Radical Living: ‘We can all do something’
Connections talked to nationally known investment advisor and Triad Baptist Estate Planning Team Chairman Jay Tyner about the church’s “Radical Living” effort. In the second installment of a new three-part interview series, he shares the thinking behind “Radical Living,” common misconceptions about planned giving, creative giving examples, and how everyone can get involved.
Why did we launch “Radical Living” now, and how does it underscore the point that this isn’t a program but a daily part of the Christian life?
Tyner: “It’s interesting that you would ask it that way. Projects usually have end points. If we need a new bus or tractor or parking lot we often hear of it during the last quarter of the year. If a missionary comes and asks for help in buying a $75,000 water drilling machine, we are given the parts list, and we can buy one $100 part. May I suggest that we are presented with so many opportunities to give to a need that we often don’t give unless the passion meter goes off in our heart. Then we may decide to give a little to that specific need. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that giving strategy. However, it’s much different than giving to your neighbor in need because they had a relative pass away and the relative couldn’t pay for the funeral. That’s something only you or a few people even know about. In that case, you give to fill a need and make yourself available to be used in their lives by God. Through your own living and relating to others, you allow God to work and minister through you. Likewise, being aware of new and strategic ways to give to Triad and the ministries is just part of what every good church should be teaching and coaching its members to think about doing all the time. For a good read on the subject, check out ‘Gospel Patrons’ by John Rinehart. The audio version is free.
What are the biggest misconceptions you find that people of faith have who want to invest eternally and tips for how to go about doing it?
Tyner: “The biggest need in my mind is to help people think of ways they can give to Gods work and trust Him with the results. You really cannot outgive God. Think about it! What has He already given us? On the tips, it’s so hard to share written recommendations to such a wide group of readers from young to old, with kids and without, teens to widows to newly marrieds to retirees, and single moms to families of 10 or more because you don’t know each person or situation. It’s just like a doctor who won’t write a prescription without having met you, studied the test results, and completed a written plan of healthcare. I have sat down with so many people over the years and, as I asked them questions regarding leaving their wealth when they pass away, I’m astounded at how very few bring up leaving anything for the Lord’s work. Some do, but most don’t. However, if I bring up the topic of leaving some to the Lord’s work, they almost always are open to discovering more about it and implementing wealth-transfer guidelines that include estate planning to advance God’s work. It’s not my job to make people do something specific, but just to help remind them of being open to considering it.”
What do you say to those who, at this stage in their lives, may be able to give but not as much financially as others can?
Tyner: “Have you ever had a waitress get mad because you said ‘no’ when she asked you if you wanted ketchup with your fries? We are not asking anyone to do something that they feel they can’t do or don’t want to do. We just want to keep the ‘Radical Living’ and giving message in the forefront. Surely we all can do something. Check this out! Matthew 10:40-42 says, ‘Do you want the reward of the Lord? Then just receive one who comes in the name of the Lord. Do you want the reward of a prophet? Then just receive a prophet. Do you want the reward of a righteous person then just receive a righteous person.’ I know I don’t want to lose my reward, and I’m sure you don’t either. Take a look at Matthew 10:42 which says, ‘And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.’ In other words, many of us think we have to be the Lord, be that preacher, be the righteous person, be the disciple to get the reward while, all along, we just need to give and help those folks out and we get the reward too. Wow, talk about the leverage that God allows us to participate in…it’s HUGE!”
What are some of the creative ways you’ve seen people respond to “Radical Living?”
Tyner: “Just last week one lady came up to me and said that God had provided her a newer car and could she donate her current one to the church? I said, of course, Triad can take the car. I had just given an announcement about donating trucks, cars, motorcycles and even RV’s and planes. If someone doesn’t have a plane I hope they won’t be upset because we asked for one. Talking about the car helped this lady realize she could give it to advance God’s work. God has given us fantastically creative minds and sometimes being made aware of different ways we could give often leads to new and creative ways that we hadn’t even thought of. Just last week I found out the Jesus Film has been translated and dubbed in several of Ethiopia's minority languages. Missionary Dave Johnson of Wycliffe Bible Translators is using Crown Funding to raise donations that will provide 200 DVDs to distribute, and fund a group of local people who will take the video with their solar-powered video projection kit to show to thousands of people in the Ethiopian languages of Amharic and Maale. Moreover, nine amateur radio operators at Triad Baptist Church have just started a new amateur radio club to reach out to the community. Over 21 people attended the first classes. We need $3,900 to purchase our own church amateur radio repeater station on Fancy Gap. It’s all God’s and we are just his stewards. I heard of someone who gave credit-card airplane miles to a church pastor so they could fly to the Midwest and see their family. Someone else purchased a ticket for a Sunday school teacher’s wife to fly up and be with her brother who was involved in a serous auto accident. Another church member loaned his car to a missionary on furlough to use for an entire year. May I suggest we spend more time thinking about what we can do, instead of what we can’t do?”