Building a Positive Working Relationship with Your Church’s Financial Institution with Eric Schroeder

Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. We’re having a great conversation with Eric Schroeder, the president and CEO of CDF Capital, an organization that helps churches grow in order to transform lives and communities.

Financial matters, like spiritual matters, are very personal. And when you’re dealing with something personal, it can be hard to develop a trusted relationship with the right people. Listen in as Eric shares what to look for when choosing a trusted financial partner for your church, and how to build a positive working relationship with your church’s financial institution.

  • It takes time. // When it comes to dealing with finances, we all want to have a trusted relationship with the people we work with, and that goes for our church too. When looking for a company to work with the church, remember that it takes time to develop that trust. Ask yourself is the person you’re talking to on the other side of the table for you? Do they understand the needs of your church and have its best interests in mind?
  • Transparency and communication. // It’s important to be honest with your church’s financial institution. Share your annual budget or plan with your financial professional. Communicate with them often. Outside of the financial focus, build your relationship with them. Invite them out to lunch and ask them about their family. Help them to see who you are as a church.
  • Develop the relationship. // When it comes to finances, church leaders can feel the tension between wanting to be good stewards while taking advantage of a great opportunity for the church. However, in these interactions with their financial institution what church leaders sometimes fail to steward well is the relationship aspect. If the relationship with your church’s lender has been developed strongly, the lender should loyally stand with the church whenever challenges arise. It’s important to be building a relationship that will be sustained for the long haul.
  • Know the endgame. // Bankers can be skeptical about whether a church’s financial growth will continue or decline when the economy hits rough patches. What is your church’s growth strategy? How are you using debt effectively? Debt can be used as a tool if you’re growing and expanding, but ultimately your lender should be helping you get out of debt. There needs to be an endgame for debt.
  • Build a strong team. // If a church is built around a strong team then it will be successful no matter what it faces. Lenders are nervous when they evaluate a church that is known because of its “celebrity” pastor because they know that when the pastor leaves the attendance in that church will decline. But churches that really impact their community stand out to lenders.
  • Mission-focused. // If your church is looking for a financial partner, CDF Capital has been working with churches for over 70 years. They are passionate about helping churches grow and have strong expertise in the financial operations of a church. Plus, CDF is mission-focused by helping plant new churches through their partnership with Stadia.
  • Three pillars. // There are three pillars CDF believes are essential for church growth: spiritual capital, leadership capital, and financial capital. CDF is committed to praying for church leaders and seeing the church further its mission. They pour into leaders by providing them with the resources to be effective and do what God has called them to do. The spiritual capital and leadership capital must be strong before financial capital can come into play.

You can learn more about CDF Capital at www.cdfcapital.org and reach out to a member of their field team to see how they can help your church grow.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: CDF Capital

Since 1953, CDF Capital has helped Christians and churches embrace their part in this story by providing the 3 kinds of capital every congregation needs for growth—Financial Capital, Leadership Capital, and Spiritual Capital. At CDF Capital, we care about each of these components. When a church is properly resourced financially, spiritually, and in leadership, lives are transformed.

Sign-up to learn more about CDF Capital and how we can help your church grow. Receive a 50% discount on a monthly subscription to the CDF Capital Subscribe & Save Bundle.

Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Hey, friends welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Super excited that you’ve decided to tune in. Today’s going to be a great conversation I’m really looking forward to. We’ve got Eric Schroeder with us. He has 33 years of banking related or banking adjacent experience. And in 2021 assumed the leadership of a great organization, CDF Capital, fantastic organization that if you’ve been around unSeminary for a while you’ve heard us talk about. Well, today we get the man behind it all. Super excited. He’s the president and CEO of CDF ah, they were founded in in 1953 with really a simple mission to help churches grow. And you might know them for the lending that they do, but they really do so much more than that. They want to get in your corner and help your church grow really ah help your church with sustainability. Super excited to have you on the show today, Eric. Welcome – so glad you’re here.

Eric Schroeder — Well thank you, Rich, I’m glad to be here. Um, so to just tie a bow around what you said.

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah, yeah – fill in the picture.

Eric Schroeder — First of all, first of all I’m a Christ-follower, husband, father…

Rich Birch — Love it.

Eric Schroeder — …then banker.

Rich Birch — Love it. Love it.

Eric Schroeder — So I’m kind of I’m kind of a banker by trade, but I’m really you know a Christ-follower first. And I ah grew up in the church; I love the church. And um I love what CDF Capital gets to do. So thank you for that intro.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so good. I’m so glad that you… and you’ve been involved with CDF for quite a while, even before you were you know took the big chair here. You were on the board for a while, right? Going back to early 2010s, something like that… was it that am I… that true?

Eric Schroeder — Yeah, that’s correct. I was on the board of CDF Capital since 2010, so I’ve been…

Rich Birch — Okay, great.

Eric Schroeder — …you know around the organization for a long time.

Rich Birch — Yeah that’s great. Well I’m looking forward to today’s conversation, and you know we’re friends. So you know if you’ve been listening for a while, friends, you know that CDF Capital are our premier brand partner. Literally every single episode of CDF of the unSeminary podcast is brought to us because of our good friends at CDF because they’ve leaned in. They want to get in your corner. So if you think of all the good stuff that you receive regularly, it happens because CDF has chosen to sponsor. So I really am thankful for ah, for Eric and the entire team. Ah, but but we’re friends, so I want to start with maybe an inappropriate question right off the top, you know.

Eric Schroeder — Oh no.

Rich Birch — What is it what is it with finance people? What is it with banking people? Why why do you make us so nervous? You know why are are can we even trust you can we trust a finance or are you just trying to get money out of, you know, are you trying to take our you see us as a market? Do you just see us as something to extract revenue from? Ah you know obviously I’m asking that in a tongue to cheek manner, but ah, but yeah, tell us why is that? Why are finance people just why are they so hard to trust?

Eric Schroeder — Rich, that’s a great question. So um, if you look at who are the most trusted professions. Gallup has done a study on this – they’ve done studies on this for several years. Do you know the number one trusted profession in 2021?

Rich Birch — Um, maybe nurses or teachers something like that.

Eric Schroeder — Correct. Nurses.

Rich Birch — Oh nice look at that.

Eric Schroeder — Teachers are second. You’ve done you’ve done your research, Rich.

Rich Birch — Nice.

Eric Schroeder — And bankers are right smack in the middle of that.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Eric Schroeder — And you know who’s right there with bankers?

Rich Birch — Church leaders.

Eric Schroeder — Pastors.

Rich Birch — Yeah, totally.

Eric Schroeder — So if you think about it, um I think the reason is because we’re dealing… financial matters and spiritual matters are both very personal, right?

Rich Birch — Yeah, very true.

Eric Schroeder — So when you’re dealing with something personal, it’s hard to develop that trusted relationship in some way. So my banking career, that’s what it was all about. If people didn’t trust me, they were not going to come be a client of the bank I was a part of. They weren’t going to invest in the bank that I helped start. Um, a little bit about my background, I did help start a bank in 2007.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Eric Schroeder — And it had great success, went public in 2019. But it wasn’t because of me; it was because people trusted me and we had a great team that served our clients well.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — So it’s always been about that trusted relationship. And, Rich, you know this – it takes time to develop. It doesn’t doesn’t happen overnight.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so I’d love to, you know, do this; I’d love to kind of drill in on this a little bit for the people who are listening in. Friends, we’re not trying to convince you to you know, connect with CDF. We’d love for you to, but I want to try to tap on Eric; he has graciously agreed to come in to really tap on this issue around trust. How do we how do we, on our side as church leaders, What can we do what would be some of the kind of telltale signs of lenders that we should be looking for, you know, that really do have our best interest in mind? Like when we’re when we’re evaluating, whether a CDF or other other people, what should we be looking for? What what would be kind of the the types of things that we should be considering?

Eric Schroeder — Yeah, and that’s that’s a great question and this is not about CDF Capital.

Rich Birch — Right. Yep.

Eric Schroeder — This is about the church, and church leaders, and what is best for them. That’s that’s always going to be our approach is what’s best for the church and what’s best for church leaders. So drilling into that, is the person you’re talking to on the other side other side of the table, are they for you? Do they understand your needs? Are they trying to push something? Um, you know, we are not very I would say salesy. We’re more consultant…

Rich Birch — Yes, yeah.

Eric Schroeder — …from their approach.

Rich Birch — So true.

Eric Schroeder — So we’ll direct a client to the appropriate lender to the right solution for them even if it’s not at CDF Capital. That’s that’s always been what we’ve been focused on is what is best for the church. So I’d encourage church leaders to really look at, okay, being transparent with your banker, being overly communicative.

Rich Birch — Ok.

Eric Schroeder — If you have a [inaudible] coming down the road, be talking to your your lender about that, or your banker. Be inquisitive. Ask questions. Find find out if they’re using the banking services, all the banking services that are available to them, and in their appropriate ways. So there just become a learner of how to be a better bank client or better lending institution client is what I’d recommend people to do.

Rich Birch — Love it. Let’s talk about that overcommunicating piece; unpack that a little bit more. When you say I… because I do think are oftentimes, there are some leaders who look at their relationship with whatever bank or lender that they’re dealing with, it’s almost like an adversarial thing. It’s like I’m going to try to only tell them I’m going to make it look real sunny. I’m going to try to you know, spin it in a way that um you know things look amazing. And that’s obviously not helpful long term – you want the most you know, kind of clear picture on both sides of the table. But what would be some of those things we need to say about over, you know, overcommunicate with your your lender or or with a banker, you know, um, on either side. What would you what would be some of those things that you’d be you’d be talking to or you’d encourage people to talk to their, you know, their institutions about?

Eric Schroeder — Well church leaders and churches are always, every year developing an annual budget or an annual plan. So I would share that strategic plan with your your financial professional, who you’re working with. I would share the budget with them. Um, and I would you know have periodic interactions with them. Go have lunch with your lender or banker. Um go meet with them on a regular basis and establish that personal relationship. Ask them about ask that banker about their family. Um, you know, that is making it more less transactional and more relational is always better. Because, Rich, you know, CDF Capital, banks I mean lending institutions, financial institutions, we’re all dealing with a transactional product, right?

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Eric Schroeder — And so how do you take that transactional product and make it relational? It’s hard work. It’s tough, and it just takes time to be overly transparent with your bank or lender and just um, making sure you’re you’re communicating with them often.

Rich Birch — Yeah I know… this wasn’t this wasn’t a banker this was ah someone who we ended up being um you know doing a we rented space from them. They were landlord. We ultimately ended up buying the property from them. And in that transaction we had this little interaction that reminded me how important relationship is in these things. We had pursued this building multiple times. And um, they kept brushing us off. They kept and you know this was in the northeast, and they kept saying oh go away, go away, go away. And I think it was because their perception of what a church is was different than what we were doing. You know we’re a large church 4- or 5000 people. Lots going on. And and they and, you know, this was a big facility, 150- 160,000 square feet, and they were, you know, I think they were like there’s no way, right? Well lo and behold one weekend we were running a special event down the shore. Um, and we had rented out this this thing right off the the beach and it was in the summertime. Great thing. And literally that one of the principles of this organization was riding their bike on the boardwalk past our thing, and saw signs for us. And they called their real estate agent and they said, is this that church that, you know, but keeps bugging us about stuff, you know, about that building? And they said absolutely that’s that’s the same organization. Lo and behold wouldn’t, you know, Monday or Tuesday we got a call back from that broker who was like, hey um I would love to hear a little bit more about what you’re talking about because they saw obviously we had whatever 4- or 5000 people down the shore. They were like okay, that’s a different thing.

Rich Birch — The thing that reminded me in that—and that became actually a great transaction for the church—the thing that reminded me was going above and beyond relationally, trying to connect in a way and that the fact that they saw us, you know, in our environment made a huge difference. You know, I think doing the same thing with our banker, trying to you know, bring them in on the conversations about what’s happening around, you know, and and then but like you say vice versa understand what’s going on in, you know, on their side. So critically important.

Rich Birch — Talk to me about the transactional nature of what we’re doing. You know, I think that can degenerate into into that, and my experience has been if it’s just about interest rates, if it’s just about, you know, where I can get the best here or there, um, if things ever go sideways or if things get a little tougher, ah man, that makes it really difficult. And obviously we all, you know, we all don’t wish those things didn’t happen but sometimes things get tough. We have to figure out how to, you know, redo some stuff. How do how can we push against the transactional nature of this kind of relationship, try to you know, develop more ah, relationally? Anything else on that front?

Eric Schroeder — Oh absolutely. And and trust me, I feel the tension. And I don’t use that word “trust me” lightly, but um I do feel the tension that church leaders have with being good stewards and making sure it’s a great opportunity for the church.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — However, you know, what I think people fail to sometimes steward well is their relationship, relational capital. So the relationships, if they’re stewarded well too, you know, as you said, Rich, when that church may run up against a hiccup, that relationship has been solid. That lender should stand with that church. So that’s where the loyalty comes into play. That’s we’re not always shopping for the best rate – I wouldn’t always recommend that. But I would I would definitely hold my lender, you know, accountable to make sure that is this rate fair and competitive and competitive in today’s marketplace. And explaining why that rate is is what it is. So trying to, you know, unhitch that, you know, is action from the rate and hitch it up to more the relationship piece I think is really really important for the long term health of the relationship.

Rich Birch — You know one of the things I’ve run into with—and this again is this is not with CDF Capital this would be with with other, you know, with particularly on the lending side—um, with other lenders is you know, I think when when banks look at us or lenders look at us, it’s it’s hard for them to get their head around what our business is. They can look at the the spreadsheet; they can look at they they see this revenue. Um, but I’ve had lenders say, you know, almost these exact words when we’re in dialogue where they’re like, so how do you make money again? Like what how so people just give you this money? And what and so what makes you think they’re going to continue to give this money? This is particularly a problem in growing churches when because you’re seeing, you know, you maybe in the last three years your revenue has doubled or is tripled in the last couple of years, and a lender looks at that. You know, I always thought, well isn’t that a positive thing? They look at that suspiciously. They’re like that’s going up, but… it goes up quick, man it could come down quick. Unpack that for me from, you know, again, taking the the CDF hat off a little bit, just a traditional lender point of view. What are they thinking in that moment? How can I help them understand ah that trends? Or or ah or should I just ignore, you know, more traditional lenders and talk to CDF, frankly? Ah, but help help me understand that.

Eric Schroeder — Now that’s that’s another great question, and one of the things that lenders wrestle with all the time. Um, so thinking about this from the background, and I go back to I grew up in the church. Um, ah I jokingly say I was born on Sunday and I was in church the next Sunday and kind of…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Eric Schroeder — Um now I’m not perfect; I’m I have missed some Sundays, folks, so don’t think that um…

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — But but anyhow the the model where growing up, the plate is past passed every Sunday.

Eric Schroeder — So there’s revenue coming in every week. And if you look at that model, you know, and in healthy growing churches the trend should follow growth, you know, additional additional revenues. And you know bankers or lenders are skeptical about, you know, is that going to continue? What does an economic downturn, how does that play into? Um and you and I both know that, you know, people that are really connected to the church, that impact doesn’t wane in in an economic downturn, for those that are really connected.

Eric Schroeder — Now um, there is some decline in giving during an economic downturn. And if you’re I’ve seen this in capital campaigns, if there’s a capital campaign and you have a sudden economic downturn, that capital campaign may not be as effective. So um, what I have really just talked to, you know when I was on the side of a banker finding out what’s the church’s growth strategy, and how how did they use debt effectively.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — Debt is a tool.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — And churches that use debt effectively, it is really good to ah, to know an endgame. You know in CDF Capital, as a lender we’re working to help churches get out of debt, not get in debt. So that that’s our mantra is, hey we can use debt as a tool if you’re growing and you’re expanding, you’re out of space. We can help you with those options. A lender can help you with those options. Not not to have something long term though.

Eric Schroeder — So churches that are growing, if the lender understands there’s an endgame to that debt and there’s a way to get out of debt, I think that’s where it makes a lot of sense as well.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah. This is such a funny dynamic because I think again for particularly for folks who maybe don’t come from a church background, it can be difficult when they kind of look under the hood. Because a part of it is they start to understand the dynamics and they’re like, okay well a lot of this seems to rotate around there’s like somebody shows up on Sunday and talks. It’s like people like hearing that person talk and so they give. And they’re like well what happens if, you know, something goes sideways with that person then then what goes on. And and you know it’s an interesting and’s just it’s interesting, having been across the table trying to explain what we do from a business point of view um, you know beyond just the numbers. Because that is a part of the lending equation – at least that’s been my experience. That’s a part of the equation. There’s ah, there’s ah there’s the numbers piece, but then there’s also the do they understand what we do piece. Is that true, or am I just making that up? Is that true?

Eric Schroeder — That’s that’s absolutely true. And it’s understanding the leadership of the church.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — And it’s um, if a church is not built around one leader. CDF Capital is not built around me.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — It’s ah built around a great team. And if the church is built around a really strong um, team, the next church is going to be successful no matter what. I think lenders when they evaluate a I’m going to use the word celebrity pastor…

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Eric Schroeder — …that would make them nervous…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Eric Schroeder — …because if that pastor leaves, is the giving going to really decline?

Rich Birch — Yes.

Eric Schroeder — Um, the other gauge that we look at, Rich, is—and you mentioned this and when you were talking about um the story with the the bank and the real estate broker—is churches that are impacting the community. Those are the ones that, you know, people can, a lender they can say, I see the impact you’re having in the community.

Eric Schroeder — And we hear story after story of churches that we’re working with that are impacting the community, and that that’s just pointing people to Jesus. And that’s that’s we love that we get to be a part of what God is doing through the local church.

Rich Birch — Love it. Now can we talk a little bit about CDF specifically? I would like to I’d love for you to kind of unpack that a little bit. Help me understand when you think of kind of the core differentiations between CDF and say some other, either lender or bank, place where I could put my deposits. What would be some of those key differentiations that you’d say, hey this is um, you know, this is what makes us different? And and by different I mean better. What is it that… I’m asking you to brag – you’re like a good christian, Eric; you’re not going to brag, but I’d love you to do that. Kind of tell us a little bit – why why would we choose CDF?

Eric Schroeder — Well I think people would choose CDF if they’re mission-focused. And there are a lot lot of great opportunities out there for people to really get connected to a mission. We we’re focused on the local church. Across the United States we’re focused on helping churches grow. And you know, if you’re going to make an investment with CDF Capital um, you’re being a part of what God is doing through the local church in helping churches grow.

Eric Schroeder — If you’re one of the churches coming to us for council, you’re you’re helping um other churches. And we’re a ministry; we’re a nonprofit. So the the dollars that we make is different from my banking background. So that the dollars we made went back to the shareholders, you know? So they’re creating shareholder value.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Eric Schroeder — Um, which what CDF Capital gets to do now is create eternal value and kingdom value by um, helping plant new churches. So that is one of the biggest initiatives of CDF Capital is using the resources that we generate through our our business model—you can you can’t see the air quotes I’m doing…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Eric Schroeder — …um but “business model” is really focused on helping helping plant new churches. Um, so that’s what we’ve been excited about. Um.

Rich Birch — Tell me more about this. Because I think there’s people that don’t know anything about this part of what CDF’s involved in. Unpack this whole thing about how you have been helping plant churches.

Eric Schroeder — Well um, so we have part of our net assets are really part of a quasi-endowment fund which is the church planting fund. And so Stadia has been one of our great partners that we have partnered with for the last 20 years that they’re doing a great job of helping plant new churches. Um, so Stadia was actually a sister um is a sister organization of CDF Capital. Um, so anyhow, it’s it’s been a fun process, you know, to be a part of the church planting effort, you know. Because you and I both know when when I hear the numbers that Barna puts out that the church attendance is in decline, that people are walking away from their faith, that really, you know, Rich, that doesn’t scare me, that challenges me and our team more that we have a lot of work to do. And that we’re going to do our best to make sure we can do what God is calling us to do to turn that tide. Um, so Stadia has just been a great partner um, that we’ve had for several years years in those efforts.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it. Yeah, this is one of the things I love about CDF is I keep bumping into, I learn about more about your organization, I keep bumping into all these great things that you guys have done to help and support. This is, you know, one of them obviously helping, you know, Stadia and there’s you know there’s lots of different ways that you have stepped in and and tried to help other, you know, ministries which I just think is amazing. Like and I think that can get lost in in the the communication stuff because, you know, we help churches grow – I think there could that’s actually what you do, which is I know it’s shocking to say, but it’s like it’s not a marketing term, friends. It’s not like oh this is like ah that’s like a slick thing to say when you’re trying to reach churches. It’s like no no, this is actually what you know CDF is all about. Is there anything else on that front when you think about when you say you know “we help churches grow,” um, what else comes to mind when you think about that, you know, that that kind of catch phrase?

Eric Schroeder — Yeah, so um, the three pillars that we believe are essential for church growth, and I would I would say in this order: Spiritual Capital. So are we pouring into the spiritual lives of church leaders across the country? Are we praying for them? Um you and I both know through covid and through the pandemic it’s been tough on church leaders. So spiritually we want to pour into them to know we are for them.

Eric Schroeder — The the second um pillar is really Leadership Capital. Um, that’s another part of really CDF Capital – we’re we’re pouring into leaders, um, making sure that they have the resources to be effective and to do what God has called them to do. Um, you’ve mentioned I heard um the previous podcast you did – the XP Summit that’s coming up at May in Dallas.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Eric Schroeder — I mean that’s a way that we can pour into um, young leaders and a leadership capital component of what we do.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it.

Eric Schroeder — Ah and then the you know the the third one is the Financial Capital.

Rich Birch — Right.

Eric Schroeder — And really we’re not going to get to that piece unless there’s strong spiritual capital, strong leadership capital, then the financial capital comes into play.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Eric Schroeder — So um, that’s that’s really the three pillars that we’ve used to help churches grow. And really God is used, enabled us to help churches grow. It’s all it’s all him, Rich.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I really appreciate that. And and friends that are listening in, this is true. Like you know my interactions with CDF, this is very much the way this is what they bleed. Like there this is not like a some sort of like weird marketing thing where they’re like, well we’ll tell people we pray for them and then we won’t actually do that. And before today’s call we prayed for you as we were, you know, kicked this thing off. It is, you know, it’s it’s Eric’s heart, it’s the whole team. Everybody I’ve interacted with um that is they they live this stuff out. And so yeah, just just fantastic.

Rich Birch — All right, Eric, I’m going to push you on one other thing here. So I want you to get real crystal clear. So we’ve got 4- or 5000 church leaders listening in. Um and there are people that this has tweaked oh you know maybe I should be thinking about we’ve got some funds. Maybe I should be thinking about putting them somewhere else, putting them in a different kind of savings vehicle or something like that. Or we’re thinking about a project in the future that, you know, our our reach is a little bit beyond our grasp. We need to, you know, I was talking with a church leader recently, a church planner about this, and I said because he was kind of bummed about um you know some financial stuff. And I said well this is the problem. You know, we we always have to we have to have more seats than the people we have today. So we’re always trying to figure out how do we do that? How do we get more places, more spots? How do we create capacity for people? And so if I’m, what kinds of churches are you looking for? What’s kind of the middle of your bell curve, the kind of ideal this is the type of church that we’re looking to work with on either of those sides? So like hey you maybe have a church that’s looking to put some money on deposit, or a church that’s um, you know, interested in lending. Um, how would you describe them? Because because I would love people to actually reach out and connect with you guys.

Eric Schroeder — Absolutely. So, Rich, it’s it’s both/and. Um so we’re looking for investors, church leaders that want to be a part of what CDF Capital is doing across the country. So those investments are how we’re able to fund the loan opportunities that come up, and then the interest income generated from that is what goes into church planting. So if you look at it from that that business model standpoint, investments, loan Interest, church planting. So investors that want to be involved in that journey with us, we’d we’d welcome that. Check us out at cdfcapital.org. The…

Rich Birch — Um, are is that mostly is that mostly individual investors, or is it institutional like organizations?

Eric Schroeder — It’s it’s individual and [inaudible].

Rich Birch — Okay, both/and. Okay, great.

Eric Schroeder — And for church leaders that are listening that think, okay, we’re out of space; we we we have or we’re leasing a building. What we do a really great job of is helping churches get in their very first building. Um, we step in when most banks um, when it’s a riskier loan opportunity for a bank where it’s maybe the first building, they don’t have the track record. We’re stepping in and helping churches um a lot with with their first building. So reach out to one of our field team; reach out to Mark Briggs. Um and cdfcapital.org – you can find the field team representative in your area on that website. And they they’re truly what God is using to make a change across the country in helping churches grow.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love it. And and so, friends, you heard him say churches that particularly are looking for to get into their first space. Um, you know you might be there today, thinking hmm that that could be us. I would encourage you to reach out again. That’s just cdfcapital.org. Um, it’s very simple to navigate, easy to understand website, easy to find what you’re looking for. Ah you know, just step in there and you know you see right on the front page: church loans and more. You just click on that explore button and you know they can go through that.

Rich Birch — Is there when you talk about like, and I know every church is different so this is a little bit dangerous asking you this question, but are there like size of budgets, you know, that you’re you’re kind of is a sweet spot? You know I would encourage everybody to reach out to you, but is there you know, kind of a particular sweet spot and obviously you need to talk to people and get, you know, a custom thing and all that. But are there particular, you know, churches churches that are of interest for sure?

Eric Schroeder — Well um, Rich, what I would say is if we’re not the right um lender partner for you, we can direct that person, that church leader…

Rich Birch — Love it

Eric Schroeder — …to their right partner. We’re happy to connect them to our friends in the marketplace that that can help them.

Rich Birch — I love it. Friends, you so you heard that. Let CDF do the work for you you. You’re not sure who to talk with, call CDF, give them all your information. If it doesn’t work there, ah, they’ll help point you in the right direction to so to somebody else. Man that’s a huge help, a huge assistance ah, particularly if you feel a little bit stuck you know in this area. So so good. Well, Eric, what else what else would you like to share just as we kind of close up today’s conversation?

Eric Schroeder — So Rich, this is February 10th that we’re recording this and so my Chiefs are going to be playing – I live in Kansas City, Missouri, or actually Lees Summit, Missouri suburb of Kansas City, so my Chiefs are playing this Sunday so as I thought about really kind of what are the four quarters? What if you were thinking about a game plan for CDF Capital? So some things I think people should know um, CDF Capital has 70 – first quarter: CDF capital has 70 years of serving churches, have 70 years of experience doing that.

Rich Birch — Wow.

Eric Schroeder — Second quarter, CDF you know the mindset would be CDF Capital has strong expertise in the financial operations of a church.

Rich Birch — Yes, so true.

Eric Schroeder — We’ve we’ve seen this you know over 70 years. Um kind of the third quarter game plan would be we care about church leaders which is why our ministry cares about spiritual and leadership development. We care deeply about the church and church leaders. Um, and the fourth quarter, and this is where kind of the winning strategy comes into play, um, we care about the future of the church and church planting.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so true.

Eric Schroeder — And the reason is we know this is God’s plan A; there’s no plan B. And we know plan A wins. So um, we’re really excited about the future of the church. We’re here to help church leaders.

Rich Birch — Love it.

And we’re just we’re just excited to be a a part of what God is doing. the mantra that I kind of tell our team all the time is work hard, have fun, and give God all the glory.

Rich Birch — So good.

Eric Schroeder — And we as an organization are here to give God all the glory.

Rich Birch — So good. Well, Eric, this has been a fantastic conversation by the the magic of traveling into the future, friends, you’re listening in you knew who won the Super Bowl. So regardless of whether the Chiefs won or not, we know that that’s a 4 part winning strategy for CDF. So really appreciate you being here, Sir. Again, thank you for your support of unSeminary. We really we appreciate It. We couldn’t do it without you. So I really appreciate that and thanks for all, you’re doing to help so many churches across the country grow, whether it’s church plants or, you know, church looking to get into buildings, all of that. So really appreciate that. Thank you so much.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.