We know the most important work we’re doing right now at Faith+Finance is listening.
Turning the big-picture vision of this space into an energetic live event and ongoing network of collaboration means learning more about the people we’re meeting and connecting and reconnecting. It means mapping what’s working and what isn’t yet working. It means hundreds of phone calls, dozens of Zoom meetings, and no small number of air miles to in-person meetups and exhibiting opportunities.
We found our recent preview gathering with entrepreneurs and institutional leaders at The Impact Guild in San Antonio to be especially helpful. And we though you might like to hear a bit about what we heard there.
Here are some highlights, which have been edited for clarity and space:
Q: What would help you as a practitioner working in this space?
- Advice on keeping our mission first as our organization grows and becomes more complex.
- Strategies for using resources and finances to benefit communities who are usually marginalized in the business world, especially women and people of color.
- Concrete examples of how congregations have successfully adapted business practices in faithful, values-aligned ways.
- Mentorship opportunities to connect with people who have done this work successfully.
- Tools and frameworks for measuring impact.
- Best practices for legal and accounting.
- Access for faith leaders to more cross-sector learning and conversation, especially with business, nonprofit, and government contacts.
- Language for building buy-in for social entrepreneurship and impact investing among local churches.
- Access to more mission-aligned capital.
Q: Why is the Faith+Finance conversation important to you?
- When you reimagine God’s economy, the power shifts, transitioning from a scarcity to an abundance mindset.
- There is a crisis in funding for mission. Business-as-mission is an approach to sustainable financial existence and for connecting in communities.
- We lack a strong vision for how to use wealth and resources for the Kingdom of God.
- To build a business, you need a community. To build a community, you need to discover its need.
- The culture and landscape is changing drastically. We must evolve with it if we want to be relevant, to learn, to have an impact.
- Economic inequality in San Antonio, the nation, and the world is an urgent crisis.
- In churches, financial literacy is often directed towards low income communities. We need to scale these efforts to an institutional / systems level.
- Generational, demographic, and religious change means even more urgency to use resources well.