In 2007 we needed a construction loan, and when other financial institutions were not interested in loaning to a nonprofit, the Converge Cornerstone Fund was there for us. We are grateful to God for how he has blessed and expanded our ministry. The Converge Cornerstone Fund was an example of God’s leading, which helped facilitate our growth!
Steve Hedberg, chairman, Edinbrook Church
The Converge Cornerstone Fund’s connection with Edinbrook represents the story of over 1100 churches we have partnered with during our more than 60 years. Our mission is to assist Converge churches and affiliated ministries by providing financial resources and services that enable them to expand their ministries, and to offer our Converge constituency a competitive investment. We take our mission seriously.
The Cornerstone Fund has been committed to serving churches since 1954. Often commercial lenders are cautious or unwilling to provide loans to churches. When our Fund makes a loan to a prospective church, we consider ours a lifetime partnership.
We strongly desire to see the impact of our overall ministry grow among our church movement.
The Fund by the numbers
We started as a small loan fund, never imagining we would ever make a $1 million loan. Now we are experiencing an exceptional record of growth. In September we exceeded $250 million in assets.
When I began managing the Fund, it was called the Home Missions Revolving Building Trust, with assets of about $16 million. The sister fund, the Home Missions Church Extension Fund, was about $4.5 million. Both had experienced tremendous growth under the leadership of Dr. Cliff Anderson, increasing from a combined $5 million in 1979 to over $20 million in 1989.
That surge of growth positioned us to take the next steps, expanding the reach of the Fund to a larger Converge audience. God’s hand of blessing provided wisdom, open doors, a receptive Converge constituency and steady consistent growth in both the reach and impact of the Fund’s ministry. We learned from others and applied those lessons to our daily work.
As Converge grew, the Fund grew with it, exceeding $30 million in 1994, $50M in ’02, $100M in ’06, $200M in ’14 and now $250M. This growth pattern is accelerating as our Converge movement of churches accelerates in size and reach.
We believe our growth has occurred because of the grace and goodness of God. It is a fulfillment of God’s plan for his kingdom’s growth. And we pray we’ll continue to grow in order to provide churches with the resources they need to expand their ministries. To prepare our Fund’s ministry for the future, we have established a 10-year plan dependent on our core values.
We are trusting God that in 10 years we will be managing over $500 million in assets. To do this, we need an increase in committed Converge investors who know the importance of seeing churches started and strengthened to help grow the kingdom of God.
Built on heartfelt commitment
Throughout our history, Converge Cornerstone Fund has embodied qualities exemplified by our heartfelt commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Among them:
Humility. We recognize that the source of our ministry impact comes from the Lord’s blessing. Our staff is dedicated to serving our Converge churches and investors with humility and in Christ’s name.
Collaboration. Our ministry’s effectiveness is based on how well we serve alongside our larger Converge family. Each family member is uniquely gifted and on mission to better our Converge ministry. We often find ourselves blessed when we come alongside a ministry partner to help.
Service. Our service is best characterized by selflessness and esteem for others. When we put others first, it creates a welcoming atmosphere. Great customer service naturally arises when staff have fun at work and love the organization.
Persistence/tenacity. We are looking toward the future, anticipating and preparing for God to do a great work in our Converge movement. We are committed to being the first and best resource for Converge churches.
Quality and excellence. Our willingness to serve Converge churches is unwavering.
Converge is the reason Cornerstone Fund exists and is thriving. We do not hesitate to testify to the wonderful synergy represented throughout the ministry. Converge Cornerstone Fund wants to see more churches planted and more communities reached with the good news of Jesus. In order to help accomplish this goal, Cornerstone Fund has made significant financial contributions each year. In 2016 we made a $1.6 million gift to the Converge mission.
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We choose to give because we know God will bless our efforts. Our ministry has enjoyed being obedient to God’s calling and, as a result, has seen him multiply the fruit of our labor.
Converge president Scott Ridout is fond of saying, “We are better together.” Through the years, Converge and Cornerstone Fund have seen the fruit of working hand in hand. My challenge is to see as many Converge people as possible involved in our Cornerstone ministry. Consider speaking to someone about joining us or, if you haven’t already done so, become an investor today.
The joy is ours as we partner together for the glory of God and the good of his people. May our joy continue.
Steve Schultz, Vice President, Finance & Operations
Steve Schultz, CPA, has worked at Converge since 1989. He earned a B.A. in business from Bethel University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. He serves as vice president of finance and operations for Converge, president of Converge Cornerstone Fund, plan administrator for Converge Retirement Plan and president of Converge Foundation. Steve’s financial vision and administration have kept Converge in a strong financial position for many years.