Where you put your money reflects what you value. As Christians, we believe that everything we have is a gift from God. We want our resources to display the goodness of God through values such as generosity, honesty, and justice. However, it can be difficult to be confident that your finances align with your morals. Unfortunately, Wall Street often struggles with corruption, and many companies have less than ethical practices, so how can you be sure your money is being handled well? If you want a financial advisor you can trust to steward your resources with integrity, a Certified Kingdom Advisor might be a good fit for you.
Certified Kingdom Advisors balance the spiritual with the strategic to create the best possible financial plan for you and your family. In this post, we’ll answer the question “What is a Certified Kingdom Advisor?” and provide five reasons why you should work with one.
What is a Certified Kingdom Advisor?
A Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®) is a special financial advisor equipped to integrate biblical and financial counsel through intense professional training. A CKA® can be a financial planner, investment professional, estate planning lawyer, insurance professional, or a tax and accounting expert. But whatever form a CKA® takes, they’re all bound by the same code of biblical ethics. Here are five ways that you can benefit from working with a Certified Kingdom Advisor:
1. Receive Financial Advice Consistent With God’s Word
As a Christian, you’d want a licensed family counselor to filter their advice through a biblical worldview. So, why should your financial advisor be any different? Most financial advisors keep their work impersonal. Sure, they’ll ask you about your personal goals and give you a plan that helps achieve them. However, they won’t dive into spiritual matters. Without talking about the impact your money has on your faith–your spiritual and emotional wellbeing–then an integral piece of perspective is lost.
Fortunately, the Bible includes over 2,000 verses about wealth. Some of the verses share practical advice on financial stewardship, but many warn against the love of money. Consider 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs,” or, from Jesus himself, “You cannot serve both God and money,” (Matthew 6:24.)
These verses aren’t meant to scare you. However, they should encourage a heightened awareness of how your resources can affect your spiritual well being. A CKA® will talk through these matters with you and help you guard against greed, fear, and disabling comfort. From those conversations, they’ll develop a financial plan that helps you live within your means and avoid a consumptive lifestyle. They’ll encourage ways you can give, donate, and invest your money in biblically responsible ways. You can rest assured knowing that your CKA® will employ biblical wisdom and their code of ethics as they create your financial plan.
2. Steward Your Resources Well
We all want to make a difference, and our money is an excellent tool to do just that. As Christians, we understand that God has given us everything that we have. We are simply managers, and God is the owner. For the time being, He has entrusted us to use what we have for the Kingdom of God. Jesus uses the Parable of the Talents (found in Matthew 25:14-30) as an excellent example of this.
He says, “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” In this scenario, the servants symbolize people, and the master symbolizes God.
The master of the house gives five talents to the first servant. This servant doubles the amount and ends up with ten. When the master returns, he praises, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
Similarly, the servant who has two talents doubles them to four and is celebrated. However, the servant who was given one talent takes it and buries it in the ground. When the master returns, the servant digs it up and explains, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth.” The master becomes disappointed and angry with this servant. He takes the one talent from the third unfaithful servant and hands it to the first servant who has ten talents. He says, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.”
This parable teaches that we are meant to multiply what God has given us for the Kingdom and that God rewards good stewardship. Certified Kingdom Advisors will not only show you how to multiply the return on your investment–they’ll guide you on how to use those extra funds to make a difference, too.
3. Leave a Lasting Legacy
On average, a $1 bill stays in circulation for about 6 years. A $100 bill has over double the lifespan and survives for around fifteen years. However, that’s nothing when you consider how your money can create an impact that echoes into eternity! The work you do with a Kingdom Mindset can last long after you’re gone. The theologian N.T. Wright put it this way:
What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.
You cannot answer the question of what is a Certified Kingdom Advisor without mentioning the eternal perspective they employ. A CKA® understands that the difference you make with your money can turn people’s hearts toward God in a way that changes them forever. They work with their clients to create strategic financial plans that benefit more than just the client themselves.
A CKA® will work with you to create a retirement plan that sets your family up for success. Whether it’s through estate planning or gifting, your wealth can grow and be used to provide opportunities for the generations to come in your family. Not only are you setting them up for success–you’re setting the standard by doing things the right way.
In addition, after you implement the advice of a CKA®, you can use your wealth to share God’s love in a tangible way. The possibilities are endless: you can create businesses, give to nonprofits, finance medical institutions, support missionaries, etc. A CKA® can help you practically fuel whatever dream God has put on your heart.
The 7 Mountains is a good framework to think about how a CKA® can help you have a Kingdom influence. Essentially, the 7 mountains represent the primary spheres of culture: religion, business, government, family, education, media, and the arts. The goal is to participate in God’s redemptive work by reforming every area of culture with Kingdom principles. A CKA® exemplifies how we can reform the business ‘mountain’ with Godly values. They can help you identify where God is calling you to influence, and how you can use your resources to do so.
4. Enjoy Investments that Champion Your Values
Some people worry a CKA® won’t produce the same results as a traditional advisor. However, the reality is that you don’t have to compromise your values in order to get the best return. In several studies, biblically responsible investing has provided enhanced returns.
For instance, Shane Enete, a CFA with the private Christian university, Biola, studied one BRI index from 2012-2016 and found that it added 4% in additional annual returns compared to a secular counterpart index during that time.
In addition, a CKA® must have certain approved degrees or certifications such as CPA, CFP, JD, or 10 years of experience in their field. In other words, the Kingdom Advisor certification is not designed for beginners. They must also have three letters of reference (one from a church leader) and sign a letter of personal stewardship. Once certified, CKA® holders have to take ten hours of continuing education each year to remain certified.
So, a CKA® can be trusted to act with integrity and professional excellence, which helps you adhere to the wisdom in Proverbs 11:14– “In the multitude of counselors, there is safety.”
5. Save Time and Money
It’s not uncommon to find conflicts of interest and even corruption within large financial institutions on Wall Street, and as Christians, it is our responsibility to do our due diligence. We are called to be “wise as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16) as we integrate our finances with our faith. CKAs save their clients the time it would take for them to do their own research on how to invest responsibly. And CKAs have extensive knowledge about and connections in the financial world, so they’ll know how to utilize the best services and tools. Above all, they’ll help you evaluate your risk tolerance and guide you toward the strategies that are most valuable.
We hope that this post has helped you answer the question “What is a Certified Kingdom Advisor?” Ultimately, if you are a Christian who wants to align your faith and finances without compromising your values or return, a CKA® could be a good fit for you. For more information on how to connect with a CKA®, schedule your free consultation with the Clear Money Path team.