Hance Dilbeck said he spent 30 years relating to GuideStone as a pastor and participant before he became its president earlier this year.
And he remembers the first time he called. He was a 25-year-old pastor with his second baby on the way and no health insurance. So he called GuideStone, and the person he spoke with mailed him some information.
“I gathered up my courage, and I went to talk to the leaders of the church I was pastoring, a church of about 50 or 60 souls, a country church,” Dilbeck said. “I talked to them about our need and we discussed the finances of the church. I asked them to cover my health insurance and life insurance.”
The church leaders went away and talked about it, and they decided to not only do that but also put 10% into Dilbeck’s retirement account.
“I can still remember how good that felt,” he said. “I felt valued as a pastor, like my work meant something to them.”
At GuideStone, “that’s what we do,” he said June 14 during his first report to the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting as GuideStone’s president.
Putting a pastor and his wife on a pathway to a secure retirement and providing them with health insurance can bring peace of mind and create “a resiliency that allows them to encounter the difficulties of the day-to-day life that God has called us to,” Dilbeck said. “They are less inclined to quit when they feel discouraged.”
It’s been a tough year for ministers, and Dilbeck said a new team member — Mark Vance, director of pastoral wellness — “is working to make sure we all understand that financial wellness is just one part of the whole.”
Spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and relational wellness are all important, Dilbeck said.
He noted that Chu Soh, GuideStone’s chief insurance officer, shared with him recently that mental health claims for GuideStone’s insurance policies have increased 40 percent since 2019.
“These are challenging times,” Dilbeck said. “Pay careful attention to yourself. Under Chu’s leadership, our insurance team has developed more than 20 new products to meet your specific needs including a new referral program to low-cost solutions with Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries.”
Also during the GuideStone report:
- Dilbeck said “all of us” at GuideStone “are saddened by the details of the report of the Sexual Abuse Task Force” and are “committed to doing all we can to support our churches as they care for victims and respond properly to this report.” He also noted that GuideStone continually reviews its policies and procedures to “ensure all our employees are free to work in an environment free from harassment and sexual abuse.”
- Dilbeck reported that donors gave more than $10 million in 2021 to Mission:Dignity to support 2,500 individuals, two-thirds of whom are pastors’ widows.
“We’re working to enhance financial security and well-being for those who serve the Lord,” Dilbeck said. “We want to see every servant of Christ finish well, and what we do plays a small part in that.”
View photos from this business session of the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting here.
To view other photos from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, click here.
For more stories from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, visit thebaptistpaper.org/sbc2022.