I was a new pastor in town attending an event where I knew almost no one. A 56 year-old “banker” made his way across the room to introduce himself to me. His name was Mahlon Hetrick. I never forgot what he told me next.
Mahlon told me he had spent 30 years in banking—working his way all the way to the top. He was successful in every measurement of the banking world. He solved people’s problems by loaning them more money. He got rewarded with bonuses and promotions by getting more people into more debt. He told me he spent three decades treating the symptoms of money problems but never knew how to get to the root of their problems. And then one day he got laid off. Everything changed.
Never debt free in 30 years of banking, Mahlon paid off all his debts during 11 months of unemployment. He started Christian Financial Counseling, using the Bible as his “Book of Finance.” He didn’t charge for his counseling services. He only accepted donations. He relied on churches and their support of the mission God sent him on.
Next week, Mahlon is retiring from his ministry that he started 30 years ago. According to a newspaper article, he has counseled more than 20,000 people, conducted almost 50 business seminars, and presented nearly 300 seminars in churches—including quite a few in the church I’ve pastored the past 27 years.
I know Mahlon experienced success in banking but he found significance in helping people get to the root of their financial problems—their outgo exceeded their inflow. Mahlon has left a legacy far beyond Southwest Florida where he has lived. His books, his seminars and his counsel have had multiplied impact across the country. His influence will be felt thru the generations and for all of eternity. Thank you, Mahlon for your impact on my life and all of the people I’ve sent to you over the years.
There’s nothing more inspiring to me than to see people leverage their second half to leave a legacy of significance. I love to watch people in their 50’s make adjustments to life circumstances and then take risks of the unknown as they move into new territory, knowing God has called them and He will provide for them.
How about you? Are you living for success or significance? Is there anything God is asking you to risk? Is there a dream in your heart and mind that God has planted but you’ve been afraid to step out into the unknown? What is one step you could take this week to move toward that significant calling? Remember, the best tasting fruit is out on the limb.
QUESTION: What challenges you most about Mahlon’s story? Please share it below.