Written by Brian Shepler, President of Ronald Blue Trust
One of my favorite quotes by John Maxwell is, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” As we journey through life, our environments are constantly in flux, but individually we have a daily choice to press forward and embrace the personal growth that accompanies that change. So, what motivates us to choose growth? Most often, it is a compelling vision for taking new ground, expanding our boundaries, and experiencing new realities.
Consider this story from the Bible: as the Israelites approached Canaan, the land promised by God to the descendants of their father Abraham, they were filled with both excitement and concern. The “land flowing with milk and honey” contained the most fertile land in the region. The report from the twelve spies confirmed that fact. Their report also highlighted the presence of multiple people groups (e.g., Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, etc.), some of which were massive in stature and incredibly intimidating, who weren’t interested in simply handing over their property to their new neighbors! Joshua was tasked with leading the Israelites to take the new ground/land promised to them by God, recognizing that forward progress would involve multiple challenges and unwavering faith.
Fast forward to the New Testament where we examine the teachings of Jesus about growth. Many of His parables focused on growth (seed planting, harvesting, vineyards, multiplying talents, etc.) and the importance of expanding upon that which was entrusted to his disciples. He encourages us individually to abide in Him and bear much fruit. Further, His kingdom plan was never intended to be limited to Jerusalem and the surrounding area. In fact, Jesus’ formal charge to his disciples in Acts 1:8 was to “take new ground” by being his witnesses “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
What new ground will you take in 2023? Another quote from Maxwell says, “Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.” As we seek growth in the new year, it’s important to remind ourselves, it won’t always be comfortable, but there is a lot to be gained through perseverance.
At Ronald Blue Trust, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the opportunities before us to continue moving forward together and take new ground in 2023. Building upon our exciting corporate ownership transition in 2022, led by Ronald Blue Trust’s Family Office client and faith-driven entrepreneur, Casey Crawford, we are drawing upon Joshua-like courage to expand our capabilities to serve more individuals, families, and institutions. God continues to direct new missionally-aligned team members to join the Ronald Blue Trust family and contribute their amazing talents to help achieve our continuing aspiration to be the advisor of choice among Christian families and kingdom-minded institutions, all to the glory of God.
I encourage you to keep an eye out for updates from your advisor in 2023. We will continue to look for ways to expand our offerings and improve our service to our clients, and we are excited about new resources we have coming, such as tools tailored to women, enhanced planning and investment resources, expanded institutional advisory capabilities, and much more. We are encouraged about where we are headed in 2023, and we are thankful to have you as part of the Ronald Blue Trust family. Happy New Year!