1:29–A little about Brotherhood Mutual
3:53–My journey to Brotherhood Mutual
6:26–What does daily life look like for you as President & Chairman of the company?
8:32–What are you seeing happen in the church today?
13:31–A little about Faith Ventures
20:08–Some of the lessions I’ve learned in leadership
24:24–What are the top Biblical priciples you use in leadership to guide your decision making, your day to day leadership, etc.?
27:28–A word of encouragement
29:14–The 4:23 Question
Full Transcript:
Ray: This is Ray Hilbert, your host here at Bottom Line Faith, and we are so glad you’ve chosen to join us again this week. And if this is your first time checking out the program, welcome aboard. And if you’re a long time listener, hopefully you know what to expect here. And we’re going to have a great conversation today with a long time friend, and really a faith leader in the marketplace. I am in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and I’m in the headquarters of Brotherhood Mutual Insurance. We are speaking with Mark Robison, the chairman and president here at Brotherhood Mutual. Mark, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
Mark: Thank you, Ray. It’s really good to be here with you.
Ray: It feels to me in many ways that this is a long time coming. We’ve known each other a long time. I probably was a little taller and had a little more hair when we first met, but why don’t you take a couple of moments and share a little bit about Brotherhood Mutual, and a little bit about your journey, your role here, and kind of what folks can expect if they learn about Brotherhood Mutual.
Mark: Yeah, Brotherhood Mutual is celebrating their 100th birthday this year, so we’re really excited about that. About a hundred years ago, or exactly 100 years ago, we have four or five pastors that came together, and really felt that it was time to stop the process of a fire shutting down a ministry. And so they came together and had to convince the denomination that they were a part of that insurance wasn’t gambling, but it was also putting their hands in the front of God and allowing them to work together as good stewards to make sure that the church ministry was going. Cause if a fire would come, it would be gone, people would scatter, and they wouldn’t be able to have a church anymore. So 100 years ago, they got together to do that, and today a hundred years later, we’re still doing that. We’re down in the forty-six states opening our forty-seventh here at the end of this year, and serving over 55,000 ministries across the country. So it’s been an incredible history for this organization.
Ray: So I don’t want to over limit the scope here, but property and casualty insurance for churches, nonprofits, are there other activities of the company and organization that we should know about?
Mark: Yeah, we actually, like you said, the property and casualty, so we really do everything for the church or for the ministry. So if that ministry is tied to the faith-based entity, then we can we can work with them. So that’s colleges, that’s K-12 schools, denominational offices, camps, all of those areas fit within our niche. We then do everything about it, so we do their auto, their work comp, the property-casualty umbrella. We also do any short-term mission work, so if they have a lot of ministers and a lot of schools and kids in missions overseas to Haiti, to Africa, we cover that. A lot of times your health insurance stops at the border. We pick that up so we can take care of you while you go over there, but we also expand that, so it takes care of the church assets. So a lot of times, worship teams go, or kids go over with their guitars, and again, that insurance stops at the border. We pick all that up for them. We do that through Faith Ventures; it’s a partnership that we have been doing since 1999, so we’ve been doing that for quite awhile.
Ray: That’s good. I’m learning some new things here, too, and so I’ve known about the PNC side of things, but that’s good to learn. So help us understand your journey. You’re now chairman and president. When did that take effect, how did that all come about, just help us understand your pathway here.
Mark: Yeah, I came to Brotherhood in 1994. I was a CPA, I am a CPA, so I started with Ernst & Whinney, back then, now it’s Ernst & Young out of the Fort Wayne office. And in my second day, my second week, I guess it was, I got involved in insurance. Hated it, simply hated it. It was life and health, and part of it was just the style back then, and how you had to audit and work with it. And Lincoln National, an incredible company, but as a first-year staff, all you do is, you know, the grunt stuff in it. I spent literally six weeks looking at bank reconciliations. They had hundreds of bank accounts; that was my job, and I thought it was crazy. I’m going somewhere else I remember after a year-and-a-half of being involved with Lincoln, and I went to our managing partner and I said, “Look, either flip me to another industry or I’m leaving cause this is just terrible. Insurance is terrible.” And he looked at me and he said, “Give me one year from today, one year from today, give me a commitment. I’ll prove to you there is no better industry than the insurance industry.” And I thought, “How can you mess with that?”
Ray: That’s pretty bold.
Mark: Yeah, so I took him up on that. He introduced me to all sorts of other audit clients inside the insurance industry, got me involved with the firm on a national basis, I tell you fell in love with it, and realized you never stop learning in insurance. And then when you can tie insurance to serving in the Kingdom, to me there’s just nothing better than to work with churches, and pastors, and ministry leaders every day. And I travel all over the country visiting with them, spending time talking with them, on what they’re doing, hearing Holy Ghost stories that they tell, and so all of those things together makes it an incredible opportunity. So I came in 1994, really as a fulfillment of a promise to my wife. I had come home from work at E&Y and I feel like I’m done, that the Lord’s released me. And she looked at me and said, “Really? I had a dream that you were released last night,” and so we committed to pray and see what happens. One week later, Brotherhood Mutual was an opportunity for me. So there is a story of getting there but it was really just that commitment of us looking at each other; I loved my job in public accounting, but the Lord had another plan.
Ray: Did that full year go by?
Mark: It did, yes. Actually, that was my third year, so I spent four more years in insurance.
Ray: So that gentleman fulfilled his promise to you.
Mark: Absolutely, absolutely. I can’t thank him enough. It’s been an incredible career.
Ray: That is really amazing. And so we could guess, but we don’t need to guess, cause we’re talking with you. What does day to day life look like for you as president and chairman of such an amazing company doing such a sizable things?
Mark: You know a lot of leadership books tell you you’ve got to come up with this concept of a purpose for people. A free employee base wouldn’t have to do that here; we all have a purpose, we recognize back in, I think it was 2008-2009, in that timeframe, we changed our mission statement to reset propose. Our mission statement simply is, “Advance in the Kingdom by serving the church.” You’re moving to a mission statement that we understand, and we can recognize, and everybody in this building knows. It’s not a mission statement that you have to quiz people, “Do you know that mission statement? Do I have to teach it to you?” They all know it, and because of that, it really makes it easy to come in here. And for me, every day it is living the mission statement, so I’m talking with pastors and talking with employees and talking with business partners. I had an email today, which I thought was amazing, from a friend of mine who I knew has a bit of faith, but he sent me a devotional that they received today and said, “I was thinking about as I read today, this is Brotherhood Mutual, and wanted to let you know that I’m taking this serious.” And it was just about recognizing everybody is about serving the Kingdom, about advising the Kingdom, it is about making sure that the Kingdom of God is advancing. And here he has a devotional on the Lord’s Prayer and it just sparked him to send me this email; he is the chairman of an organization. I had no idea if his faith was solid enough to be doing that, but here he is doing that, and that’s what we get to live every day.
Ray: It’s really exciting, and I love what I get to do in this role hosting this program, because I get to talk to just amazingly diverse people, different fields, different industries. The common thread is their faith in Christ, and so you know we didn’t rehearse this conversation and such, but one of the things that I think that we’re reading in articles, in the media, and so forth, is kind of the condition of the church in America today. Perhaps with Millennials in a decline, in participation in formal church attendance, in those sorts of things. But you have a very unique perspective in what you’re doing every day, talking with pastors, church leaders. Would you just comment what your seeing happening in the church? Let’s start with America; what have you seen happening just in the church?
Mark: Yeah, I think right on. I think for the church as a whole it’s struggling to figure out how to engage this next generation. My generation, we went because it was the Lord’s house, and you needed to be there every Sunday. And I remember the debates with my peers: do you have to wear a suit, or can we go in dress pants without a jacket? I even remember the argument about wearing a tie to church or not wearing a tie church. All that stuff is gone. Now we have to reset. I think there is a process that the church is going through, and is starting to recognize that our generation spent a lot of time saying what the church was about, but also what it was against. And the younger generation really doesn’t want to hear that. They want to know, “Why do I want to be engaged in this?” And I think there is a lot of learning and a lot of figuring that out.
I’m impressed when I travel around, it’s not something, you know, a lot of people think the church doesn’t get it. The church understands it; they’re just trying to figure out how to engage differently. It’s not like there’s not a lot of effort and energy put into trying to figure out what the millennials need. I think they’re going to get there, it is making really good progress, and I also think we’re giving the millennials a bit of an unfair view. I think when I was a college kid, I did enjoy church but it wasn’t my favorite thing either, you know. It really wasn’t until I had a child that drew me back into the church in a full force method. I even talked to Taylor University and asking them because we support them. You know before we give you money, what are you seeing with young people today? Because you’re talking about giving them a faith education. Is it working? They said, “Of course it is.” I said, “How do you know?” Because when you look five years out, they are back in church. And I think you got to give the millennials a chance to get five years out with a lot of things. Five years is a little longer today than what it was in my time, so maybe it’s eight years. But I think you’ve got to give them time to figure out who they are, and figure out their own faith, and begin their own families, and recognize they still need God, and move back in. And I think the church is getting that. I think it’s slow in some and faster with others, but I believe they’re truly engaged with this conversation; they just need to transition.
Ray: It really is more than a cool website and a cool worship band, right?
Mark: Absolutely.
Ray: And skinny jeans, and all those things that stereotypically are things we would talk about. It’s engaging in authenticity. It’s engaging of course in technology, and so forth. How do you see those aspects impacting church leadership today?
Mark: Yeah, in fact, I think it’s not only that. I think the engaging in the community is what’s really, what’s going to pull them back in. And that’s what you’re starting to see. Any part of the church is going to struggle with that because it takes resources to do that. So when you’ve got mega churches, you’ve got Saddle Back, you’ve got Shepherd Church out in California, you’ve got Water of Life out in California, they have an incredible food pantry ministry. And that’s something that takes resources and money. Well, they’re large enough, they can put that money in there and because they can put the money in there, the resources come with people, labor comes in, the volunteers come in to be there, because they’re doing something and they can see a difference in their community. So I think there is going to be the continual challenge of what you’re seeing.
A lot of churches today are not closing doors, but take away the teaching ministry and becoming a part of another one, like a Hillsong. They are becoming a Hillsong Newport, a Hillsong Phoenix, and they’re allowing the message to be broadcast in, but then they have a family and a community that’s now resourced by the main church with a lot more funds, and then they can engage the community. And I think that’s the transition we’re really starting to see, which adds exposure. Because all of a sudden, the church is out there doing ministry, right? So they’ve got a mobile dental clinic. What happens if they do something wrong? Well, part of the problem is they’re dealing with a social economic group that is willing to sue because they might hit the lottery. So it adds exposure to us, but I just think it is the right thing; we’ve got to engage the community, we’ve got to put the love of God, I mean it says, the Scripture says, “Let’s make sure we’re fruitful with fruit that lasts.” Well, what is fruit that lasts? It is the good works that were created in advance to do, so we’ve got to be about doing the good works. And I think that is as we see more and more, that those Millennials are going to be all over that. Doing the good works; that’s what they want to be doing, anyway. Let’s re-engage our time and focus and make sure that’s what we’re doing as we disciple people up.
Ray: I love it. You bring an incredibly unique perspective to the things we’re talking about. Folks, we’re here at Bottom Line Faith, I’m speaking with Mark Robinson the chairman and president at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. If you would like to learn more about Brotherhood Mutual, of course, go to brotherhoodmutual.com, that’s brotherhoodmutual.com, and then there’s another website we talked about called faithventures.com. Take just a few seconds, you mentioned it earlier, but just a little bit more on Faith Ventures.
Mark: Yeah, so Faith Ventures is our foreign missions product. So it allows an individual and it can be as a group, or it can be individual, so you can really choose if you’re going on short-term mission trips. Really the place to go, you can go in there, you can pick up coverage, if it’s for a single trip, you can also buy an annual pass, and then if you do mission trips for multiple organizations, you don’t have to buy insurance twice. It’s good every time you go with a faith-based, so that’s a part of it. We also have some other cool things it’s got. You can actually go and buy your airline ticket there, and what most people don’t know is that every U.S. carrier, airline carrier, is required to carry humanitarian sets, so they can travel overseas to do good works. And so they have to discount them and carry them. Now what happens is that you only have so many agencies that can access those seats. So we’d partnered with an agency, through Faith Ventures, that can access those seats, and what’s really nice is that the price is really, really discounted. But it’s, even more discounted the closer you get to a trip. So what happens is, if you’ve got a team going to Haiti, you can reserve these spots and yet you don’t have to book all your tickets yet because you may have three or four people that aren’t sure if we’re going. And then they decide to go, you can add those seats, and then what happens with the humanitarian fare as it’s the same six months out as it is the day before, and so that discount gets even better. So it gives you a lot more flexibility in booking those trips which makes you good stewards with those funds for the ministry.
Ray: I love that. I’m really glad I asked that question now. Mark, because a lot of our listeners are business owners, CEOs, presidents, just like yourself, they take their employees, they go do mission trips, they do it as team building, not only for Kingdom building, but also for team building. Would this apply to them as well or would they need to go through their church to do that? How would they take advantage of this?
Mark: For Faith Ventures, they have to come through a 501c3. However our partner, who we’re partnered with it’s called Fly for Good. They also have the program for non 501c3 for the business side. So you can go through Faith Ventures to that website and get connected with the folks, and actually book that thing. And it’s the same structure if you’re going over for mission work, whatever that may be, or good works, I would say, it’s the same process. But there’s another website that I forgot to mention to you, that’s Ministry Works, so ministyworks.com is our payroll service. So about five years ago, I’m a CPA, remember? So what I got sick and tired of was the church thinking that because they are a grace-filled entity, that they can be graceful with rules and regulations.
Ray: Sloppy agape.
Mark: Exactly. And I just hated the fact that in today’s world, if a church messes up something, the media paints all of us as bad. So your church in Indianapolis, your reputation, affects my church in Fort Wayne. And it affects those in Texas, and those in Connecticut, and so to me, we have to do a better job with that. And to me, the number one area where I believe there’s exposure coming, and that’s in the payroll. If you look at it, most churches have options, right? They can outsource it to ADP, paycheck pay, these firms, most of those firms charge a penalty. And if you don’t have fifteen employees or more, so the average church in America has six employees or less, so they’re all paying it, they’re paying this penalty. So they look at and say, “I can’t afford it,” so they bring in Aunt Martha, who’s a volunteer to do it. Aunt Martha isn’t staying up with all the tax codes. So you know they’re not. She’s not following all the rules, and not staying current. In fact, I was sharing with a pastor and he was saying, “What do I need with your payroll firm?” And I was sharing this with him and he said, “Wow, you’re right.” I said, “Wait, you just switched. What happened?” And he said, “My mom s the church treasurer for the church, down the street. She doesn’t go to my church, she goes to the one down the street. My mom is eighty-seven and has Alzheimer’s.” And I said, “And she’s doing payroll?” “Yeah, she’s doing payroll for them.” And I said, “And you’re letting her? My goodness, what are you doing?” And he said, “Yeah, and she’s not alone is she? There’s a lot of people like that.” I said, “Yeah there is.”
So we actually in Indiana, it is illegal for insurance companies to do payroll for their customers. So I went down to the commissioner and I had a team, we went down to visit with him, and I said, “Look, this is our issue; you know that the church is messing this up. It’s sloppy agape. Man we just got to clean this up.” And so we came up with an agreement and there are certain rules, you know. So I can’t pay my agency commission, which my agents are saying, you know, if it’s big enough exposure, we’ll help you anyway. That’s all right and I can’t charge differently. Rather they’re a Brotherhood customer or a non Brotherhood customer. So this year almost 50% of our new customers and payroll are non Brotherhood Mutual Insurance customers. So we don’t charge different and the third one was you have to charge a reasonable rate of return. And I said, “In the state of Indiana, that’s defined as 8% for insurance.” He said, “Yep.” I said, “No, you’re not letting me pay my agents. I can’t get paid either, so we’re going to do it at cost.” He’s like, “No, you’re not going to do it at cost.” But we had this argument, and we agreed to a 2% mark. So I have a church that sent me a note the other day; they were paying $1,000 a month to one of the big payroll firms, and now they’re paying us just over $100 a month.
Ray: Wow, and that’s freeing up resources for Kingdom work.
Mark: That’s what they said. Now they can buy Sunday school material that they weren’t able to get before. I mean, just look at this stuff, and so that’s ministryworks.com. You don’t have to be a Brotherhood customer, we’re in all fifty states, we do every jurisdiction, and in five years we’re now the largest faith-based ministry focus payroll firm in the country. And our guys are experts in housing allowance, so pastor allowance, that’s all taken care of.
Ray: Folks I’ve got to tell you, I like to think I stay on top of things here at Bottom Line Faith but I’m learning a bunch, so Mark, thank you. I’m glad we just kind of had that conversation, cause that’s very valuable.
Mark: That was my advertisement, so I’ll get back to reality.
Ray: No, no. That’s Kingdom work right there, because some of our listeners they’re sitting on boards, they’re elders, they’re deacons in their churches, they’re leaders in their communities, and they like to talk about stewardship. They want to do things with excellence and effectiveness; that’s because it is good stewardship, so I’m really glad we had that conversation.
Mark: Well you know, you mentioned that a lot of good listeners are sitting on the boards in the churches. That’s the thing about payroll, is it’s a personal liability. The cooperate protection isn’t there for the church and the IRS recognizes that they can sue anybody individually for the entire amount, for what the church owes and they can pick and chose who it is. So it’s not shared, and if you’re the chairman or the treasure of the church, they can charge you double, and they do. Now, fortunately, most of the time, the IRS has some grace, but I don’t think the IRS is getting kinder and gentler as we go forward. I think we’ve got to be really careful with that exposure, anyway.
Ray: Great, great information. And so Mark, if you don’t mind, I’d like to talk a little bit about leadership. I’d like to talk a little bit about some of the lessons learned, some new things you’ve learned along the way, and so forth, and so maybe a pretty direct question as you look back over the course of your career, you’ve had a really long time, and God is really blessing this and from the outside. Oh they’re a Christ-centered company. You talked about everybody waking up with a clear mission, but it’s not perfect here, right? It’s not perfect in any organization, and so could you speak to maybe one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way, or maybe one of the mistakes you made, and what God taught you through that? Just reveal a little bit for the audience something you’ve learned in your leadership journey.
Mark: Yeah. I’ll give you an answer. I’m not sure everybody is going to like it. But for me this is the answer, this is what really changed the way I lead as a president. So my brother, who’s one of my good friends, and really one of my executive coaches was a turnaround specialist for a long time, and I would watch him go into organizations and fire 150 people. And I just looked at him and I said, “How can you call yourself a believer when you’re throwing people out?” And he really reminded me the fact that God calls us to steward our business and that God is responsible to steward the people in it. Not that we ignore the fact that at Brotherhood that we have 450 people that rely on this organization, so we are feeding families, but my role is to steward the organization. He got on my case because I had an individual that was not performing and we really needed, the individual needed to be let go, need to be terminated, but I was a guy of grace, right? And so my pastor would call it un-sanctified mercy. I would let him be working here and everybody’s covered for him, and he’s not helping the organization, and when my brother reminded me that I’m called to steward the organization, the Scripture that came to me was Jonah.
So you have the captain of this boat, that’s running this boat across the waters and Jonah is on that boat, and he could steward the passengers and end up losing the ship, or he could steward the ship and throw Jonah overboard. And I don’t mean that we need to throw people overboard, but we do need to recognize that we’re called to be captaining our ships and by doing that, it allows me to be a lot clearer on the decisions that we make. We’re looking at Brotherhood Mutual, always recognizing that our decisions affect people, but we can’t step into God’s role in those people, because we can cause them to be dependent on us. We can cause them to be enabled in things and that’s not helping them to become more Christ-like, and we don’t know what God’s working on in their life in the moment anyway. We may be counter-acting it by trying to be kind. We have got to walk the path. If this is the path that God’s called us to walk with this origination, we need to work the path with the organization, be as kind and grace-filled as we can, but this is my calling and if it’s my calling, it’s what God’s going to pay for, and thrive, and cause to excel, not the other. So we have to keep our minds really clear in what our role and responsibility is.
Ray: I think that’s fantastic advice. And I see this over and over and over again in dealing with business leaders that I talk with. It should be our intention, right? It should never be easy to just let someone go. But it is how we go about it. They should never be surprised, right? And they should see it coming, so to speak, there should have been those conversations, and the documentation, and those things, but as long as we handle that in a Christ-like, loving way, and directness, and candor. Actually most time they’re pretty miserable anyway, aren’t they?
Mark: Yeah. A lot of time, they will leave on their own. So I go on the philosophy that I’m walking in and when we had that conversation, obviously been talking about it, but then we set a time limit. You now have sixty days, or you have ninety days just a point, and now in that in sixty/ninety days there is no more question of, will Mark really go down this road, will he not? Nope; this is what we’re doing, and it’s your call. And it is now your call. Here’s the decisions that you got to make and the actions that you got to do. You decide if you want to stay with us or not, but this is what this position requires and it is hard but pray a lot, lay it out in front of them, be transparent with them. And a lot of the time those decisions become easier because they help make them.
Ray: Yeah, absolutely. What would you say are one or two top biblical principles that you use in your leadership to guide your decision-making? How do you go about your day to day leadership? What would be those principles?
Mark: Yeah, you know, in Acts 6, I think it is were the Apostles were together and they are struggling because some of the widows are not getting the right food. And so they have the Apostles are saying, “Hey look. Find six men full of the Holy Spirit and let’s give them this duty so we can dedicate ourselves,” and they do that. And then you read, I think it’s verse 7, then you read verse 7 and it says, “And the word of God spread, because they delegated.” I think that’s a principal that Ernst and Young is really good at teaching, is that we’re going to make you so busy, you better learn to delegate or you’re going to drown. And that’s a principle I really live with. I delegate, and you have to be careful cause you can’t just dump, that’s not what I’m talking about, but delegating is recognizing what skill I’m trying to make sure that I’m mentoring up in them and letting them take it over. And let them have that opportunity and walking with him, but releasing them to do those things; it’s not just empowerment but it is delegation, it is saying, “Okay, this is yours now. At that point when they’re ready, so you have to pull me in if you need my attention because this is yours now. I trust you, I’ve given you this, you’ve learned it, you got it and this is yours, and continuing to push those things out.
So I think delegation is a big part for me, the other one for me is calling. And for me I think it may be different than other people, but I know that when I became president that I knew that God wanted me to become president. It was not an aspersion of mine. I was happy to walk into it only because I really believed that’s what God wanted me to do. That takes a ton of fear away. If I know that this is what God wants me to do, I know that God will give me the skill sets, the tool belt, everything that I need to make sure that I accomplish that. However, that doesn’t mean that I sit on my laurels and let the Lord do it. I have to have a good stewardship of the gifting and calling and the knowledge base that I need to have, but I don’t have fear. I can pray, I can seek, I can have the team around me, and I can walk boldly, because God called me to this, and he wants this company to succeed. He wants my life to succeed, he wants my marriage to succeed, all those things. It’s a calling, so walk with boldness and go forth, because God called you to do it. So go for it.
Ray: I love it. So the last two questions I have you are going to be more around encouragement. One of the things that we define as success here at Bottom Line Faith is we have thousands of folks that listen to the program, but success for us, Mark, is if somebody is listening to this conversation right now, maybe they’re driving along listing in their car, they’ve got their headset on, they’re on their treadmill, whatever the case may be, and they’ve been discouraged. Maybe they’ve had a dream, a vision, something that God has placed on their heart, a calling like you were just talking about, and maybe they’re just discouraged. Maybe they’re just hesitant. What word of encouragement would you have for that one person, right now who’s listening and needs a word of encouragement and hope? What would you say?
Mark: You know, I think the reality is that we begin to question whether God’s near us, right? So how wide, how deep, how high, how broad the love of God is and the truth is, it’s our love. How wide, how deep, how broad, is our love for God is, in the midst of these circumstances, are we still loving the Lord? Because I think that’s where a lot of, for me at least, I can’t speak for everybody, but for me when I’m getting into that frustration, and that anxiety, and that disappointment, I’ve separated myself because I’m saying, “Lord, you don’t love me because I’m in these circumstances.” But that’s not reality. The reality is, I’m in these circumstances, so I don’t love the Lord, and we have to turn that around. So for me, it’s coming back to the reality of the Lord’s prayer and walking in the Lord’s Prayer with him, and saying you are my God, I walk this path with you, and I seek you for your love and your companionship. And I also need you for your provision and all those things; it all plays into that same role. So I would just say, are you loving the Lord rather than question if he’s loving you.
Ray: And also how big is your God, right? Is he bigger than your circumstances? So good, great word of encouragement. So, Mark, I know you’ve listened to some of the previous Bottom Line Faith interviews, so you know this is the one question that I ask at the end. Has this been a fast thirty minutes? It has been for me.
Mark: I hope you’ll let me come back for part two.
Ray: I have so many more things I’d love to chat to you about. The one question we do ask, we call this our 4:23, it’s based off of Proverbs 4:23, these words of Solomon who said, “Above all else, guard your heart for it determines the course of your life.” And this is kind of like him saying, “I’ve given you all this wisdom, I’ve given you all these nuggets, all these truths, but more than anything guard your heart, keep guard over your heart.” So Mark, let’s just kind of fast forward and let’s pretend that you’re towards the tail end of your time this side of eternity and you have a chance to gather your family, your friends, your loved ones, those who are most precious to you, maybe even your key leaders in the company, and you have one piece of advice; your above all else, that you want to pass on as you legacy advice. Fill in the blank for us. Above all else–
Mark: Know the love of your God. I remember when my oldest son was born, I just had this premonition from the Lord that if he always knew how much I love them and how much God loved him, he would never fail in life. He may not do well, but he’ll never fail, because he can always come back to the truth. God loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. And so every night, we prayed over every one of our children that they would always know how much God loves them, and how much we love them, and because of that I would look at my kids and say, “God loves you. If God loves you, which you know he does, walk boldly and go for it.” It gets you through everything, you know, its the love of God. That’s all we need, is to know that God loves us and we can accomplish anything. We can get through those problems, we can get through those decisions, knowing that God loves us and finding out what he wants us to do. Those are the things.
Ray: Great stuff. Folks we have been speaking with Mark Robison, chairman and president at Brotherhood Mutual here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Check out the website, brotherhoodmutual.com. Mark has also shared with us the faithventures.com and the ministryworks.com websites, those are defiantly sites you’re going to want to learn more about if you’re involved with mission trips and so forth. And then of course payrolls for churches and non-profits. I learned a ton here. Mark, thanks for being on the program today.
Mark: Oh, its been a pleasure, I love sitting with you Ray. It’s always good to be with you.
Ray: Can we come back and do part two, at some point?
Mark: Absolutely.
Ray: I know my wife would love it, we’re about fifteen minutes away from my in-law’s home. So folks, just in closing today. We just really pray that you’ve been encouraged by Mark’s words. And folks, I’ve known Mark, for going on two decades now, and this is the real guy. We just turned on the microphones, nothing changed here; this is who he is, this is his authenticity, and his leadership, and his character, and his value system, his believe system in the Lord. And we’re just so grateful that God allows us to interview leaders like Mark, here at Bottom Line Faith. Just a couple of things as we close here on the housekeeping side; if you’re not a subscriber and somehow you’ve listened to today’s program, this is just a taste; you can go back to our website at bottomlinefaith.org. There are dozes and dozens of previous episodes there, and you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and subscribe and get this on a weekly basis. You can go to Stitcher, ITunes, Google Play, all the traditional podcast platforms are there for you to subscribe to. Also check out truthatwork.org. We are the host ministry here at Bottom Line Faith, and we’d love to have the opportunity to serve Christ following business leaders across the country. Click on that round table tab particularly and learn how you can connect in a community of like-minded Christ followers across the country. Well, folks, until next time, this is your host here at Bottom Line Faith, Ray Hilbert, encouraging you to faithfully serve the Lord in the marketplace every day. God Bless and we’ll see you next time.