Radical Living: ‘When I give, I touch other lives’
Connections talked to nationally known investment advisor and Triad Baptist Estate Planning Team Chairman Jay Tyner about the church’s “Radical Living” effort. In this first installment of a new three-part interview series, he shares how it builds on past efforts, what it means to him personally, and early results.
Since we have encouraged people before to make Triad Baptist part of their estate planning and giving what is different about “Radical Living?”
Tyner: “It probably is not that different but people just need to be reminded at the 30,000-foot and the ‘Big Idea’ level what giving ‘can’ mean to each of us. In the Bible, giving for the rich young ruler meant one thing. And giving for the widow with her last few pennies meant the same thing but each reacted differently. The rich young ruler walked away while Jesus knew the widow gave ‘everything.’ I don’t believe it’s my job as chair of the Estate Planning Team or my teammates to tell anyone what giving means for them specifically. However, I do believe being reminded to give and having some new and different thoughts shared along the way for how to do that will result in God’s will being done.”
What does “Radical Living” mean to you?
Tyner: “It means being open to living the way God intended and living by faith! I don’t claim to have arrived in this area. I remember when I was upstairs in the church office this year shooting a video. During a free moment, I looked out onto the new Worship Center/Gym floor and saw some young teens below playing basketball. I wondered if those 13-, 14-, or 15 year-old kids shooting hoops had any idea of the men and women who gave sacrificially so that they and hundreds, if not thousands, of young people in the years to come could be influenced by Godly teachers and pastors through the facilities they were enjoying. Probably not, I thought, because I know I didn’t think about that at my Christian school in Pennsylvania when I was 17. Obviously, someone gave thousands of dollars to build it. I have since met some of the men and women who gave so generously in order for that building to be built and now I get it. I realize that what we give today seems so small and yet have seen how God will use it to touch hundreds if not thousands of lives. They gave and, as a result, they touched my life. Similarly, when I give, I touch other lives.”
As the Estate Planning Team, what do you consider some of the most important takeaways from “Radical Living?”
Tyner: “Most of us get ‘wrapped around the axle’ in day-to-day living. Sometimes we need help just to focus on what we can give today out of our current budget of time and money. As God blesses us financially, should we consider increasing our standard of living or our standard of giving? In our current economy there are many unknown financial tools and strategies to leave more to the church and to God’s work then we may be aware of. We would like for everyone to be thinking about living and giving in new and fresh ways. Remember when you bought your first new car? The make? The color? Then all of sudden you started seeing that same car all over the place when, before you bought it, you rarely saw one. In a similar way, we want people to see: 1-That there are financial strategies they can use to advance God’s work 2. That some can be used with any budget, while others are specific and only fit certain situations. And 3. That my team and Triad are not at all trying to place a guilt trip on anyone. God loves a cheerful giver. And giving includes more than dollars and cents. I took a mission trip to Honduras this year and gave over a week of my time and talents (although if you ask Tony Krofchik about my construction talents he would say I only gave my time!). I think we have all heard, ‘Give 10 percent, give as God has prospered, God loves a cheerful giver.’ But sometimes we miss the point. Giving is sacrifice and, as Pastor Rob (Decker) recently said, ‘God’s language is sacrifice, are we talking His language?’ ”