Biblical Stewardship 101: How to Be Good and Faithful Servants

February 01, 2024 00:25:52
Biblical Stewardship 101: How to Be Good and Faithful Servants
The WealthBuilders Podcast
Biblical Stewardship 101: How to Be Good and Faithful Servants

Feb 01 2024 | 00:25:52


Show Notes

Imagine building a business that thrives on biblical principles and impacts your family, employees, and industry. Today, we want to help you take the first step toward making that vision a reality. 

In this episode of the WealthBuilders Podcast, “Biblical Stewardship 101: How to Be Good and Faithful Servants,” host and vice president Karen Conrad Metcalfe welcomes Jeff VanderWal, CEO of ClearShift to share strategies that will help us navigate our businesses in faith. Are you ready to answer the call God has for your business? Then take a listen to this episode!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to the Wealth Builders podcast. I'm Billy Epahard, and on this show you're going to hear from industry leaders in business, real estate and investing. Our wealth builder coaches and myself are excited to teach you how to make sense of making money for making a difference. Okay, let's get started. [00:00:25] Speaker B: Hello and welcome to this week's Wealth Builders podcast. I am so glad that you joined us. And by the way, happy new year as we go into 2024. This is such an amazing opportunity that we have this year. And I just want to remind all of you that we've got the upcoming wealth Builders conference. If you have not yet registered, make sure you do so you can go to forward slash events. And today we have one of our workshop speakers joining us. And let me tell you, you are in for such a treat. I want to welcome Jeff Vanderwald, who is the CEO of Clearshift. And Jeff, you also have a podcast that is called built for a purpose podcast. Welcome. [00:01:12] Speaker C: Well, thank you so much. It's a blessing to be here. It's an honor and I really appreciate the kind words. [00:01:18] Speaker B: Wow. I'm very excited. We've been chatting a bit and I know where we're headed here in this conversation. And I just want to let all of you know that Jeff is incredibly, just successful. He is so committed to God. He has got insight that he's been able to apply into his business, into his family, into his life that we all, I think, need to learn from. So we're super honored that Jeff is going to join us for one of the workshops. We'll have him in the business track. And today what we're going to visit about is biblical stewardship 101, tying into how do you merge your business, your entrepreneurship into your faith. And Jeff, you're making pathways that have never existed before. Jeff, so give us a little background on your company share on your family. I know that that is such an important part of who you are and what you do and really give us an understanding of how all this comes together in the midst of the automotive industry. [00:02:29] Speaker C: Yeah, it's been a journey. I mean, like many of us, I've been on a journey and it's really been something that I've seen God just continually show up and do such amazing things with what was in my hand. And I think oftentimes really understanding that God has us in a certain place for a specific purpose. And that's been just so highlighted in my life and I'm so thankful for it. I am in the automotive industry, which by definition has been not only the butt of a lot of jokes from the pulpit, and rightfully so for a long time, but God is doing amazing things in the automotive industry. He is setting the captives free. People that show up at church on Sunday and they're hearing the message, but Monday through Saturday, it's not translating to their life, and they're frustrated and they love God, or they want to love God. They want to understand good and right, but it's just a huge chasm. There's a huge disconnect. So it's been amazing for us to be able to bring the light of Jesus into the automotive industry and watch God use that through not just me, but our leadership team and our employees, people that are bold. And God's doing amazing things. Know, for me, I've always loved the car business, Karen. I mean, I was a little kid. I knew I was going to be in the car business when I was probably five. Like, I just knew, but I knew I wanted to do it differently, but I didn't know what God had in store. And so we'll probably be able to unpack that a little bit. That transition from just a very carnal perspective to a faith filled perspective in following God's call and plan for our life. And I'm married to Jen. She's amazing. I've been married for 18 years, almost 19 years. We got two kids, Dutch, who's 13, and my daughter Nyla, who's ten. And so in the midst of running businesses and growth there, there's certainly family, obviously, as a part of that, and understanding how to balance that and really be a blessing there. So we're blessed and we're doing a lot. But God is showing up every day and we get to enjoy that. It's been amazing. [00:04:39] Speaker B: Wow, that's so wonderful. And I think that is being in business. Sometimes we are taught, or somehow we have the feeling that if we have a heart for ministry, we can't be in the business world. We'd have to step out and start a church or something like that. There's like this new breed of people which you call in. I mean, wealth builders is all about that. That. No, that desire to be in the automotive industry was from God. And I think the question that a lot of us have is, how do you take what would appear to be sort of like a business, or you might even say a carnal industry, and integrate that heart for God into it to actually reach people? How does that work? And what sort of opportunities are you seeing that is impacting the lives of people that you are touching through your business. [00:05:38] Speaker C: Yeah, it's a great question. It's a great observation. I think it was probably ten or 15 years ago, I think we started hearing that sacred secular split narrative coming from the pulpit, which was. Right, it was a good thing. But I think we started to realize that the ministry isn't happening necessarily just in church. Church is a great place for ministry, but ministry at a church is really the ammunition depot to get people loaded up to be able to go out and be able to live their life and walk with Jesus. And I think for me personally, I was a hard charger in the automotive industry. This is before I really got turned on to the Lord. And I was a Christian. I was born again. But Greg Moore would call it an unbelieving believer, just someone that loved God, but didn't have context for how it would play out in my day to day life. And so I think for me, really, I was like, I'm just not seeing what I'm seeing in other people's lives. When people are talking about this personal relationship with Jesus and this walk with Jesus, there was definitely a disconnect for me. And so the easiest thing for me to do, Karen, was to discount their actual walk with the Lord. I'm like, there's nobody that's actually that in love with Jesus, right? I just kind of had a calloused view because I looked through the natural lenses of my daily. So I think for me, I really struggled understanding how I could minister. And the other part of it is that my life wasn't lived in a way in which people would even maybe know that I was a Christian. Monday through Saturday, I was running pretty hard, and I bulldozed a lot of people, and I had a lot of natural ability. You can't take away somebody's anointing. So somebody that's got a really strong anointing to do something, God may have positioned them to do that and walk with him in that. Certainly he did create them that way. But we take and we run with it for typically a lack of knowledge, of understanding how God wants us to use that in our daily lives. And so I'll say it this way. Your business or your employer that you work for, the influence that you're given, whether you're a business owner, whether you're a person inside of a business, you have influence, and God's giving you that like a canvas to work with and to be able to paint with. And I will use as a painter reference to be able to work that canvas and be able to create something with him as opposed to you're just kind of on your own to do your job Monday through Friday and then on Sunday we go to church. And I think that is what God is doing right now at a very significant level. Not just in automotive, not just in real estate, in all the different businesses across the landscape. God is clearly speaking to people about getting engaged and getting involved in ministry. The ministry is happening in the workplace right now. And that's so exciting right now. [00:08:25] Speaker B: Yeah, I agree. And I was just wondering, too, I don't have statistics on this, but when I grew up, pretty much everybody went to church. I mean, that's just what they did. And now if we look at society today, a lot of people are not going to church. So how are they going to hear about Jesus, right? And so I think with this workplace ministry being excellent in our fields, which you certainly are understanding, the how to's we have to study to be approved in these areas, of course. But realizing that this is kind of the place, like you said, the mission field, you might say, to be able to tell people about Jesus because they're not coming into church, they're not tuning into christian tv, but they need to be. [00:09:16] Speaker C: Know they, they're showing up to work every day and they're seeing all the same stuff that you're seeing in society. Right. They're seeing the moral decay of the society. They just don't find value in going to church. It's just not landing with them. Right. But they have problems. Right. And so when you're managing them or you're leading them and they realize that you're trustworthy and that you're safe and that you deeply care for them, it starts to open up a door because inevitably they're going to say, listen, I'm working through something. A lot of people as a CEO, I don't get a ton of people that come to me directly from different parts of the organization, but I have leadership, people that have built trust with them and they'll go to them and sit down and say, hey, listen, I'm really struggling in this area with my children, whatever, especially kids, right? Like, I need you to help. I need to pray for my kids. Something's going wrong with my kids. Right? So they're not seeing the correlation necessarily between the dysfunction in their families potentially and their lack of walking with Jesus, but you can help them bridge that gap daily by showing up in other areas and being trustworthy as a faithful leader. And I think that's really where it boils down. And I'll just say this real quick from a CEO perspective, Karen. When I really made that transition and started committing our business and my life to Jesus, there was a point in time where I needed to repent and I needed to tell people at the organization, I've been wrong in what I've done and I've led wrong and I repent, and I'm sorry, but we're going to change direction. And then you have to actually change direction. And that's the beautiful thing about the gospel, is you can always just repent and you can just say, I've been wrong. And through that humility, I think a lot of people said, we'll see. But that goes a long way with people. When you really start committing to walking with the Lord out in your business or your sphere of influence, the humility to repent and apologize is really powerful. [00:11:15] Speaker B: Wow, that's really powerful. I know with parenting, that's really powerful, too, just to learn, like, hey, if I'm short with my child or whatever, to take responsibility for it and apologize. And you're really setting a culture. And I think that's my next question for you, Jeff, is what are some practical things that a lot of entrepreneurs are listening that people can do to actually build this into their culture like you have? [00:11:45] Speaker C: That's a great question. And that's a real thing, once you've turned the ship to say, okay, God, I'm going to trust you because this is where this really comes down to, is faith, right? Talking about faithfulness is being faith filled and saying, okay, God, I believe that you're calling me here. I believe in your word. I believe in your promise over my life. I believe the calling and the purpose. So I'm going to move in this direction. And what ends up happening is God is going to bring the resources, he's going to bring the people. But there are some natural things I think we talked about good and faithful. The good part is the very natural things that you have to do. You have to close some doors, you have to close some relationships. You have to close some vendors. You have to do some things that you're like, this is unethical, and we're not going to do that. And there were some parts in our business where we'll talk about car business for a second. How many people love the dealer handling fee? Nobody loves the dealer handling fee. We knew it was unethical, and so the first thing that we did was we took out the dealer handling fee. It's $500 per deal. On hundreds and hundreds of deals, right? So it's hundreds of thousands of dollars on even a monthly basis. And so would you know, though, Karen, that when we stopped charging dealer handling and just called the price the price, we actually started making more money because God was literally supernaturally filling our baskets when we were faithful. Because in the natural, we're like, we're going to lose all this money. But I guess this is the direction we're going to go. So that's a tangible reference. And I've got about 100 more that I won't go in all of them. But God started showing up. One of the other things was that ethically, we said, okay, listen, on this thing or this thing, we're going to close the door on that. We're going to do it right. We're not going to leave the door open for the devil. And so when you're talking about changing the culture, it starts with putting your money where your mouth is and trusting God in that, that the right people are going to show up. Hey, and here's the other thing. The wrong people are going to go. And sometimes you don't even know who those people are until down the road a bit. And you're like, oh, we actually weren't really yoked together, and that really wasn't what I thought it. But, but God has brought people to our organization that are just full of faith, great leadership people. I mean, they're absolutely phenomenal. And so we've grown because of that. And so it took taking a stand in faith, Karen, and just starting to say, okay, we're going to change these things. You have to change them all at once. But as God reveals them to you through his spirit and says, this is an open door, you need to close it. Right. It's no different than your personal life. When you start to recognize, hey, this is an open door for the devil. I need to close that door. And you start to fortify your organization. That's the first step. Repent, and then start closing the doors that are open. [00:14:29] Speaker B: Wow. And that's really a critical part. Like, we know a lot about be a doer of the word, not a hear only. And what you're describing is that's a tough decision for a business person to say, okay, I'm going to stop this handling fee, and this is how much money we're making on an annual basis here. So you're really, truly doing the word. You are exalting the word of God over what you see in the natural. Now, for most people, Jeff, that would be a very scary thing. And maybe a lot of people listening are just like, well, how do you even get the faith or the confidence to make a decision like that? So can you take us through that process where you are potentially going to lose a lot of money? Most people would see that as risky, but what did you do internally and with your team to get the confidence to do the right thing, to get to that place where God could really bring that overflow? [00:15:30] Speaker C: Yeah. So for me, when I got really turned on to Lord, I think there was such an excitement that I got off the hamster wheel of the world system, and I started walking with the Lord, and I'm like, God, I'll do anything. I'll leave the car business. I'll go to Africa. I'll do whatever, right? And my wife's like, hey. Oh, boy. And what ended up happening was it took about six weeks. And God said, listen, I have you exactly where I want you. Now. You're usable, so I don't want you to go. I've built you for this, so run right, it's go time, right? So I was fully convinced that God was my provider. Now, that doesn't mean that I never had unbelief. It just means that my faith was superseding what I was seeing in the natural. And God had showed up in other occasions several times. That was the killing of the lion and the killing of the bear. And I'm like, I know that God's faithful, and I know that we're going somewhere. And the people around me, too, that were full of faith, right? Those are pretty important things we could unpack. But it's really no different, Karen, than when you're sitting at church and you're really feeling an unction to give. But you start looking at your bank account, and there's a million reasons why in the natural, you shouldn't give. Or you're in lack or believing you're seeing lack somewhere. And that's speaking louder than the desire to give. It's actually no different than stopping the dealer handling fee. Whether it's $100,000 to me a month or if it's somebody that's trying to give $50. It's just at a different level. [00:17:04] Speaker B: I'll call. [00:17:04] Speaker C: It don't mean that in any other way than just trying to explain it. It's the same thing where it's like, God, do I trust you with this $10? Do I trust you with this $100? Do I trust you with this $1,000? I'm going to give, and I'm going to sow where you're calling me. And I really wanted to serve people. We still do. That's our passion. We want to do that. And we felt like it was unethical. So it really wasn't like a choice of do we or do we not? The choice was, do I believe God, or am I just going to look the other way and pretend like he didn't prick my heart on that? So I don't mean to make it sound simple, but that's really what it boiled down to. [00:17:37] Speaker B: Yeah. And I think that's super helpful for people because it could potentially feel like something very complicated. I do have a question for you from a leader perspective. Did you find, or have you found, as you make decisions like this, like some of your team members or leaders, they're like, what are you doing? Did you ever have any of your team members just kind of disagree with some of these decisions, and how did you step through that? [00:18:04] Speaker C: Yeah, that's a great question. Yes. So I didn't have anybody in my world that was at a leadership level that was in opposition to me. Right. It wasn't like people were absolutely like, hey, we need to overthrow the. We need to throw Jeff overboard. And so that wasn't the thing. I think there was pushback on the noble thing of taking out dealer handling. I think everybody was on board with that. Even though it was going to affect the bottom line. People knew that was wrong. Everyone at home even knows that this doesn't feel right. When somebody pokes you in the eye for $500 when you're trying to bike, it doesn't feel right. So that wasn't so hard, Karen. But what was hard was when we were closing the other doors on some unethical things that were happening, and we all kind of knew it, and we just kind of looked the other way. Like, for example, inflating somebody's income on their credit application. Right. So it's. Again, and I'm saying that. I'm not trying to embarrass saying that, but I'm just being transparent. I think we knew, I didn't directly know that was happening, but we kind of said, hey, that might be happening. We're no longer doing that. Well, that directly affected some people's ability to do a deal. Right. And so we closed that door, and there was starting to be some underlying pushback. And if you fast forward a year later, every one of those people that left, they were left the company, whether they were let go or whether. [00:19:28] Speaker B: Amazing how that works because it kind of made a decision out of the organization. And I think that's really a great thing that God does too. When we just step out and we act in a way that we know God is leading us, he kind of takes care of either people like they see it and they grab hold of it, or they just make a decision not to be a part of it. So with your employees, how many employees do you have by the way? Jeff? [00:19:57] Speaker C: 75. [00:19:58] Speaker B: Wow. So with your employees, what are some things that you do within your company that really is encouraging people to walk out their life of faith? [00:20:11] Speaker C: Well, I think the first thing is that having leadership people that are living it, they're faith filled people because I can't be in front of everybody every day. We have so many different departments, so they need to be aligned with my heart and really what I believe God is doing. And so when we hire people, I always tell know sin, you don't have to believe what I believe, but you have to respect it. I think I got that from Colin, so I don't want to steal that. That's actually a great thing to use if you're a business owner when you're hiring somebody. Listen, this is what we believe. This is what I believe God is. This is who Jesus is to me. And when you come on board, I'm not saying you have to be a born again Christian, but I'm just telling you that's what I believe and you have to respect it because I'm going to make decisions based upon that every once in a while. People are like, yeah, that's a problem. And I'm like, well, let's just get that out of the way right now. Most people appreciate the fact that you're a blessing. They may not understand it, but they do appreciate that. So when it comes to the employee people, the employed folks that are from a leadership down, I think it's the spirit of excellence that we operate in that we push people towards a spirit of excellence. We do what we say we're going to do, we actually bless people. We want them to succeed. That's bred inside the organization. And so I think usually they feel like, man, this is new, this is different for me. Even when people are let go for whatever reason or they resign, we work to be ethical in how that looks and just say, hey, listen, it might have gone right, it might have gone wrong, but either way, how they treated us, we're going to take the high road. We do those natural things, but when it comes to the gospel specifically, not just ethics. But the gospel, we make sure that people know what we believe and we walk it out. We sit down, we pray with people. If they're struggling, we walk through that. And what ends up happening is people typically come once there's a bridge built of trust there, they'll sit down with somebody. And we've seen, I don't know, probably ten people get born again in the last year that work for the company that just say, this is so different that I want what you. And so that's a huge blessing for me because I don't typically get to sit inside of those meetings necessarily. And so when one of my leadership team people get to sit down with an employee and lead them to Jesus, it's phenomenal. So I think it starts with the practical and ends in the spiritual, if that makes sense. [00:22:41] Speaker B: Wow, that is so good, Jeff. And just a reminder for our audience that Jeff is a speaker at our upcoming wealth builders conference. As you can hear from him, you really want to be there. He is just such a blessing, along with our other speakers. And if you've not yet registered, please do so. Go to forward slash events and come in person if you can. There's just nothing like that. But if you can't, we do have a live stream available, too. And you actually have the opportunity to watch that live stream for three weeks after the event. It's in Denver. It's February 16 through the 18th. And we just know this is going to be a really special event. So, Jeff, this has been amazing. I really appreciate you being on the podcast today. Can you just tell people how to find your company and how to find your podcast so if they want to connect, know how they can find you and reach you? [00:23:38] Speaker C: Absolutely. I appreciate that. Let me say first though, Karen, what wealth builders has really meant to me and our know, I think when I got turned on to the Lord, I really didn't know any of didn't. I didn't have an understanding revelation of the call and the purpose in my life. And Billy and others inside the wealth builders family has just been so instrumental in our growth and understanding God's call and his faithfulness and how much he loves me and how much he loves our team and what he's, and he's for me and then the practical behind how to build wealth and how to build an organization has just been so key. And so that's my testimony to folks that are listening, is if you can come, it'll change your life. It's a really important thing that you start putting your hand to. So I'll plug wealth builders because it's been such a blessing for us. And yeah, our company is clear shift. You go to It's like clear and transparent shift in a new direction. That's how we built it, how we called it, and we are redeeming the car business. It's awesome. God's blessed us tremendously and we're thankful for that. And the built for a purpose podcast is found really anywhere that you can download a podcast, Spotify, Apple, YouTube. You can go find it if you just put in built for a purpose podcast with Jeff Vanderwald. That's us. And yeah, we'd love you to have a listen. [00:24:59] Speaker B: That's great, Jeff, thank you so much again for being a part of this podcast. And thanks all of you for tuning in. You are part of our wealth Builders family. I usually remind you, and I'll remind you again, that Billy and Becky pray for you every day. We love you so much and we're so blessed to be going through life with you. And Jeff, you are certainly such a big part of that. I can't wait for the conference and I'm excited for your session and all that we are going to learn. So thanks again for being a part of this. God bless you and have an amazing rest of the day. [00:25:33] Speaker A: Thanks for listening to the Wealth Builders podcast. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review the show. You want to learn more about who we are, visit our [email protected] and check us out on Facebook. We'll see you next time.

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