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Connect God's Money with God's Work
A steward manages assets for the owner's benefit, not his own. This man helps churches and church members convert the currencies of this world to "heaven's currency."

Lorne Jackson wants to be a good steward and is keen to help other Christian believers handle their money more effectively as well. "The more we can expose Canadians to thinking about giving, the better off we will all be," says the Free Methodist churchman.

"The return on investment will be far reaching."

Jackson's understanding of "stewardship" and giving definitely challenges mainstream attitudes toward money. A steward, he carefully points out, manages assets for the owner's benefit, not his own.

His own understanding of tithing has evolved in light of that principle. He used to think "tithe" meant to give ten percent of one's income. He later modified that to mean he should give ten percent of his time, talent and treasure. "but now," he says, "I realize I have to give 100 percent of everything. God owns it all."

Jackson has a lot to give. After 25 years in business, he was the sole owner of one of Canada's largest independent financial planning firms. He sold his company in 2001 and now works primarily with charitable causes. He calls this "moving from success to significance," devoting his time, energy and expertise serve "a higher purpose"—to build things that will last for eternity (see 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

Jackson's most recent venture was to create the Canadian National Christian Foundation (CNCF), which aims to "help Christians convert the currencies of this world to 'heaven's currency' by encouraging them to invest wisely in, and give generously to assist others, through Canadian-based Christian charities."

Jackson is keen to highlight the three-fold focus of the organization. First, he says, it exists to administer and distribute "donor advised" funds. It provides a way for Christian donors to ensure their finds will be "used in God-honouring ways" through organizations that operate with Christian integrity.

But there's more to the vision than distributing funds. "We also focus on teaching leadership skills to Christian leaders," says Jackson. CNCF has developed a multi-year training course called "Learning to Lead Like the Servant King," which it is beginning to offer to pastors and parachurch leaders.

"Not only will this leadership skill training help our Christian leaders serve our Lord better, but it will also help the Christian donor add real value to the charity of choice by creating more efficiently and effectively led organizations," he says. "The return on investment will be far reaching."

CNCF is also in the process of creating a network of Christian professionals across Canada who can teach stewardship principles in local churches. They will be working with materials from crown Financial Ministries, which recently established a Canadian office.

"A year from now we want 100 local leaders who can lead this course," says Jackson.

According to Jackson, the teaching brings results. Crown goes into a church and teaches its principles to small groups. When they return three years later, they find the average personal debt of people who took the course has been reduced by $20,000; savings has increased by $10,000; and giving to the local church is up by 62 percent.

"The overriding purpose of all that CNCF does is to connect God's money with God's work and to see His greater purposes fulfilled."

For further information on the Canadian National Christian Foundation, please visit or phone (613) 271-2100. For more information about Crown Financial Ministries, visit or call (519) 537-0626.

Doug Koop is the editorial director for Christian Week.

Originally published in Christian Week, January 20, 2004.




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