The Jesse Duplantis Missionary Endowment Calculator

So, Jesse Duplantis thinks that a $54,000,000 donation toward his private jet would be a good investment in missions.

Use this Excel worksheet to plug in your own figures and see if he’s right.

He reasoned that “if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey.” The private jet is his missions strategy. “All it’s gonna do is it’s going to touch people, it’s going to reach people, it’s going to change lives one soul at a time.”

(This is just one of many reasons he can’t–or, more accurately, won’t–submit to ECFA standards of responsible stewardship.)

As a former project manager, my industrial engineering mind immediately questioned this reasoning. $54,000,000 to send one person out to “change lives, one soul at a time” versus sending… how many missionaries?

Is it a wise use of funds to sink $54,000,000 into a piece of equipment that will depreciate in value? What if we invested that money into a fund that will grow?

How many missionaries might we fund for ten years if we established an endowment?

How many missionaries could we fund in perpetuity from this endowment?

This simple Excel worksheet allows you to adjust these figures:

  • Initial Investment
  • Annual Rate of Return
  • Number of Missionaries
  • Missionary Annual Salary

See the effect of your investment over 10 years.

How would you invest $54,000,000?

Having Fun at the Expense of Legalism

14 - Merit Badges (iStock_000001625841Small)I used to attend a church known for its legalism. One Sunday after our adult class had enjoyed a Saturday evening cookout, I greeted a long-time member, Jim. He epitomized the kind of attitude this church unintentionally encouraged.

“Jim,” I said, “we missed you last night.”

He replied, “Oh, I only attend spiritual activities.”

I glanced around to see several other men blinking in stunned silence, studying Jim’s face, perhaps wondering if he meant that as a joke. The sincerity of his expression answered our question and brought the conversation to an abrupt end. I thought to respond, but I found his remark absurd on so many levels I didn’t know to begin. Now, after several years of reflection and growth in grace, I feel confident enough to try. Continue reading “Having Fun at the Expense of Legalism”