INCUBATE, STORIES

Spiritual Bank of Ecclesia

Ralph Steele   |   January 30, 2018
NBA Incubate SENT Seminar Participant Ralph SteeleNBA Incubate SENT Seminar Participant Ralph Steele

In September 2017, the NBA Incubate Initiative hosted the 2017 SENT Seminar: Equipping Social ENTrepreneurs for Leadership and Change, in Leavenworth, Kansas. Designed for Disciples and their leadership teams who are starting new health and social services ministries, the SENT Seminar covers the basics of nonprofit ministry startups, as well as skills for leadership and change in our global and faith communities. Ralph Steele attended the 2017 SENT Seminar with his organization Wealth Think Bank, an entrepreurship training program.

If you are a very strong entity or church, but you don’t invest your time, talent, and fiscal and spiritual resources in people, what does it matter?

For me, diversity is not how many people we know from different cultures, genders, religions, or races, but rather how much time, talent, energy, money, and love we invest in the least of God’s people - and that’s all of us. What kind of relationship are we building with all of God’s people? Does our care transcend our witty words, and our pretentious thoughts and feelings? How do we develop and model this care in pastoral care?

The “Wealth Think Bank” gives us one, of many, clues. We care about people and their quality of life, and their right to earn and receive decent wages from their place of employment.

We believe that there is a direct correlation between the lack of wealth and the rate of crime in American inner cities. I believe that wealth, not greed or being rich, is a human right. This means having more than enough to live a life of quality in America, as well as in our global society. Typically, as wealth increases within an individual household or a neighborhood, crime tends to decrease. At “Wealth Think Bank,” our aim is to target those who have no money, those who have a lack of money, and those who have less knowledge about how to acquire, manage, and sustain their lifestyle, and to educate them on financial literacy. Our goals are to help people develop the acquisition and management of wealth, as well as to help them start, operate, and sustain a business effectively and with a quality standard level of competence.

We are targeting persons with new entrepreneurial spirits, visions, and goals of living and making the world a better place for all of humanity.

I participated in the SENT Seminar to rise out of the ashes of limiting beliefs and hopefully allow my mind to flip the switch. By this I mean, replace and change the thoughts that may limit me in developing and providing a spiritual and professional tool to assist God’s people through the Disciples of Christ ministries.

Many of the people who will be trained and assisted by the “Wealth Think Bank” will also know that NBA cares, that SENT cares about God’s people through partnerships, experiences, and QBR (Quality Business Relationships). Through these partnerships and business relationships we can also build QBN (Quality Business Networking)—always sharing resources, knowledge, spirit, and joy with all.

I am grateful for the experience and the community that I shared at SENT Seminar. I look forward to further opportunities that lie ahead of the potential partnership between the NBA and the “Wealth Think Bank.” I will use this partnership to assist persons in creating a quality of life, both spiritually and financially, for their family, children, community and their church.

I am sure that I don’t have to be limited in working, providing, and sharing both the good news and wealth with God’s children within the inner cities, who are just as worthy Disciples as anyone.

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The NBA incubates new ministries, supporting social entrepreneurs of faith who are serving their communities in a variety of innovative ways and empowering these Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on growth, impact, and sustainability. Learn more at nbacares.org/incubate or by contacting Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative, at awatkins@nbacares.org.

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