Pastor Adam Mesa (from Abundant Living Family Church) is a mover and a shaker, and on this podcast episode with Zoe and Vance, Adam shares his fresh insights on: Kingdom Investing (yes, the church literally investing into portfolios and businesses), how to speak to Millennials and Gen Z about giving, why his church plants in urban environments, the importance of practicality in the faith space, and so much more!
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We call it now Kingdom investing is making investments that are rewarded in the kingdom. We are saying how can we find companies that are early onset where 100,000 200,000 is a game changer for them, but that gives us more skin in the game so that we can leave a legacy and pay off our debt as much as possible and passed down to the generation of churches and leaders and business entrepreneurs. A pastor turn tech leader and a millennial churchgoer, exploring the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. Welcome back to another give it up podcast episode. And we're coming at you from virtual room number. How many is this? I don't know advance because we're just so excited bringing all of our friends onto the show. Because what I love answer is how many friends we have that have unique, innovative perspectives on so many different things within the faith space. And our friend Adam Mesa certainly has faced for us today. So good. I'm so excited. Adam, thank you so much for joining us. If people don't know, Adam is a pastor at an incredible church in Rancho Cucamonga. I actually have my Rancho shirt on. I think this is my California, the lead pastor taken from his dad, who y'all planted this church with 30 years ago, just about 29 years this year. So next year will be 30 years. Yeah, 29 years, had 1000s and 1000s of people this past Easter, and even just on a regular basis, for decades have been making an incredible community impact. And now starting to become a national impact always been nationally recognized. But just the models that you guys are setting up with neighborhood church and things like that, that I'm following that I'm learning from, and things like that. Also, if you don't know, Adam is a prolific investor, not just on the basic apps like Robin Hood and stuff like that this man is investing into technology at the earliest stages. And that's one of the reasons why we met we met at a random conference at a random ranch Bob Gough may or may have not been involved. Nice shoes may or may not have been involved a Lakers Jersey Anna, and a Lakers cat may or may not have been involved. But we connected ever since then, maybe a couple years ago. Now, Adam Yeah, two years now at this point. And I'll self proclaim it besties ever since so yeah, I so good. to have you on the pod. You want to say a quick Hi, and then we'll get into some of the topics. Yeah. Hey, thank you so much. I'm I'm big fan of overflow user of overflow listener of the podcast. And so I appreciate that so much. I believe he's a trailblazer. The moment I met him, I was like, This guy is my guide. I'm actually a really quiet guy. No, really. So we just kind of when we met at this gathering, we'd be lying to each other. And I was like, Man is this this guy really is going to change the world. You hear people say it and you go okay, okay, you know, you got it. Did you mean bad to you? Yeah, no, he's really going to impact the world. And so and the whole overflow team, I mean, it just absolutely most impressive people I've ever met. So I'm excited excited to pastor I'm excited that you know, I'm in business and everything like that, but I love the people I get to work with more than anything. I think that's the biggest blessing period, both both in the secular industry, business industry, but also in the church. So I love it. So good. Well, we're gonna get into tech, we're gonna get into investing. But before that, I want you to give just our listeners just an insight into everything that God is doing through your church through abundant everything that's happening in Rancho and beyond maybe give a quick synopsis because you all have had such an incredible impact in the community. Yeah, I mean, some some of the things that so like Matt said, We're going up 30 years next year as a church, we just shared with our, with our church that at the end of this year 2023, my dad will officially step into a new role and a new season. So you know, I've been doing this transition for six years. And it's been a great transition. And, you know, he was he's transitioning one of the largest churches in America, just like many of the other churches that we're seeing today that are transitioning to, you know, mostly millennials. Now, nowadays, and so, we've been doing this for six years. It was supposed to be a 10 year plan. We decided to do seven COVID was kind of for us a healthy force multiplier. I know for others, it wasn't, but for us it was a healthy force multiplier for for my leadership. For me in our church, and so it also gave us a chance to launch a lot of vision that we had kind of laid dormant that we were hoping to release. And so some of those things were like a network of churches, which is more like a family that does like discipleship and community with other pastors. And so we're gonna probably watch this at the end of the year, called abundant network, but we call it the actual like, namesake of it is neighborhood church. And so we believe churches that impact the neighborhood, I would always grow up with people saying that we're going to change the world, but they can't even change their block. And so we didn't really want to name a church after the world, we wanted to change the name, name of church movement after the neighborhood. And so we believe in in zip codes, you know, and so it's like, impact your zip code, and then let God do the rest from that point. And so we believe that kind of a neighborhood church movement can happen within our sphere, that reaches, blocks, reaches streets, reaches neighborhoods, and then the impact can be global. Should we all join together, you know, to do this together, it's not on any individual. And so we really want to mobilize, I want to mobilize the next generation to be church planters. We have more churches closing than ever, we have more vacant churches without pastors than ever. And so that's kind of I guess, you talk about entrepreneur endeavor, kind of change, looking in my eyes more in the church sphere, because I spent the last decade in the business world and marketing and investment, all that stuff. And we're gonna continue to do that stuff. But I really got my eyes set on, I want communities to have churches that labor with their community. And so we also have a generosity center. So each of our campuses, one of our main points is we believe every church that becomes a neighborhood church should have some type of center where they meet the physical needs of the community, hands and feet of Jesus. And so our general, we have two campuses right now of our own. And both have what we've called, we named them generosity centers. And so last year, we gave out 1.5 million pounds of food to 291,000 people last year alone. So that's our heart. That's what we what we hope to continue to do. We hope to teach other churches how to do that. And so we have great relationships with Costco, Sam's Club, stater brothers, Albertsons, you name it, a lot of them are our main financial donors, the financial equivalent of how much stuff we get donated annually is two to $3 million worth of food and produce. So you know, that's something we continue to hope to broaden our relationships with, to allow other churches to partner. So we support about 100 other churches that come to our locations, pick up food, and pass it out to their community, whether they're in you know, within three hours of us, we help support and get food out. So yeah, those are just some of the things that we do in our local church setting, the abundant network neighborhood model. And when I was following this on Instagram, even before you had posted about a year, you told me about it when we were on a trip in Vegas together at another church conference, and from hearing your vision about it to now seeing it being implemented. What's been interesting is to see that you're implementing it actually in urban environments. Is that specific? Is that strategic? Is that is that going to be the model? Because it seemed like it was like in an urban environment more like a Starbucks would be on that corner? But now you see a church on that corner? Is that Is that intentional? Yeah, definitely. So, you know, for me, I'm always looking on like, how do we solve problems? I know, in the business sphere, that's like the first thing that they're always talking about. But in the church sphere, it's not that it's kind of like, it's like, again, you know, the church is always kind of behind the eight ball and stuff. And so, like, I've been in many business settings, like, hey, how do we solve a problem for X, Y, and Z? And they go in the church spirit, it's not really like, how do we solve a problem? It's just like, how do we just keep doing what we've done for the past 60 years, you know, it just, it's not working, you know, a lot of times, and you got this new generation Gen Z, and that was like totally doing stuff totally different. So, for us, one of the problems I see is a lot of church church planning is happening in what I call sexy cities, which are fine. Every city needs a church. You know, sexy cities are Hollywood, Miami, and those are important, it should happen. Churches, we just don't feel led to go to those kinds of kinds of spaces. And maybe it would have been one day, what we really feel led to is going to places that have a majority of minorities, people of color in those communities, because those tend to be where church planning goes. The least or the last and resources go the least and last in that way. And so for us, we have a desire to look at analytics and go to places that need help that need improvement. that we want the mayor of that city to see us as a blessing coming in that city, not the mayor going like, Oh, here's another one come in. Here's another church. You know, I'm more like, you know, we need you guys in this city, we have a crime issue, we have a poverty issue, you know, we have a mental health issue. And we believe that's kind of where our church has been been graced by God. And so there are other churches that that are doing great works when they go to Hollywood and, and all the in New York and stuff like that. And those are great places. That's just not, that's not, that's not really our thing that we feel led to. And so we want to be able to equip the minority church, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Pacific Polynesians, where there's a lot of those in a bunch of cities that don't always get reached, you know, the best way because they are culturally different. And so not not saying I even understand all those cultures, but we want to make an effort to reach those cultures and reach those people. And a lot of times, it comes by being a resource to those individuals. And so we really emphasize counseling in our church, we really emphasize something we call forward, which helps people even though you're saying you may need to be deliberate of certain addictions and habits, a lot of stuff that comes with more minority communities that come with like alcohol addiction, drug addiction, domestic violence, our church really tries to come in and like how do we seek healing for that? How do we pursue the Lord in that? How do we, you know, how do we allow God through various classes that we have counseling sessions we do. So we want to be able to help other churches that come, hey, I want to be a neighborhood church, I want to do this and say, How can we equip you to do these things like we have seen, and we see great health in our church for right now. So let's get real. Yep. One of the reasons why this model has not been pursued historically at scale, is because, you know, the surface level analysis is that the business model doesn't work. Okay. All right. So let's, let's take the business model, the business model of a church, quote, unquote, largely is driven by tithes and offerings. So you plant a church in Scottsdale, you plant a church in New York, you plant a church in, you know, some of these areas, it makes a lot of sense, right. But yeah, demographic, right, you know, you can even just plant a smaller church and still be a really viable community, going into more of an urban setting, maybe a setting that socio economically, is middle lower. How do you make that business model? Let's get to the brass tacks. How do you make that work? I think it's a few things that I can tell you, you can look up the, you know, statistics, we have a campus in Pomona, the city of Pomona you can you can pull up the crime rate at Pomona easily you could pull up the financial it's every it's it's not a safe city, whole avenue is one of the highest forms of prostitution in all of Southern California, you got a whole street on a Friday night, there's literally hundreds of prostitutes. At our church at Pomona, we bought a building a Salvation Army that was about 80 years old. So all that to say, first of all, it takes an investment. So you need a church kind of our size, who who's going to actually be able to found a couple years, that's going to be able to for a couple years, absolve part of that negative, that's going to happen for that church. So for us, it has taken extraordinarily a short time, thank God, but it's taken us three years to actually not recoup all the money we put in but for it to be financially completely sustained. And so the campus we have in Pomona, there is even though we're paying a mortgage and other things like that, that campus completely takes care of all of its bills, three full time employees, all salaries, everything like that. And so it's it's it's not a worry of ours, our church from our Rancho campus, which is a minority churches well gave, we raised money on the front end, we sowed the seeds into it, and then from there, we launched it with about a half a million dollars. And then now it completely takes care of itself three years later. And here's how we do it with those type of communities. Number one is people who have retained a large amount of debt, do not give, they don't tie, they definitely don't tie more than anything they may tip you during a season. And then outside of that it's not going to be regular giving. So some of the first things you're going to have to do is you're going to have to enable courses and classes that teach people how to better manage their finances. So things like Financial Peace University, and those sorts. The next one I think they do is called legacy or something like that. And so you want to be able to immediately start talking about a Financial Responsibility. We talk about giving every single week. Some churches, particularly I know those churches in the south, they don't talk about money at all, it's just we know that you're gonna give there's a pocket at the back, or people just they don't talk about it, they don't teach about it. Every week, we have caveat, five minutes in our service, where we talk about finances. Now we got we don't talk about guilt give or anything like that. And we don't talk about false promises. We don't say that, you know, if you give God's gonna give you it 100 fold. And if you give $100 by next month, God, I'll give you$1,000 By no means do we do any of that stuff. We just talked about biblical financial responsibilities, we talked about how we have to be stewards of our money, and how your dollar is a seed where you planted, it will grow. If I plant my money every week into the liquor store, then what will grow of it, alcohol addiction and everything else that follows it. If I plant my dollar in the church, then I will see you'll see fruit of it, you will you'll see it in our programs. And so those that's just number one, we're talking about money, we're just we're being unabashed about it, we're talking about the importance of giving. And we're seeing people delivered that money and that love of money, we call it you know, in our church thing, we call it that love of Mammon, right. And so we talked about how we got, we got to release that in generosity. The other thing we talked about is we use language that's relevant to today. So we talked about subscription at your church, like if you have a Netflix subscription, gym membership, and all these other things like that. How much do you give monthly to your church per the value that your church is giving you? Now for us, we do a lot of programs for our members. So they equate that really easily. We do forward we talk about deliverance, we do counseling in our church, we do family programs, we do a financial, you know, we do a food distribution center. So our people in that community, they see that really fast. And we don't have to have anyone that gives a lot, we just need enough of us doing our part. That's what we tell the church all the time. Like we're not looking for anyone rich to come in here and give what we are is looking for everybody who considers this home to do their part. That's what so it's the conversations we're having in that face that you have to do different than when you're in like you said, Scottsdale Phoenix, you know, much more places that our upper upper middle class to upper class where where they get it, they just go I'm going to start giving or all these things like that we have to we have to educate, but also our ministry matches what we're educating they, the people are receiving, and every dollar that we asked to give, we show them where it goes. So if we're raising money for for, you know, to improve the Youth Center, that thing's gotta be done in the next 90 days to six months. Because a lot of people in the minority communities have gone to churches that have raised money, and then let it go pastor has gotten a bigger car, or it's gone towards something. And so we go, Hey, you could you could you could bet us to it, you give this money towards this project, we have it already set up in the next 90 days to six months, it's going to be done. Where this isn't going to prolong over three to five years. And then they trust you with that, you know, so we've seen it happen at our campus being 90% minority church in Rancho and then our other campus in Pomona, which is actually an impoverished city. Both have been financially in the positive for years now. In that sense? That's brilliant. I just love how you took what many see as an obstacle as an opportunity for greater intentionality. Right? And you saw this opportunity of cool, this is a situation, how do we actually up our game? How do we up our resources? How do we up our education? How do we up our Bible literacy of what it means to be financially responsible? And what the Bible informs us of how we can be as God's children? Financially flourishing? Right? Yeah. And and I love what you said, that model works. It works. Because there's a couple things that needed to happen. Number one, you needed a sending house that did a seed investment. Right? So that was critical to get it started to give it enough runway, so that you could mobilize the masses, right? And so you don't need you know, a few multimillion dollars even standing it up to be sustainable. No, you just give the church 1218 months worth of runway to do the education to do the hard work to do the financial freedom courses so that it can become viable, just through its own community that's contextual to that urban city. I love that man. I love it. Yeah. Because don't get me wrong. I mean, my my natural flesh. I mean, I want to go to Irvine, I want to go into San Diego, you know, like, but But for us, we're like that, that that's that's not our call and I remember that historic Rick saying that, you know, they asked Rick Warren Hey, why did you plan to you know, plant Saddleback in Lake Forest in, in Irvine. And they thought it was gonna be this, you know, cloud of smoke came down, the Lord told me, he said, I got a magazine article that Irvine will be the next populated financial city, you know, in all of America, and all families will be moving there by 2000, or whatever. And so he's like, Oh, go there, you know, where it seems like everyone's going, where the economy is going. Right. And I there's no shame in that those those individuals needs pastoring just like anyone else. And Rick Warren has built a legacy that is planted more church, I think, than anyone in history from what I understand. So you know, like, and to me, he's, he had to go to Urbani, to be able to plant as many churches that he did and send off because Irvine, like you said, acted as that hub, you know, and that's always what we're trying to get our Rancho campus to understand is this campus is a hub to future campuses. And the only way those will thrive is if we succeed here. And if we continually invest in the kingdom, by planning other churches, we we have to have that model is only successful as far as people are willing to buy in to that vision and believe that we are solving a problem, which is a kingdom problem for us. You know, I love that Adam, you know, I wanted to hit on this because Carrie Neuhoff, recently on his show, discussed this statistic that most church plants when they go live, per se, it's 98% of people that are already churchgoers, and only 2% of people are actually brought in the doors. Now I am assuming that what you're seeing in a non quote, sexy city, these statistics look a lot different. What does that look like for someone in Pomona? For instance? What what are you seeing with people that have gone to church before just bounced two years versus never entering the building at all? Yeah, I mean, you know, I think part of it is, so we're definitely and again, I wouldn't know the exact statistic but but for at least for our promoter campus, but but from what I know, going over there and seeing and hearing the salvation stories, is there are there are and have been some people that have have come from from other churches, especially early on, we've been we've been doing this now for about four and a half years. COVID, kind of, because we were meeting in a junior high. So then when COVID hit, we had like a year and a half, two years of like no church at that campus. And we relaunched 2021 of Easter. So we've been open again now for two years. So that being said, majority of the people because of what we have to do to evangelize and breach that community, and yes, there are a lot of churches in the city of Pomona. And if they are they're extremely segregated. So most churches, you'll get in that in that city are either going to be all black churches, or all white churches. And so for us, it's and you go to our campus, it's completely diverse Asians, Polynesians, Hispanics, African Americans. And so for us, what that comes down to is a place where we are reaching the community. So every Saturday, we're having that generosity center open, you could come and meet with your campus pastor for counseling any time. And so we do two sessions of free biblical counseling you and you kind of get on a schedule, we do forward. So friends are inviting their friends in the community, to the to these programs that we have. And through being the hands and feet of Jesus, they're being exposed to our church. And then they're being exposed to our neighborhood model, which our neighborhood model is we have a saying in our campuses, that says we do life in circles, not in rows. So every every week, when we're on stage, we say Hey guys, today you're in a row, but this week, you should be in a circle. And so that continues to emphasize that idea of I'm inviting new friends. And we do we do salvation calls every single Sunday. So that's getting people really in the community to come in. So by no means ours definitely wouldn't be the one Carrie had, you know, had done but but but I'd be happy to go and check the actual statistic as far as I can tell. You know, if they were a churchgoer, they were a churchgoer. 15 years ago, you know, it's it was their day they didn't come like exactly church hop from from that church to this. And for us, we actually do video sermon. So right away if you came from a church like yesterday, who had live preaching, it is a bit of a culture shock because we actually I'm the main teaching pastor, so I film every Saturday for our campuses. So immediately at church, just another person that's leaving another church just looking for the next cool thing. We're actually not the next cool thing, because there is a bit Have a, there's a bit of a change and shift in your model of how you're receiving church. So you actually have to find value in how we're doing church and discipleship, and how we're doing community in order to go past the hurdle of the teaching pastor. But we have a model that says if you receive the teaching pastor, that means you get your campus pastor full time. So that's kind of why we have chosen to go towards that model, because we understand in the minority community, how much work that past campus pastor has to do, to minister to that community. Now, if we were in a community where we didn't have to do all the programs, we did, then like preaching could work. But for us, if I expect my campus pastor to spend 25 hours preparing a sermon, and then spend 60 hours doing counseling, and generosity center, and everything else that we have doing, not only what I ended, ruin his marriage, I would make his kids hate him at the same time. And so I refuse to do that stuff, you know, yeah, put that pressure on it. I love the intentionality of even how you craft in I'm gonna use business terms, because part of our podcast is bridging business technology innovation with with the church. How you define your product, so to speak, right. And so there is a an elevation of being the hands and feet of Jesus, that's part of what you're going to find when you go to your church, right. And so even the way that you craft the roles and responsibilities for a campus pastor, and lessening the load on even preparing 25 hours for teaching frees them up to actually deliver on the product that you want to deliver. There's this great book called Crossing the Chasm. And I find it so interesting, it talks about early adopters, and that transition of early adopters to early majority. And I think there is sometimes this stigma with church planners of like, oh, you know what, like, we have to go into the halls of Stanford, we have to go to all the atheists, and we have to go into the streets of San Francisco, and we have to convert everybody to start the church. And the reality is like, we're trying to go for the high fruit to start. Yeah, there's so much low hanging fruit. And so I actually think that a lot of times, what you'll find is that the early adopters are going to be displaced Christians that don't already have a home. Right. And then once you get the early adopters to create that stability in that foundation, then you can progress to the early majority, and then the the rest, right. And so yeah, I think that's just generally probably permission for anybody that's listening to this. That's early on in the church planning phase, that hey, that's not a wrong strategy. Actually, a lot of times, that's how you start getting inertia and momentum. One thing that Yeah, I mean, yeah, if you release a new product, the first thing you want to do is you want people who are not plugged in with that, who are loose on another product. You know, like you talked about like that, that private airplane company JSX. Like, yes, like they're trying to solve a problem for people who are sick of TSA security. So, so like they they're all right, they didn't create something new out of thin air, like they're just trying to, like, slightly solve a problem. And so for me, I just want people to be plugged into their church. So sometimes I'll meet people in the street, who used to go to my church. And I'm like, Hey, I've seen you a long time. And they're like, Oh, I started going to the church down the street. And I'll be like, Oh, tell me why. And they're like, oh, because because this is really what I needed in this season. Now, no one really wants to hear that. But the, the biggest part of me says, but if it makes you more plugged in than you were in my church, if it makes you more committed to your relationship with God, then I'm going to be okay with that. But if you're straggler just like you were at my church, then that's probably a problem. But if this makes you more committed than that, I want that to happen. So our church is a very large church. If someone goes to a church, planters church, and they say, I like it, because it's really, really small, and everybody knows each other. There's nothing I can do to fix that, you know, like, and so what I'm gonna say is, man, I'm so I'm happy for you. And I'm happy for that. Pastor. I'm not all of a sudden looking at that pastors Instagram sideways or anything like that, you know, I'm just like, Man, I'm happy for you. That's great. I'm glad you found a place that you feel connected to. I love that. I love that. We wanted to also ask you, Adam Zhou and I were really impacted when you spoke at our company Summit. Really about your mindset in investing? Not even just from the church standpoint, but you personally, you were really early on one of the first checks into a technology company called pray.com, which now has 10s of millions of users, really around the world. And you got in when there were like a couple of users. I think you were like the first user. Oh, I really was I was maybe like, besides the staff, the first human user. So I think this is just gonna, this is gonna break people's mental models on so many different wavelengths right here of like, talk to us about your mentality around investing, but not just investing, super early stage investing, while also being a pastor, and a shepherd, and a church leader, because not only, you know, were you involved in investing, but also the church rallied behind it as well, like, talk to us about this, because this is gonna blow people's mind. I feel like Yeah, I mean, I think part of that comes from, you know, my dad grew up in East LA. And so he was he was a Mexican from Montebello, and my grandpa was a plumber, My great grandpa was a mechanic. And so, you know, when, when you're never taught about financial responsibility, and it's never really been exhibited to you in any way, I think, really, you know, part of that credit had originally come down to my dad who, as you're pastoring, the minority community, and you're trying to teach people around finance, and but you're burying people, and they can't even afford their funeral. Siblings are fighting over the gold ring that dad had, because that was the most, you know, financially, you know, worth thing that they he had was, you know, a $4,000 gold ring or a $6,000, bracelet type of thing. And so, for us, we what I had seen, what was popular in more of the white Evangelical Church was this idea of leaving a legacy and financially paying things off and for them, a lot of them had it in stocks, bonds, Roth IRAs, and stuff like that. Well, for us, we could do that. But then we thought to ourselves, Well, if everyone else in tech right now is investing in these kind of, of these companies that are rising, Why could we not do that on a kingdom sense as believers? And why can Why could we not do actually receive more with our little, because we're kind of behind the eight ball, we're teaching financial literacy and all these things like that. And so we actually have to be able to do a lot with a little rather than having a lot and doing a little bit at a time. And so for us, what we found was early on companies in their infancy that we would evaluate were the best risk versus reward for us. And when I talked about little in our little fence, it was 100,000 200,000, you know, 250,000. And so we were saying, how could we find companies that are early onset, where 100,000 200,000 is a game changer for them. But that gives us more skin in the game, so that we can so that we can leave a legacy and pay off our debt as much as possible, and passed down to the generation of churches and leaders and business entrepreneurs. And so we have coined it, we call it now Kingdom investing is making investments that are rewarded in the kingdom. Now, that doesn't have to be necessarily a faith based company, it just has to be in the way that that what's going to continue to happen is we're going to continue to create a savings for our church that the next generation is going to be able to pull from particularly for us for church planning, that's our end goal is that we're going to be able to set up these funds that have returning dividends that we can actually pull from or pull loans against to plant future churches, without putting weight on people to continually do fundraisers and say, hey, could we raise half a million dollars? Can we raise a million dollars? Well, well, what would happen if we had a fund that had $10 million in it, that every single year, we can pull a few $100,000 or pull loans against that will allow us to do that new campus or renovate that new space without the risk of well, what happens if the economy turns in this way, in that sense, because we have value already set up in those accounts from the investments we were we made? So some of them are faith based companies. Some of them are non faith based companies, some of them are put into funds. And so what that does is is number one, look for me, how do I legally leave a legacy for for my children and my children's children? And then also how do I ensure for our church that we're here because I think what a lot of people don't realize is for most minority churches, they will close down after one generation. Well, after after that Hispanic pastor, that black pastor becomes 7080 years old and he retires. They did not set up their church for for success. More so it's more so in minority churches than it is in a white evangelical church that exists to but it's rare. really heavy in the minority church. So for us, we just didn't want to be another statistic. And my dad would always talk about that. It's like, we're not going to be another statistic, we're not going to be that next statistic that closes our doors, we're not going to be that next statistics of African Americans, Hispanics, who didn't know how to run their finances, who couldn't keep something for more than one generation, we're not going to be those people. And so with him, it started from him leading with the vision. And then I think with now his son being me, he led with the vision. And then I came in with more of that solution, being his son that also had a background in marketing and in tech already. And so what had happened was before I met the guys that pray.com, two weeks prior, I had a meeting at Facebook, where I basically pitch to them pray.com as a feature in Facebook, and I didn't even know the pray guys at that time. I said, Hey, what would happen if you guys start to allow us to stream church services on Facebook, they weren't doing streaming at the time, I said, What would happen if you created these kinds of rooms, where churches could go and gather and it could be like a digital small group, Facebook pages as like the little page where you can communicate, that didn't exist at that time, they created that as a result of pre.com becoming successful. And so when I so I was already in the sense of like, my head was set towards finding solutions that I met the prey guys, they had a better model than I had in my head. And I said, Hey, can we can we invest in this? I believe this is gonna go somewhere, because I truly believe that it was a solution that was needed, as in the even the first day that I met you, Vance. And I believed that giving stock and crypto was the future. And I remember a pivotal conversation I had with with an African American pastor who said, Hey, I signed up for overflow. And in six months, no, no, no, what no one has given stock. And I said, here's what you have to recognize, is in our minority communities. The average person, you know, I think it's 60. Or you may know, it's been the mean, 60 to 65% of all stock in America is owned by white Caucasians. So only only 30 to 40% of stock is shared amongst all other cultures. But we know majority of wealth is held in stock. So you know, what I was telling that pastor was, if we believe that financial stability, for the next generation comes in the form of stocks, and crypto and other things like that, well, then you have to be innovative enough to also view overflow as you being a person building a foundation in your church to teach your young people, oh, you've never heard of stock you never knew that you could give it you know, you don't even know what it is, let us help you teach what it is. Because most of the white people in America hold it. And they're totally aware of it. And they're passing all these things down to their next generation. Why are we not doing the same? And then as churches? Why are we not enabling these features, so that in a generation or two, we've already had these features, we understand it so that we can prepare them for success. So part part of leading a minority community is also taking those steps of faith in education, you know, that is so mind blowing, like I, you just blew so many people's preconception out of the water with that, and what I am really loving and being encouraged by hearing you say, Adam, is how seriously you take investing and discipleship, and not just financial investing, like you are investing literal resources into these communities. So that it's a, so that success looks different. It's not just Yeah, I accepted Christ. It's no, my entire life. And family generational lineage is now different, because of the actual tools I've learned, as well as the spiritual tools that I have as well. And and, you know, there's a statistic, that fidelity, charitable revealed last year, and it's that 67% of millennials, consider themselves philanthropists, I would love to hear because you seem like this exact type of person, the archetype of this person, right here, but what are you seeing in your church communities about that statistic? Well, I think what you're like what you're saying is, I think I think millennials, from what I'm seeing is millennials and Gen Z. They understand philanthropy in a greater sense, but But here's what has to happen is is what I've seen from the boomers in the silent generation, even some of the Gen Xers is the way they've understood the model of maybe philanthropy or church is they would just in a sense, blindly gift so okay, this is my church. So therefore, I get it 10% of my income or whatever you want to say right? This is What I give or Okay, the girls and boys club, yeah, I'll give$1,000 I'll give whatever, millennials and Gen Z are actually moreso doing their homework as to where these things go, and what's being done with it. And so you actually have to bring a lot more clarity. And that's what we've done in our church is we are seeing the generosity of millennials increase. But we actually what I call, you have to peel back the curtain. Yeah, you can't, you can't have a stage where you just give like a really good speech, or you just, you know, give this like, to me these innuendos of like, we're going to change the world, right? That's what you would hear. It's like, what changed the world? And they're like, yeah, yeah, $10,000, you know, like, look at this, you know, look at this person, you know, this step, right. So for us, like, we just, we just actually did a fundraiser at our church with our vision Sunday, and we actually flew our missionary from Brazil, had her show pictures, had her architect, draw, draw, do images of what our renovation is going to look like, because and then we taught and then we gave our church a timeline, in 90 days to six months, you will get a progress report from her with a video of these renovations being complete, boom that people started giving towards that. Because with millennials, you, you have to, you have to show them and be much more clear. This is what it's going to this is. So yeah, they're totally open to philanthropy, but not philanthropy of the previous generation that just puts you know that you just have a Santa outside of a target ringing a bell saying, Hey, give something to Salvation Army. They're jaded. Off of that. They're saying, Where did this dollar go? And whose life is it changing? And I want to know that it's going to do that. Is that right? Wrong? or indifferent? Oh, no, it's just a new generation. So I can either I can either keep doing the same model of what what is done in the past, or I can do that little bit of extra work to say, No, we're gonna, we're gonna peel back this curtain. And we're gonna make it abundantly clear to them about where these giving increments are going, how it's changing lives, how it's impacting people. So I think any philanthropist or anyone willing to give him philanthropy is looking for those type of things. Ladies and gentlemen, my friend, Pastor Adam, Mesa is just dropping wisdom bombs. On the given a podcast, so much insight, you know, maybe we title it something like this. So pastors solving problems, because this is a theme that I hear from my friend, Adam here. And that's what it is, like, you know, I sit in the seat of executive pastor. And in the last decade, that we've been doing this implanting, and building and growing the church, I've realized that theologically, there's like three to four hot questions, you know, where more of the questions come from is practicality. Like, I got this financial crisis, you know, these kids are driving me nuts, my marriage, you know, all these days, it's, you know, the modern day pastor has to understand how to pastor people practically, and how to point people to be able to solve real problems in their day to day, that's why I love preaching, that doesn't just preach to your Sunday, but can that that can change your Monday, right? That's what we say at our church at vibe church. And you know, everything that you're saying, even, you know, breaking down your guys's mentality around investing, I found it so practical, right, you and your legendary dad, Pastor Diego, your whole family had this understanding that, hey, as minority based church, we don't start with maybe as much as others, we're not going to use it as a crutch, though, we're going to change the game, we are going to look from a different perspective, we might have to increase risk a bit more, but we're going to totally increase potential reward. But to de risk that model. You're not just spraying and praying and throwing investment dollars into whatever, you're actually aligning it to problems you actually see in the market. And so it's not that you thought that oh, cool, these pray.com guys are awesome. I'm gonna get to invest. It was like, no, no, I've been thinking about this problem. I pitched this to Facebook. This is needed in the world. This is needed for the local church, we will be customers ourselves. And from that place, you made a strategic investment. You made a smart investment. This was an investment based on wisdom, and not every investment is going to work out. But if you're doing it from a place of solving a problem, if you're doing it from a place of personal experience, Warren Buffett says don't invest outside of your core competency. And every one is going to work out but if you continue to do that it compounds over time into disproportionate returns for yourself and for your organization. question and I just love that it all is with the mission of building the kingdom. I love how you position what do you say Kingdom investing? Kingdom investing. Yeah, yeah. Kingdom investments that I mean, that's just what we talk about in our, you know, in our meetings in water cooler talk, but that to us that that's what it is. It's it's Kingdom investment. So we look at things that would investment that may not be faith based, but for us, the faith based ones are, how will this impact the kingdom? How will it grow the kingdom? And how is this person maybe not being seen? By the by the secular industry or the second secular world, we saw that with film, right? Like when war room came out that movie of the grandmother who prays after that almost every major studio in Hollywood opened up a faith based division. And so you know, when you recognize that people of faith have a lot of potential to impact the world, you know, Hollywood in the rest of the world around it is only going to come when they can make $1. And and then that's always going to be their intention is to make the dollar, it's not impact. That's not That's not their goal. And so for us, we said, we did that recently, with a company that we held, it was it was Christian ownership. And they said, We have board members that are not Christians, we actually want an investor who's Christian, because we're Christian, because we don't want the investors to turn our core belief system, just off of the Prophet, if we have an investor, that's also Christian, you will always be able to have a voice to keep our mission and our mandate on laying because you have just as much skin in the game. And so it was individuals that are doing really well. But we came alongside so that we can be an active Christian voice. And I think that that's what you need more of is you need more believers, who are coming alongside people of faith that aren't just and I would always tell pastors this, like, if you have someone in your church, starting a business, don't tell them, you'll pray for them. And then wait until they become millionaires to then start talking to them about tithing, right? Like, if you believe in them, then start walking that process with them right now. And if there's something that you can do not, not not, and it may not be financial, but it may be in relationships, it may just be in doing a weekly Bible study for them while they're building this company, and they're too busy and stuff like that, like you start if you're a pastor start sacrificing for the entrepreneurs in your church now, instead of just knocking on their door when you need a donation, because they need their pastor and they need a pastor. So they they're gonna need you. You may need them when it's donation season or building campaign season, but but they need you all other days of the year. And so go be there for them in those times. And that's kind of what we've tried to do with Kingdom investment is to be a friend and pastor to those entrepreneurs who have a heart for the kingdom, but are out there, you know, really, really building something that they feel led to build, whether they're, they're in real estate, whether they're in tech, or whatever it may be, we want to come alongside of them. Yeah, and I love what you're saying, because you're taking something that is typically, you know, and can be in the church based transactional to relational, right, you're investing in that person and kingdom investing. I'll say this, let me maybe reduce the gap. For some people mentally, this has been happening in the local church for centuries, it's just that the predominant investment that the church has made is in real estate, physical, real estate. And that's something that I know abundant does in a prolific basis as well. You guys have ranches, you guys have estates, you guys have a lot of business, real estate business complex. Yeah, business complexes and things like that. So that is one part of your portfolio. But what I want to encourage people in is in the time and place that we live in today in our society, it's not just about physical real estate, how are you deploying resources into digital real estate? And it doesn't just mean starting an Instagram profile. Okay. Yeah, do that. Get some distribution. But how are you investing into innovation? How are you investing in the digital landscape? How are you this is the new real estate. And so it's not either or? It's both and my goodness, Zo. This was one of the best combos we've had yet. I love it. Yeah, I'm feeling so encouraged out. Um, so thank you for sharing all this with us. And, you know, here's what I want to challenge if you're a faith leader, and you've listened to this, and you're feeling that conviction of like, oh, I don't need to just continue on with the flywheel just because we know that it works. What if we just made our prayer? God please open my eyes to find the unique problems in my community. Give me the divine insight. To create the solutions for it as well, because that's how we impact the world by first impacting our zip codes. Thank you so much. Give it up for out of Mesa. Appreciate it. Thank you guys so much. Thank you. Love you guys. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture and giving now you can sign up for free to be an overflow insider where you'll receive exclusive content discounts direct access to Vance Roush to get your questions answered, and also invite only access to our monthly fundraising leadership forums, head to overflow.co backslash insider, or just click the link in our bio to sign up for free today. In order to get this podcast in the ears of even more church leaders. Could you please subscribe and leave a review for the show? This tells the podcast players what people are enjoying and want to hear more of and we are adamant about providing maximum value to even more church leaders. Thanks so much. We'll see you next time.