Changes

My Biggest Announcement in 7 Years

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

In the summer of 2005, sensing God’s call to have me write and speak about biblical money management full-time, and with the strong support of my amazing wife, Jude, I left a well-paid corporate job to follow that call.  It’s been one of the greatest adventures of our lives.

Along the way, Jude and I have done our best to hold this work with open hands, eager to do what God asks of us and to have the greatest possible impact.

Last summer, we started sensing that God may be redirecting our path.  At the end of the year, clarity came in the form of some conversations with Sound Mind Investing (SMI) Executive Editor Mark Biller, which ultimately led to our decision to have me join SMI’s staff.  My first official day was April 2nd.

Who Is Sound Mind Investing?

Sound Mind Investing was founded by Austin Pryor in 1990 to help Christians make biblically informed financial decisions that enable them to provide for their families and generously support God’s work.

The core work of Sound Mind Investing involves publishing a monthly investment newsletter that provides specific investment advice as well as articles about biblical money management, various practical personal finance topics, and Christian living.  SMI also publishes two blogs – a Member’s Blog for paid newsletter subscribers and a Visitor’s Blog.

Austin is also the author of The Sound Mind Investing Handbook, one of the best books I’ve read on biblical money management.  It has sold over 100,000 copies and is now in its fifth edition.

I have known about Austin for most of the 20-plus years that I’ve been involved in stewardship ministry, and I’ve always held him in the highest regard.

Austin was a good friend of the late Larry Burkett.  In fact, it was Larry who suggested that Austin begin publishing a financial newsletter for Christians.

I finally met Austin a couple of months ago when he invited Jude and me to come to Louisville for a visit.  We were inspired by our time with Austin and his wife, Susie.  The depth of their faith and their commitment to make a difference in other people’s lives were very obvious.  As we got to know them, along with other members of the staff team, we sensed that a far greater impact could be made by having me join SMI than I could have writing and speaking on my own.

I am very excited about and feel truly honored to be joining SMI.

What Will This Mean For MattAboutMoney.com?

I will continue posting new content on MattAboutMoney.com through the end of this month.  Then I plan to discontinue the blog, although all of the existing content will remain accessible probably for another couple of months.

Beginning May 1st, I plan to import all Matt About Money subscribers into the subscription list for the Sound Mind Investing Visitor’s Blog where I will be writing articles similar to what I’ve been writing.  In addition, the SMI Visitor’s Blog will continue carrying articles from Austin, Mark Biller, and others.

You can easily opt out.  However, I believe you’ll find plenty of reasons to stick around and I hope you will.

Some Prayer Requests

The decision to join SMI will come with changes that go beyond my daily work.  We plan to move to Louisville as soon as we can sell our house in the Chicago area.

At first, we talked about having me work from home.  However, it quickly became clear that I needed to be in the office in order to build relationships with the rest of the team and have the greatest impact.

The idea of moving was the most challenging aspect of this decision.  We are blessed to live five doors away from Jude’s brother, his wife, and their two children.  Our nephew and niece are similar in age to our three children.  The idea of altering these relationships weighed heavily on us, leading to some sleepless nights, many tears, and a whole lot of prayer.

However, our commitment is to follow God’s call.  And while He doesn’t exactly send e-mails with explicit directions, we strongly sensed that the opportunity to join SMI is part of His plan, and not just for my work.  We trust that it is part of His plan for our family and our extended family as well.

Still, we would appreciate your prayers for this transition – that we would find a great church, great schools, a great neighborhood, and great relationships in Louisville, and that God would comfort all of us in the loss of no longer being able to do life with relatives who are also close friends.

Thank You

With all of the many voices clamoring for attention in our world, I consider it a great honor that you have chosen to subscribe to my blog.  And I would consider it an equal honor if you will stick with me as I make this transition to Sound Mind Investing.

Again, you won’t have to actually do anything in order for that to happen.  I will transfer you to the SMI Visitor’s Blog subscriber list at the end of this month.  So I’ll see you here through the end of this month, and I look forward to seeing you there starting on May 1st.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

75 Responses to “My Biggest Announcement in 7 Years”

  1. Congratulations on your new adventure. I wish you the best and will definitely keep reading your work.

  2. Tom Goering says:

    Best of luck Matt,
    We will be thinking of you and praying for you (hopefully, if we remember!)during this transition. I am sure God will direct your path.
    Tom

  3. JO says:

    Matt,

    May God bless you on this new venture! You are joining an organization I respect greatly. I look forward to seeing you in print and blogs through SMI.

  4. Matt I have found a friend in finance that I want to keep, so keep me on your list and send me all the advice you want. I value your input and pray you will find that God has made the crooked roads straight and provide all you need for the move and transition. Keep those kids in the loop with you and let it be their decision, too. Where God wants you to go is the best place to be. Thanks for doing what the Lord wants. Lanette

  5. Julie Fox says:

    Matt,
    Congratulations! What an incredible opportunity to make even more of an impact for the Lord! We found your book shortly after going thru leadership training with Crown Ministries and have truly enjoyed every single one of your blogs. God has truly blessed us as we have journeyed these last several years working out of debt and committing our finances to Him! I am excited to get the new subscription and become a member of SMI. No doubt God will use your gifts in amazing ways!

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, Julie. I appreciate your encouragement, and it’s great to hear that you are serving with Crown. Your personal journey will be a great encouragement to those you help.

  6. Andrew Jacobson says:

    Congratulations Matt! I am sure this will be a great move for you and the family. Best of luck!

  7. JP says:

    Welcome to Louisville!I have lived here for about 4 years and love it! As long as you remember to say Louisville properly, you’ll do just fine! (It’s ‘Lou-ah-vul’ or ‘Lou-ah-ville’ but never ‘Lewisville’). Excited to see the how God leads you and your family in the next few months. Thanks for the opportunity for us to read from others as well!

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, JP. We took the kids for a visit a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed Louisville. We’ll work on the pronunciation! Looks like we’re going to have to become college basketball fans as well. If we could just figure out who to root for – Louisville or Kentucky. The SMI office is somewhat divided.

  8. C Hepner says:

    Matt, I’m excited for you and am confident you are headed for great things as you follow your heart. I wish you and your family all the best during the move and transition – Louisville’s a pretty cool place and probably offers a nicer “pace” than Chicago. Godspeed! Colleen

  9. Eileen says:

    I’m excited for you and understand how difficult this decision was because it will change the lives of all of your family. As you know, God will use this in a positive way in their lives as well. God bless you and I look forward to continuing to receive advice!

  10. michelle welch says:

    Blessings and congratulations to you on your new path! I will be praying for your family. I look forward to reading about your new adventures, and to continue to enjoy your fine advice regarding how we handle God’s money. I was just thinking about how i need an investment adviser. Is this going to be a part of your new work?

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I won’t personally be serving as an investment adviser, but SMI’s Member Newsletter provides specific investment advice that has a great track record. I plan to write more about it in the days ahead.

  11. Jayne R says:

    I have appreciated your perspective on being good stewards of what God has given us. I have also appreciated the work of Sound Mind Investing. Now your sharing of how you have followed God’s leading in joining with them increases my assurance that you are committed to God and to doing things His way. May He bless each one in your family as you make this transition.

  12. Brooke says:

    Best wishes and prayers to you Matt and your family as you enter another journey. I recently used your spending guidelines to help my family relocate. I look forward to your new blog!

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks for your prayers, Brooke, and glad to hear you were able to put those spending guidelines to use. I was actually using them myself recently as we started roughing out a new Louisville budget.

  13. Thomas says:

    I have enjoyed your writings. I will pray for the very best for you and yours, and I will look forward to your continued advice.

  14. Russell says:

    Congratulations on your new adventure. It is good to see a man follow the Lord’s direction. Thanks for sharing which encourages me and hopefully others. Will be praying for you and your family. God Bless Russell

  15. Ed Englekiong says:

    Matt,
    We must all continue to listen and head God’s call for us. I can’t imagine you doing anything less. Gods blessing on you and your family as you go forward in ministry.
    Peace
    Ed

  16. Doug says:

    Thanks for your ongoing work in sharing the immense amount of information that you do. It has been very helpful to me personally and I have recommended it to many others. I would like to suggest that you conatct Stuart Scott at sscott@sbts.edu and talk to him about locating a great church in the Louisville area. Thanks again!

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks for connecting me with someone you know in Louisville. I’ll touch base with Stuart. We know another professor at the seminary there, so it’ll be interesting to compare notes.

  17. Melinda says:

    Godspeed! What an exciting time for you and your family! Thank you for all your work to support God’s kingdom work. I enjoy your blog and look forward to the new smi blog.

  18. Gwen says:

    Godspeed on your new aventure… how exciting! Having had a similar experience about 2 years ago, I realize it can also be scary and trying, so I’ll be praying for a great transisition for all of you.

    Part of my transition was to pray for all the people God placed on my transition “team”… even though most all were not aware of it. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and forever changed how I look at all who help me function as God intended… in ways big and small.

    Thanks for all your great work and I look forward to hearing from you at SMI (I love the name!)

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, Gwen. I love the idea of praying for members of our transition team – even if they don’t realize they’re on the team! We’ll put that idea into practice.

  19. Steve Roblee says:

    Congratulations, Matt. This sounds like a great opportunity to expand your influence and encourage believers in biblical stewardship and financial management. Looking forward to your new relationships.

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, Steve. I’m already enjoying the new relationships with the team at SMI. It’s a great group of people who love God and enjoy serving him together.

  20. Judy says:

    I salute your obedience to the Lord, I am in transition myself. Sometimes very uncomfortable, but I would not trade it for anything. God Bless You and your Family.

    • Matt Bell says:

      Judy, I hear ya – change is often uncomfortable. But knowing God is at the helm, I, too, wouldn’t trade it for anything. Blessings to you as you walk through the transitions you’re experiencing.

  21. Mark Hallsten says:

    Congratulations Matt. Several years ago our family went through a challenging relocation to follow God’s leading. From our current vantage point the challenges were so minor compared to the blessing we have gained since. That doesn’t mean the move was easy at the time. I will pray for your family.
    Question – will the contents on your “Resources” page be available on the SMI site? I often refer others to your resources for budgeting. I would hate to lose that resource.

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, Mark. I appreciate hearing about your experience with a relocation. We’re trusting that our experience will be the same, but we also appreciate all the prayers we can get!

      As for the Resources page contents, my site should remain live for at least a couple of months after I stop posting new content. I also plan to bring a lot of those resources over to SMI, such as the budget resources, recommended spending guidelines, etc. But if you ever can’t find something you were looking for just let me know and I’ll make sure you receive it.

  22. Matt, sounds like a blast! Hope you find everything that you are looking for!

    Best, Sam

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks, Sam. I’m really thrilled to be joining SMI. Now, instead of slugging it out with the spiders in my basement office every day, I’ll have a chance to work side by side with a great team.

  23. Greg Anderson says:

    Matt, I have been a subscriber to Sound Mind Investing for 9 years and so I first so the announcement there. In fact, when I saw the announcement with your picture, I thought I might know you from a couple of decades ago. As I continued to read, I noticed that you attended Willow Creek Community Church for a number of years like me. So, I am wondering if we met back in the singles ministry in a group known as Cross Street.

    Well, even if we didn’t meet, congratulations on the move. I will pray for your family’s move and that our mighty God would comfort your family with the lose of that close proximity relationship with family. My family moved from Willow Creek 15 years ago to Phoenix, and he blessed us with finding a church the day we arrived. God is so faithful.

    May God bless you and your family.

    • Matt Bell says:

      Greg – You’re remembering correctly. I have fond memories of Cross Street.

      Thanks for your congrats and prayers. And when you get a chance let me know what church you attend in Phoenix. I seem to travel there once or twice a year, so maybe we could connect next time I’m in town.

      • Greg Anderson says:

        Matt,

        My wife (another former Cross Street-er) and I just got back from a great vacation to San Fran. So, I wanted to respond to your reply. Our church in Scottsdale is City of Grace (Our church has two locations in the Phoenix area). Continued prayers for your family’s transition.

        Greg

  24. Tammidiane says:

    Way cool for you and your family, Matt. I have never been to Louisville, but a dear friend of mine moved there last year and just loves it I will pray for your family and the changes – leaving cousins in so very hard. Blessings, Tammidiane

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks for your prayers, Tammidiane. And it’s great to hear that your friend likes living in Louisville. I have the feeling we’re going to enjoy it as well.

  25. Bruce says:

    Welcome to Kentucky! Our family moved here from Chicago as well 21 years ago (after a brief stint in CO for residency training). Our kids love this state and consider it home.
    I’m glad you’re joining SMI! It’s a group that has changed my life and almost everyone else’s to whom I’ve recommended it.
    God bless you!

    • Matt Bell says:

      Bruce – Great to hear that your family loves living in KY and that you’ve had such a good experience with SMI. I hope to add to all of the good work they’ve been doing.

  26. Stephanie Brooks says:

    Matt, I’m excited for you and your family and what God is doing and will do through you all! I thoroughly related to the difficulty of the situation – just continue to hold fast to the Lord. I always find myself repeating “He is GOOD, FAITHFUL, and TRUE.” I’m glad that He is in charge and knows what He’s doing, and not us!

    • Matt Bell says:

      Stephanie – Thank you for some good and encouraging words. We, too, are so thankful that He’s in charge and can see so much further down the road than we can.

  27. Lisa V. says:

    A testament once again of how deep and wide the love of God is, so much you are following Him where He takes you. I believe it takes great courage and faith to do what you’re doing. Thank you for doing what you do and helping so many. You will be in my prayers for your transition.

  28. Craig says:

    Anyone can live a life… It takes an adventurer to create one that inspires those around him. Thank you for risking your corp job and responding to God’s whisper.
    Well done.

  29. Congratulations Matt!
    You’ve made huge contributions to the ongoing struggle of stewardship in the church! Your work has been fruitful. I wish you great success in your new endeavors with SMI and look forward to the newsletter.

    Joshua

  30. Carolyn Dun says:

    Matt, thank you for writing an excellent blog! I will miss it! I have learned much and passed the wisdom on to others. Sound Mind Investing is a terrific organization and I know you will bring much value to their many readers. I wrote a 7 week supplement for our Crown Financial classes at church that recommends your blog and Sound Mind Investing, among other useful sites. I would like to update it with your current contact information. Should our students go to the SMI blog to find you? God Bless! Ecclesiates 12:13

  31. Matt Bell says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Carolyn. And yes, please steer people to http://www.SoundMindInvesting.com. That’ll be the best place to find me from May 1st on.

    By the way, I’ve always really liked the verse you included. Talk about netting out the purpose of life!

  32. Maria says:

    I so appreciate your ministry of stewardship. you and your family will be in my prayers for a smooth transition. I look forward to your combined efforts in the ministry of stewardship with sound mind investing.

  33. Craig Ford says:

    Matt,
    Thanks for all the work you’ve done and will continue to do for God’s Kingdom. Our family is in the midst of a transition as well so I identify with this post on several levels. I’ve been very please with SMI over the last 3+ years and look forward to reading more of your content there.

    May God bless you during the transition.

    • Matt Bell says:

      Thanks so much, Craig. I’ve been following your transition plans and am excited about what’s next for you and your family. Blessings to you as well during this time of change. I look forward to seeing how both of our new assignments unfold.

  34. "Tom" says:

    This is simply awesome. All the very best for your desirable venture Matt. I am sure you would surely mark your potential over there also. We will definitely pray for your success. Cheers!

  35. John Sims says:

    Read Money Strategies for Tough Times. Great ideas but when one’s spouse is not supportive it’s a no brainer. I did everything right but my wife forced me into bankruptcy by withholding her help. At 65 I give up.

    • Matt Bell says:

      So sorry to hear, John. Are you part of a church that has a stewardship ministry? Please don’t give up. You need a brother to be walking with you through this. Please send me an e-mail at matt@mattaboutmoney.com so I can learn more about your situation and try to connect you with someone who can help.

  36. John Sims says:

    When the principles don’t work what does one do?

  37. I hope you are enjoying your new role. All the best to you and your family.

  38. It sounds like you have some interesting things going on. Good luck with your new project!

  39. Eric Payne says:

    So how’s is it now with SMI? It’s been awhile that you haven’t written here.

    • Matt Bell says:

      Eric – Thanks for asking. It’s going really well. It took a while to get my family settled and all, but we’ve been here about two and a half years now and it’s starting to feel like home. At SMI, we just launched a new site design we’re excited about. It should be a lot more user friendly. Plus, a lot more of our content is now available to non-members. Thanks again for asking!

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