Ultima Financial Planners hosted a one-day seminar called the FLOW conference in Pretoria recently at Casa Toscana, to inspire the business community to apply biblical principles to their personal and business finances. FLOW stands for faith and leadership over wealth and it was also the theme of the inaugural conference.
The conference started with a worship session led by Retief Burger, after which the first speaker of the day Leon Coetzee, talked about how God led him to work with business owners.
“God really has a heart for business people, they are anointed with a purpose just like an intercessor, prophet or any other spiritual gift to serve the Kingdom of Christ and they have an even greater role to for fill in this country as South Africa was born out of a business.”
He referred to Jan van Riebeeck and how he was stationed at Cape Town in 1652 with the sole purpose to establish a business. “Out of this our country was established,” Leon said.
He believes that because of this, it is the business sector that carries God’s heart for the country. He discovered that there is a real need for businessmen to hear from God and has prayed for many businesses in a spiritual partnership to help them fulfil their Kingdom purpose.
Regina Viljoen, who began Ultima Financial Planners with her husband Gerrit, talked about how God helped them develop a Kingdom vision for their business and why this vision impacted everyone that worked at the business.
“God never left us to our own devices. He always showed us a way out of difficult times and he gave us a mandate to make more than just profit, but to have a higher purpose in serving the community we do business in,” she said.
Dorian Wrigley founding partner to Umbomo Capital and managing director of its African business explained the importance of Christians in the business community. “We need reformers, who are part of this world, but not from this world. It is easy to decide to either become a lukewarm Christian, or to isolate yourself from the world, as there is so much evil prevailing today, but we should rather shine our light where there is darkness and influence the people we work with by setting an example of integrity and faith.”
Patrick Kuwana, founder of Crossover Transformation said it is important to understand the root of the decisions we make, as we all participate either in the economic cycle of life, which is based on God’s word or the economic cycle of death and decay which is Satan’s domain.
“If we can understand the way these two economic cycles impact our lives and the fruit they bear, we can begin to change our worldly perception of doing business. It should not only be about making money, but always be about building relationships, with God, our family, our community and the poor,” he said.
Gerrit Viljoen, founder of Ultima Financial Planners talked about the impact a clear vision has on a business and how trying to work towards God’s goals will motivate you when the world fails you.
“I always thought I had to be an evangelist to do God’s will. It took me a long time to realise that my business is my ministry and that is precisely where God wanted to use me all along.”
His colleague Hendri de Klerk explained the importance of getting the basics right, and gave practical tips on how to start an emergency fund and stay out of debt. The conference ended with Glen Leece-Jones talking about personal goal setting and an evening session in which Boshoff Grobler from Ashburton Investments talked about making sound financial decisions and how it will impact your walk with God. “If you have unnecessary debt you won’t be able to obey God when He gives you an order,” said Grobler.
He shared a prophetic word from Peter Watt about Africa which confirmed the message the speakers of the day tried to relay: “As we were travelling to Nairobi, I received this sense, which I submit into this group — there are often clouds that gather over Africa which look like rain, but they don’t deliver. They only seem to mock and give false hope. At other times clouds gather that bring so much rain that it causes floods and destruction.
“But clouds are amassing that will bring abundant rains to the continent, but it is vital that we are prepared to steward the abundant resources of the Spirit that will be poured out. No one dam will be able to contain this outpouring — and do not just try to make the dam bigger or the wall higher. Rather, it is vital that we build canals or aqueducts between multiplied dams across the landscapes that can transport or carry the water from one dam to the next to the full extent of the land.
“When one dam is full, then let the water flow to the next. If any dam tries to contain the water, it will only burst. You cannot rely on old dusty ditches to carry the water that overflows — you must build a system of aqueducts and series of canals where this abundant water can flow easily between. Clean out the empty dams of the old debris that clutters. Build canals. Prepare for rain. Be ready (strategise/plan) to steward the coming abundant, life-bringing rains…”