.

[00:04:33] Training manuals for youth leaders in our church to help them do better. And I've always had a passion for people development to help people find their place, their spot, if you like, their gift and really shine in that area. So when we came to the end of our pastoring journey, which was 30 years long in our church my wife and I sit down and thought, what do we do best?

[00:04:57] What's really our passion? [00:05:00] If we've got enough 10, 20 years left of active ministry life. What would we like to do? And it really boiled down to the fact that we love seeing people shine in their call, in their role, in their passion around, especially around church leadership. And so when we jumped into consulting and coaching, we found it just the real niche for us that worked for us because.

[00:05:22] We found consulting with churches, coaching them, having raised up many ministers through our own church and planning churches, we found great joy in that. It's been a continued journey of people development and seeing people do well and in all sorts of areas. It can be in their leadership life.

[00:05:39] It can be in their preaching life, but also in their personal world, in terms of their marriage, family, their finances their parenting. It's helping pastors and ministers and church leaders just do better. in life to steward their particular gifts and call well.

[00:05:56] Scott Maderer: So if I ask you to reflect, if you go back even [00:06:00] further before you started the ministry, think about childhood, think about college, think about growing up, connecting the dots in reverse is what I call it.

[00:06:09] When we look backwards, we often see things that we didn't see when they Do you see echoes of that even from the very beginning?

[00:06:17] John Finkelde: Yeah, probably in my teenage years, I definitely I definitely was the leader both in my school environment and my sporting environment, captained various sporting teams.

[00:06:28] And also, I think as a captain I, various sporting teams, I, it was I wasn't playing golf or tennis, which is a more individual game, it was Australian rules football, it was cricket. Which I guess to any of my American friends listening, they're going, hang on, what are those sports?

[00:06:46] They're not baseball and basketball, but they are a team orientated sport and Australian rules teams, large teams, 20 odd players, cricket teams are 12 players. So you really have to interact with other people to bring out the best in them. It's just not [00:07:00] about your individual performance. It's really about a team performance.

[00:07:04] So I think I'd say back in my teenage years, there was both That desire to see people do well in that environment, but also I think as a teenager growing up in a non Christian home, I didn't come from a household of faith. I came to Christ when I was 19. I think there was a deep hunger within me to find out.

[00:07:25] What's the purpose of life? What's the point of being here? And I think when I came to Christ, it was I'd have to say, Scott, almost immediately, I wanted to go and do something that had an impact on other people. And in my my very kind of immature, naive thinking, I thought, wow, if you become a Christian and you're really serious, you become a missionary.

[00:07:49] That was my framework. Very naive and idealistic. But right from the get go, I was okay, I'm a Christian now. I better get about helping other people. And I think that's [00:08:00] the way to do that is to

[00:08:01] Scott Maderer: become a missionary.

[00:08:01] John Finkelde: Yeah, that's it. And I didn't become a missionary, become a pastor, I think there's the, oh, then you didn't

[00:08:07] Scott Maderer: help anybody.

[00:08:08] Yeah, .

[00:08:10] John Finkelde: I just created trouble for people. .

[00:08:13] Scott Maderer: Oh, I'm sorry.

[00:08:14] John Finkelde: No, it's fine mate. I I think there's been a long abiding desire there to see people do well, and also in the middle of that to just find my place and role. In walking with people and also being a leader to give 'em some direction, some guidance on how they can do well.

[00:08:32] in their life. So yeah, it's been I look back on my life now. I I'm at a different stage of life. I'm not a young man anymore. I look back with a great sense of satisfaction, to be honest with you through the ups and downs of my life to be able to see fulfilling that, that passion to see people get, do better in their life.

[00:08:55] Scott Maderer: So let's talk a little bit more about the faith part of it and your faith journey. [00:09:00] How did that growing up in a non christian home, coming to Christ as a teenager, but almost in a a young adult, whichever name you want to give it, right? As I get older, it's I said something the other day where I said this kid, and somebody looked at me and said, they're 22.

[00:09:19] I'm like, I know, but that's still a kid at this age. It wasn't when I was 22, but it is now. But that the, as a young man, how did your faith journey affect and intersect with becoming a pastor and the work that you do and how did the leadership and the faith journey.

[00:09:40] affect each other.

[00:09:41] John Finkelde: Yeah. When I came to Christ in 19, it was a transformational experience. I was in another nation when it happened at 19, I was traveling. It's really looking for purpose and hope and looking for God in a way and coming to Christ, I really didn't know a lot of people in that nation.

[00:09:57] In fact, probably, I probably knew about [00:10:00] two or three to be honest, when that happened. So I had no framework of. Previous friends, family around me. So I just threw myself immediately into church life. And every time the doors of the church opened, I was there. I was passionate. I was involved. I was a real zealot at that stage.

[00:10:17] Went to Bible college as we had it back in the days, going back a long way now, not really a credentialed college like we have now with academic rigor to it. It was just a. a lifestyle college, if you like, really developing leadership. And I remember the Dean of our college coming to me one day and said, John, I can just see you being a leader.

[00:10:38] I can see you being a pastor, a minister. And I think that kind of fanned into flames, that desire to become a leader. And then when I got involved in our own local church, I just kept putting my hand up to do things I was basically volunteering, especially in youth work. I loved youth work because I was.

[00:10:56] Still a young adult, but here we are hanging out with [00:11:00] 14, 15, 16 year olds who are unruly, energetic, they're a lot of fun, but also you've got to, you've got to work your backside off to really make sure you engage with them and keep them engaged. You can't do it. 30 minute 30 minute dissertation on the book of Hosea or something, expect a 14 year old to stay with you.

[00:11:20] You've got to make it relevant and it's got to be interesting and engaging. So I think I cut my teeth a lot on youth leadership, discovering youth leadership, and then started running the youth group in our church, which required me to develop leaders, to think about leaders. And I was a bit of a arrogant gung ho.

[00:11:37] driven leader, I would say, Scott. And I had various experiences that that knocked me around that my pastor made sure that a good degree of the arrogance was knocked out of me. He was a firm disciplinarian, very loving, but also very firm and put me in, into no, left me of no shadow of doubt about the fact [00:12:00] that, hey John, it's all about people.

[00:12:02] It's not just about you and your leadership and what you want to achieve. It's about you. people, it's about where they're going in their context and their framework. So I learned a lot in those early days of youth leadership and especially being mentored and coached by my pastor who did a, I would say he was just marvelous at that work of being firm, but also just keep giving me opportunities to preach in our church, opportunities to lead in our church.

[00:12:29] Opportunities to serve even on the church board at a fairly young age. I was 28 when I joined our church board. He just kept opening the doors for me and gave me an abundant chance, if you like, to really develop the giftings that I had. So I think often in leadership. It's really about the people who open the doors for you more than your own skills and abilities to develop and grow.

[00:12:53] It's about people who say, come on, step up, have a go, try this. If you don't do it quite right, that's okay. We'll [00:13:00] train you and help you develop. So I think I learned a lot of that passion and heart of people developing from him as well. And leadership. Often it's one of those things you can study the theory, you can read the books, you can learn information, but there's a big difference between that and actually putting it into practice too.

[00:13:21] Scott Maderer: So there, there's a degree to which there's still some point where you've got to actually go out there and do it and put the rubber to the road, so

[00:13:28] John Finkelde: to speak. And you realize how difficult it is. It sounds great reading a John Maxwell book on leadership, but then actually putting that theory into practice is when you really discover how challenging it is and you're not leading robots, you're leading humans, you're leading people who have opinions and ideas that are contrary to what you're thinking, where you want to go and how you lead them in a way that honors them.

[00:13:53] That engages with them but also at times even provokes them at time, exhorts them, encourages [00:14:00] them. Hey, maybe you have a look at it from this angle. So you're absolutely right. It's not till you really get in the ring and start boxing away that you go, Oh my goodness. All right. This is what it's really like.

[00:14:10] I think one famous, there's one famous general or boxer said once the battle starts or your plans go out, soon as the first punch is thrown.

[00:14:19] Scott Maderer: No plan survives first contact with the enemy. That's the actual quote. Yeah,

[00:14:25] John Finkelde: absolutely. And you in leadership, it's like that soon as you step into it, man, the theory is okay, but the reality is very different.

[00:14:34] Scott Maderer: I actually heard John say one time from John Maxwell from the stage that he says the thing about leadership is it would be a lot easier if there weren't people involved. And it's actually that's really accurate and by the way, the leader is one of those people too, because we bring our own biases and opinions and shortfalls and anger and frustration and every [00:15:00] other emotion that we can have too to the equation.

[00:15:02] So sometimes we're part of the problem. Like you said, you had a mentor that helped knock some arrogance out of you because that was part of the kept you from being a good leader. So when you think about that transition that you made from pastoring and leading in that kind of capacity to now founding your own business and doing your own your own thing, so to speak, how did that transition?

[00:15:32] What are some of the things you learned as you went through that transition? What are some of the things that came out to you about how you view your life, how you view money, how you view business, how you view leadership? What changed with that transition?

[00:15:45] John Finkelde: It is a massive transition from being a pastor to being a consultant and a coach, which is what I am today.

[00:15:52] And I've been doing that for 12 years now. And Scott, it's interesting. When I talk with other pastors [00:16:00] today I would. Call our Grow A Healthy Church consulting. I'd call it a ministry. When I'm talking to business people, I call it a business because it is a combination of both and it has a ministry aspect, but also a business aspect.

[00:16:14] And in leading a large church, you do have to have a business mindset about some aspects of the church. But when you're a solopreneur, when you're a consultant and I don't have any staff, I don't want staff, I've had staff, I'm completely happy being a solopreneur and I use contractors to get things done.

[00:16:32] It really is a different mindset because if you don't, if you don't make money, you don't eat. You're not, there's no offerings going out on Sunday that's going to bring income for the church for salaries. If I don't get out there and create work, and one of the things that I learned pretty quickly was, is that I need to focus on things that create a cash flow for the business to work.

[00:16:56] And I think it's, I think it's, I don't know if it's a Disney saying or [00:17:00] it's some large sort of entertainment industry company says we, we don't make movies to make money. We make money so we can make movies and it's really been a framework for me around our consulting business is that I don't do this.

[00:17:16] So I make finance to get wealthy. I make money so that I can do this and do more of it and do it better and do it more effectively. And so I really found quite early on that if I didn't learn sales, if I didn't learn marketing, if I didn't learn cash flow management very strictly and very carefully watched those things of cash flow management, which I did do as a pastor to a degree, but I had a business manager back then to handle that for me.

[00:17:43] I realized that if I didn't, if I didn't keep a handle on all those things and learn those things that my business would be in trouble pretty quick. So I've learned a lot about marketing the last 12 years, a lot about sales. I've learned a lot about cash flow. I've learned a lot about the fact [00:18:00] that money does make the thing tick over, but it's not the purpose of what I do.

[00:18:04] The purpose is a far bigger mission of partnering with pastors, helping churches become healthier in what they're doing in their mission. But I'll tell you what it's a different ball game. Completely different ballgame to pastoring. And I really enjoy it actually. I've enjoyed the challenge of learning that.

[00:18:22] I've enjoyed the stretch of that. You still require the same levels of faith, I believe in a business setting as you do as a pastor. When a pastor looks at the budget for a church, you have to operate in faith to believe for the income. When a business person looks at their business, I think they need to operate faith and prayer and believe for clients to believe for cashflow to come.

[00:18:47] A friend of mine says you have faith for income, wisdom with expenditure, not the other way around. You believe the Lord to provide, you believe the Lord to bring your client, to bring the Lord to bring business in, and then you're [00:19:00] wise in how you expend that money. Don't spend by faith. Raise income by faith and then be very careful, frugal, wise in how you spend that money.

[00:19:12] So it's been a huge learning curve and one that I've actually enjoyed, to be honest with you. I think

[00:19:18] Scott Maderer: I'm going to steal that expression. Just to let you know,

[00:19:23] John Finkelde: It's by a good friend of mine, Pastor Phil Pringle here in Australia. I will

[00:19:28] Scott Maderer: look him up so that I can give the correct attribution, but I'm going to cause that's the way of saying that.

[00:19:34] Yeah.

[00:19:34] John Finkelde: Yeah. I was just sitting in an airport with him once and we were talking about. I think church finance. And he just said that phrase. Yeah. Faith for income, wisdom with expenditure. I said, Oh, hang on, Phil, I'm writing that down years ago and I've used it many places. And everyone says that is, that's a really good axiom, a good truth, I think.

[00:19:54] And I think you've got to be careful. And I tell business leaders this, I tell [00:20:00] pastors, church leaders, any leadership person, I say, don't spend money by faith. Don't spend money and then expect the money to come in. Don't do that. Flip your faith over towards the income. As the income comes in, then spend it carefully, wisely leverage it into things that will enable you to actually make more income so you can keep that cycle going of sowing and reaping.

[00:20:23] Scott Maderer: Yeah. Cause the spending by faith is where you end up a lot of times with a church that has the, if we build it, they will come mentality and they end up in trouble. I tell a story of I used to travel all the time and I used to go to Baltimore a lot. And so I got to know Baltimore very well.

[00:20:41] And there was a beautiful old church down near a hotel where I often stayed. And so I usually would go for a walk. Often I'd walk by that church One Sunday or one week. And as I was walking by, there was a sign on the church, how it had been closed down and foreclosed and [00:21:00] behind it was a brand new mission hall.

[00:21:02] And to this day, I wonder if the reason that it closed down is because they took on too much debt, trying to build a new building, trying to get more people to come. I don't know that for a fact, but I strongly suspect

[00:21:14] John Finkelde: that's what happened. Sounds like the story.

[00:21:17] Scott Maderer: Because I've seen that happen in many churches over the years.

[00:21:20] When you think about that entrepreneurial mindset and the business mindset that you're talking about, and you mentioned there is a component even in churches where they have to have some of that. How do you see the mindset? Business owners, because you work with business owners, you work with church folks what's the similarities?

[00:21:40] What's the differences? What's the challenges when you think about the mindset that those two groups

[00:21:46] John Finkelde: face? Yeah, look, I think they're really similar. I think they're more similar sometimes than what we realize, and some church leaders Don't like to hear that. To be honest, Scott, they think we're not a business.

[00:21:56] We're a church. We're operating in spiritual realm, et cetera. [00:22:00] And I say that's true. Your value system is around the scriptures. It's around Jesus. It's around spiritual values, but there's a business side and a management administration side of your church that is exactly the same. I think as a business world, even though I know you're not producing a product of widget, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:22:22] to convince church leaders that there is a similarity. And I think it does come down to the fact that I think church leaders and business people really need to develop their financial intelligence as an individual, and then bring that financial intelligence into their church or into their company or their organization might be nonprofit organization, whatever it is.

[00:22:43] And I think going on a personal journey of developing your financial intelligence of discovering about. budgeting, savings, investing, mindsets around money, having a good relationship with money. Having worked out [00:23:00] what credit card debt is and how to get out of that, how to pay down a mortgage, how to live well within your means, how to do all those sorts of things, I think is so important.

[00:23:10] So whether you're a business person or a church leader leading a nonprofit, whatever organization you are leading, I think it's really incumbent upon you to grow in your financial intelligence just as you. As a leader, we talk a lot about emotional intelligence, that self awareness aspect of ourselves and other people and being emotionally aware.

[00:23:31] I think growing your financial intelligence and my wife and I have done a really large journey to be honest with you over the last, I would say probably 25 to 30 years of growing in that area and then leading our church into that realm of being intelligent financially, as well as intelligent emotionally and spiritually and...

[00:23:52] general IQ if you like as well. So I think there's a great similarity because whatever is in the leader whether it's the [00:24:00] business leader or the church leader will get into the organization. Whether it's a company, whether it's a non profit, a church, water flows from the top. And whatever's in you financially and your framework and your mindset however developed or immature that is, that will infiltrate around you.

[00:24:20] You won't stop it infiltrating. It will flow out of you like water flows out of a dam. It'll just flow out of you of who you are. So I think any business leader or church leader listening to us today, say do it, do a long comprehensive journey to become as a financially intelligent person as you possibly can.

[00:24:40] Scott Maderer: And yet. Often, and by the way, this is not just church leaders. Cause I work with a lot of small business owners and I actually have worked with pastors and church folks too. You know what one pastor told me one time, tell you what, Scott, you come in and preach on money, the hard topic next week, I'll preach on sex cause that's easier.[00:25:00]

[00:25:03] We don't like to talk about money and I don't think that's just unique to America. I think that's a lot of a lot of global it pretty much seems to be true. So how do you help them understand that digging into that side of it and understanding their own relationship with that money, their own mindset how they work with money is so important to the success of the church, the success of the,

[00:25:30] John Finkelde: the business.

[00:25:31] Yeah. One of the things I tell church leaders, and I think this applies also to business leaders in, in a, probably a different way, but I tell church leaders. Pastors. I say, look, every year do a full week preaching series on money. And you're totally right. Preaching on money and sex are the two hardest topics.

[00:25:50] And it's fascinating whenever you do preach on money or sex, everyone goes very quiet. And the reason for that is that you're dealing with things that are very. [00:26:00] Very internal, very private, very close to a person's heart. I would never ask my best friend about how's your sex life. I would also never ask them how much do you earn a year?

[00:26:10] That's a very private thing in Australia. I'm sure it is around the globe as well. So what I encourage church leaders to do is the reason that I would say to you, preach every year for four weeks, and maybe as a business leader, Think of the people that you're developing in your business, those people coming up in management give some thought of how you help them develop financial intelligence.

[00:26:33] So you mightn't be a pastor preaching, but there's still development opportunities. And if you don't develop people in their financial world, my goodness, that's a huge part of their life. So what I say to pastors, look, If you have to preach every year for four weeks on money, what's going to happen to you?

[00:26:50] You're actually going to get better at managing your own money, learning about investments, learning about budgeting, learning about savings, learning about lowering debt, [00:27:00] because you know you're going to be a fraud. if you preach and you don't operate it. So it's a it's a kind of a really good habit because it'll build good habits in your life.

[00:27:11] It'll actually boost your financial intelligence in that whole process. So I think by encouraging pastors down that line, most pastors who have integrity, which I think is the huge majority of pastors who are out there will go, you know what? I can't get up in front of my congregation, talk about these things unless I'm practicing them myself.

[00:27:30] Am I being generous? Am I being frugal? Am I being prudent? Do I understand how investments work? Do I understand what pressure business people are to raise income for their business? I need to get inside the head of that, see what the Bible says, but also see what's happening in people's lives. So it's, I guess a bit of a sneaky way for me to help pastors, if you like, go work on this area yourself, and then you'll work on it in a church, and you'll actually then help your church do better in [00:28:00] that, because every time I say to a pastor, every time you do a four week series, at the end of it, Offer a four week course for people to come to outside of Sunday church, where they can come and better manage their money, learn to be an investor, maybe learn to start a little business on the side to create extra income, whatever, just learn to handle money better because you.

[00:28:21] you'll sleep better, you'll be healthier, you'll do better in life if you're more financially intelligent and managing your money far better. And I think even small business people can do this with their staff to a degree have a pep talk every week with your staff and every now and again, talk about how you handle your own personal finances, because as well as I do, Scott, people think about their money.

[00:28:46] Every week and possibly every day of every week people think about their money and how it's going and if you help people in this area of their life, if you're a leader in any organization, you help people think health, [00:29:00] healthy thoughts about money, you're actually going to help their life and they will follow you a lot easier and a lot better.

[00:29:07] Scott Maderer: I know for the business owner and actually I think this is true. in churches too. I think it shows up in a different way, but it shows up. There's a lot of studies out there that show that the number of lost hours of work because people are dealing with financial thoughts or financial worries or financial concerns.

[00:29:25] In other words, even if you want to just purely selfish reason to do it, your company will actually be more successful and run better if people actually have a better set of money habits because they don't have to worry about they're not worried about visa calling. at work.

[00:29:42] Yeah. Because they've dealt with visa in whatever way that that, whatever that means. I actually and I think you do as well I, you talked about a four week like class or workshop series or doing those things. I've done those for churches and for small businesses.

[00:29:58] That's actually something that, that [00:30:00] I've provided before where I come in and do a workshop series for congregants or for staff or leadership depends on what the. Organization once and you're right. It shows a lot of improvement in, again, like you said, sometimes just bringing someone in and knowing they're going to be there talking on it means, okay, now I actually have to understand what they're talking on because people are, I gotta walk the walk or else I'm going to be inauthentic and not not actually doing it.

[00:30:32] So that's so true. So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I go there, is there anything else about the work that you do that you think or that you'd like the listener to hear?

[00:30:46] John Finkelde: Yeah, look I think in terms of our, probably our own journey around financial intelligence, my wife and I both come from very working class backgrounds, we'd call it in Australia, battlers, [00:31:00] low socioeconomic my wife just sources.

[00:31:05] of scenarios in her family, my own family as well. My dad was a gambler and a drinker and money was, we never had a lot of money. And so we decided

[00:31:14] Scott Maderer: Addicts don't usually end up with a lot of money in

[00:31:17] John Finkelde: one way or another. They don't. We were poor. And so we both come from poor backgrounds. So 25 years ago, we decided to go on a journey and became investors.

[00:31:26] We did some kind of radical things in our life. We we did one thing I never recommend to people to do. I said, this is a message, not a model. Don't do this. Please don't do this. We sold our family home, parked a huge chunk of the equity and into a long term deposit in a bank safe, took a chunk of that equity and decided to try property investing and shares investing just to change our mindset.

[00:31:53] And we had some success and some failure as all investors do, but it started us on a journey that we're [00:32:00] still on 20 plus years later. We're property investors and we build our financial intelligence by doing things that have been pushing us in different times, way beyond our comfort levels and our boundaries.

[00:32:14] But it's really taught us a lot about money, a lot about generosity, a lot about greed and fear as well. You discover those things within yourself whenever you invest money. So I think I probably would say to anyone who wants to grow in this area of stewardship of their life is do a journey, but be prepared to do at least a 10 year journey to discover.

[00:32:37] yourself, educate yourself, talk to people who've done well with finance, talk to wealthy people who've made good money in business, or we've been entrepreneurs. Discover how people tick about this area and you'll do yourself a big favour with this. And one of the things I actually do, Scott, is I actually work with pastors to help them improve their personal finances.

[00:32:56] It's just it's not a main thing I do in my [00:33:00] consulting, but when I bump into a pastor's family that I know is deeply struggling, I try and get them a pay rise immediately. As soon as I can, I try and get him a pay rise. I try and get him thinking differently about money. I try and get him to think about starting a little business on the side to create income and so on, because I have a deep passion to help pastors and church leaders do better with their money and come from my own journey, which yeah, challenging, terrifying at times, but overall a very exciting journey as well.

[00:33:31] Scott Maderer: So this is my brand is Inspired Stewardship and I run things through that lens of stewardship. And you've mentioned that word a few times, and of course it's a word that, that we use a lot in the church culture. When you hear the word stewardship, what does that word mean to you?

[00:33:48] And what is the impact of that understanding had on your life?

[00:33:52] John Finkelde: Yeah, look, it means to me, I don't own anything. I am a steward of everything. I've done a lot of funerals [00:34:00] as a pastor. I've never seen anyone take anything with them. As I think Job said, naked, I come into this world naked, I'm going out.

[00:34:08] And one of my favorite sermons I ever heard preach was a friend of mine. And I've actually taken and preached to myself of the five parables and Luke 15, 16, you've got the lost the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, the very three. famous parables, the prodigal son, but people don't realize they're connected to two parables in Luke 16, which is the unjust steward who actually uses worldly wealth to open doors for himself.

[00:34:37] Once he loses his master's favor, he uses actually his master's money to open those doors. And it's a parable connected. To the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son. And then the parable after the fifth parable is Lazarus and the rich guy going into eternity and that fourth parable really talks about what are you [00:35:00] doing with the resources of your master?

[00:35:02] What are you doing with all the things that God has given you? Both financial, gifting, property, assets, time because you don't own any of those assets. I think this Scott, as I get older, you realize more and more, you know what? I'm not going to take any of this with me. All the things that I own now, my clothes.

[00:35:22] I'm sitting here in my home office with computers and screens and cameras and all this stuff that I own. I don't really own it. I get to use it for a while and some master's resources that I'm stewarding. So it does, whenever I bump into this concept, cause you tend to forget, you see yourself as an owner.

[00:35:43] Then I realized I bumped into this concept again in that parable. I'm actually a steward. I actually am looking after. The Lord's resources. So it produces with me a deep sense of responsibility and here's a left field thought, but because I live in Australia, and Australia is [00:36:00] a very prosperous nation, our lifestyle here is stunning.

[00:36:04] It is one of the best in the world. I actually feel a responsibility to utilize the prosperity opportunities I have here in Australia. to build prosperity, to build wealth, not just for my family, but for kingdom enterprise. And I feel like I, I am not in a developing nation. I'm not in a third world country.

[00:36:25] I'm not poverty stricken. Therefore I have a responsibility to steward this opportunity to actually gain wealth for kingdom enterprise. So I feel the stewardship responsibility quite yeah, quite deeply in my heart, to be honest. So this

[00:36:41] Scott Maderer: is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. Imagine for a minute that I had this magic machine and with the power of this machine, I could pluck you from where you sat today and transport you into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years.

[00:36:56] Wow. But through the power of this machine, you were able to look back [00:37:00] and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left in the world?

[00:37:10] John Finkelde: I probably I'd say threefold. One is my marriage and my family that I have people would I would look at my marriage and go, I've been married 45 years this year.

[00:37:24] I would look at my marriage and say well done, John you survived and your wife survived the journey. Being married 45

[00:37:32] Scott Maderer: years is already an accomplishment in today's world. It is

[00:37:35] John Finkelde: actually, it is, but I've still got plenty to go. Yeah, I would want my marriage to be a significant impact that people would be appreciative of that, that my children would be healthy in terms of their soul, in terms of their own mindset and framework of life and physically, of course, as well.

[00:37:53] And my same for my grandsons and great. How many of a generations go for 250 years [00:38:00] family really important to me in my past stream journey that people would have felt well shepherded. in the church that I led, they would have felt loved. They would have felt connected to Jesus. And also I think in my consulting and coaching and writing ministry that that has helped pastors and churches within my generation.

[00:38:22] I'm not going to be a child's virgin. No one's going to be reading my sermons in a hundred years. I just want to have an impact in my generation. And if something lives on after me, great, but I'm not too worried if it doesn't, because I think you get one shot at it. And if I can do something in this lifetime that has helped pastors and church leaders do it well in a sustainable and healthy way, they've grown healthy churches.

[00:38:48] Man, I'd be thrilled if that was the legacy I'd be looking back on. I'd be very satisfied with that, Scott.

[00:38:56] Scott Maderer: So as we wrap up the year and go into 2024, [00:39:00] what's on the roadmap? What's coming next for you?

[00:39:02] John Finkelde: Yeah, I think I'm at a stage of life now. I'm 70 years old and everyone listening will say, man, you don't sound that old.

[00:39:09] I hope they're thinking that anyway. They will now because you said they have to. Yeah, that's right. At

[00:39:17] 70 years of age I really am. getting laser focus even more and more each year that over the next five to 10 years, I want to do everything I possibly can to help church leaders grow healthy churches.

[00:39:32] That's my absolute passion. And I've recently had a proposal come to me to do some work in a Christian endeavor that's not quite aligned with that. And I spent about a week or two looking at it or a bit longer actually. And then, you know what, I looked at it and thought That's not a line with where I really want to niche down and I basically said, no, I can't do it.

[00:39:55] I'm sorry. It's a great opportunity, but I'm saying no to it because I want to be laser focused. I [00:40:00] think I've got another decade left in me, Scott. Especially with the internet these days, I think you can do a lot of things online that allow you to go longer and stronger for many years. So if I can get another decade out of my body and my mind doing what I'm doing in an even more focused manner, I will be thrilled.

[00:40:18] with that. And that's definitely my plan, my strategy, and my whole process is designed to achieve that.

[00:40:29] You

[00:40:29] Scott Maderer: can find out more about John Finkeldy over at his page, growahealthychurch. com. I'll have links to that over in the show notes as well. John, anything else you'd like to share with the

[00:40:40] John Finkelde: listener? I would just say probably reiterate to everyone do a journey on financial intelligence. And if you're not sure where to start, look around your world and find someone who is doing better financially than yourself.

[00:40:57] They may be an investor, maybe a business person. [00:41:00] They may be just someone who's lived very frugally and is living debt free. Take them out for a lunch. You pay for the lunch. They might be more financially well off, but you pay for the lunch. Take your notebook and pen, not a phone, notebook and pen, and sit there and go with a half a dozen questions about money and write down their answers like you're in high school.

[00:41:20] like you're a student, just write down all their answers. They will enjoy it. They'll feel like they're sharing their wisdom and their journey and then go and apply one or two of those things. And then after you've paid for the meal said, thank you. A couple of days later, send them a nice card, a thank you card.

[00:41:38] Appreciate them. Let them know you've got so much out of it. That way you're more than likely to be able to get another lunch in with them to keep learning from them. And they may even start a journey with you. If you're appreciative, if you show interest, and also if you come back to them in two months later and say, Hey, I've taken that principle you gave me and I've applied it.

[00:41:57] It's really helping me. My credit card debt's [00:42:00] really down. Thank you so much. You do that and you'll actually find that you've got you'll get a mentor. Just an all would cost you as the odd lunch.

[00:42:08] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. Absolutely. Great advice.

[00:42:18] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspiredstewardship. com slash iTunes rate.

[00:42:46] All one word, iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes [00:43:00] out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence, and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask John about:

  • How he went from pastor to business leader and how the two are connected...
  • How his personal journey with money and finances affected his views on faith...
  • How church leadership and entrepreneurial mindsets are related...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

You aren’t leading robots you are leading humans you are leading people who have opinions and ideas that are contrary to what you are thinking or where you want to go and how do you lead them in a way that honors them, engages with them but also at times even provokes them or exhorts them. – John Finkelde

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About the author 


Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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