Susan and I traveled to Orlando last week for the Kingdom Advisors 2020 Annual Conference. As you may know, KA is a membership community of over 2,700 Christian advisors. This year’s conference was attended by more than 1,600 advisors, speakers and partners.
This was our third year at the conference and our second as exhibitors. We met advisors from large, regional and independent firms, as well as many independent RIAs. With 60 premier, corporate and ministry partners in the exhibit hall, our booth was located between Compass Ministries and the XY Planning Network.
The theme of the conference was Fearless. Speakers included Eric Metaxas, Michael Kitces, and John Rinehart, just to name a few.
Some of my favorites were Dr. Henry Cloud, Pastor Alistair Begg, and Dr. Ken Boa – each of whom gave his perspective on fear and fearlessness.
Dr. Henry Cloud told us that he did not know of a profession that has more of a window into people’s lives than financial advisors. He said that as humans, we are looking for three things: connection, control and structure. Connection is more than understanding; clients want authentic relationships. Humans crave control, especially when it’s so easy to feel out of control, and they want structure. They need to know the long-term narrative which is why check-in phone calls in times of market volatility are essential.
As one who often uses music lyrics to illustrate his points, Pastor Alistair Begg began by quoting Bob Dylan (“You gotta serve somebody”) and John Lennon (“Serve yourself”). He spoke from the book of Daniel to show how we can be pushed into a state of fear, particularly when living in a time of rapid change. And he challenged the audience to consider where they would draw the line when asked to compromise what they believe, by asking, “Will you take the easy road, or will you say, ‘I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down’?”
My favorite speaker was Dr. Ken Boa. He encouraged attendees not to worry about control. In Matthew 6:27, Jesus asks: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Instead, Boa said that we should leverage the temporal for the eternal. Take your time, talent and treasure (which are temporary) and pursue truth and relationships (which are permanent).
A personal highlight for us was a video of five Kingdom Advisors who shared incidents where they experienced great fear and how they learned to overcome it and use it for good. Susan shared the story of my brother’s brain injury in a car accident, ultimately leading to his death, and the impact it made on all our lives.
John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”
So what does it mean to be fearless? The answer may be different for everyone but it is always rooted in faith. Be it faith in yourself, faith in your beliefs or faith in God, faith allows you to take those bumps in the road and truly face life fearlessly.