HICKORY, N.C. – A BILD event held nearly 10 years ago in Atlanta, Ga., was the catalyst for David Sigmon to shift the way he thought about church and money. It was also a moment of conviction that set him on a path to become a self-enterprising entrepreneur and benefactor of BILD.
At that time, David was in his early 20s and working at a transportation company. He had a business degree from Liberty University. He was part of a church within our USA CityChurch network and was familiar with BILD through his mentors and the study materials his church used to develop their church leaders and members.
David’s first BILD event was a conference in Atlanta to which potential benefactors, including those from the USA CityChurch network were invited. The conference featured five to six leaders of large church networks in India who spoke about the critical need of the India churches for accessible materials for training their people.
David listened as Jeff Reed and Michael Vos spoke of the need for India to have access to church-based education and how BILD was developing an accessible and affordable curriculum and education process that could go to scale. Hearing the costs of translations and the need for benefactors to become strategic players in funding the expansion of the gospel changed David’s whole perception of how the New Testament churches used money to grow and advance the gospel. In the Apostle Paul’s letters, Paul frequently acknowledged benefactors who played a key role on his team. Coworkers such as Phoebe and Priscilla and Aquila worked tirelessly using their time, talents, gifts, and money, to support the progress of the gospel.
David was struck by all that he heard. He had learned in his early faith experiences that the connection between churches and having money was evil. He reflected on the lack of understanding in many traditional churches and the misinterpretation of scripture that leads people to wrongly assume having money is a bad thing. “It’s frowned upon, and if you have money then you’re probably not going to heaven,” he said of what he had believed before.
What impressed him most was the way Michael spoke about the stewardship God has given to each of us that is to be used for God’s purposes, and that includes the stewardship of our money, he said.
“It felt so weird to me at that meeting, hearing basically that the progress of the gospel, or at least the establishment and maturing of churches was being held up by money. That just hit me,” he said. While God’s Word does move without money, David was convicted pretty quickly when he realized money was holding up the needed establishment to root and ground the church.
He was challenged during that event to pursue avenues to become an entrepreneur so that he would be able to support BILD’s ministry in training church leaders and establishing churches around the world. “Once I heard them talking about it, I felt a calling to it, and I had to figure it out,” he said.
Over the course of nearly 10 years and some hits and misses, David did get things figured out. And none too soon, as this year he was finally able to give substantially to BILD at a time when BILD had an increased need for financial support to continue the work God has entrusted to us.
This past year, David has seen success from his sixth business venture and has learned a lot through the failures. “I’m pretty competitive and I don’t like losing. Like, my mind was made up that this was what I needed to do, and I was going to figure it out. Now, I didn’t think it was going to take seven years, to be honest,” he laughs. “When I made that decision in 2015 to leave my job, I didn’t think in my head that I wasn’t going to be able to write a substantial check, or really any check at all, to BILD until 2022. But here we are!”
Throughout this experience, David has grown in his faith and understanding of New Testament principles regarding the use of his money. He has felt an even deeper conviction around the importance of being a benefactor and supporting the BILD team. “I am fully convicted in my heart, and I have been for a couple years now, that I’m not living for this life, I’m living for the next life,” he said. “The things I do and the time and energy I spend on things need to be eternal. That goes from my occupation to my money, to the way I steward my health, to the way I steward my family.”
He and his wife, Katlyn, lead and host Kerygma City Church, a house church in the USA CityChurch network in Hickory, N.C. They are committed to showing hospitality to their neighbors and community, and are involved in helping their own church family become established in New Testament principles.
“My wife and I talk about Aquila and Priscilla and how they hosted a lot and how they sent money from a distance,” he said. “They were boots-on-the-ground doing the ministry also, so that’s a big part for my wife’s and my role.”
Going through LifeN and having his SIMA done in 2016 also solidified his calling to be a self-enterprising entrepreneur. “One of my top lines is ‘establish’, so that gave me the confidence that yes, I do have a natural bent toward seeing things through,” he said.
As David has gone through different BILD materials such as the Acts and Pauline courses, it has been clearer to him that Paul knew what he was doing as he established churches. The New Testament tells us that Paul was focused on unfolding the administration of Christ’s plan for His Church.
“Paul knew exactly what he was doing and he fought for that with laser focus, unwaveringly. Didn’t matter if he got stoned or what came in his way, he wasn’t going to quit,” David said. “That’s super motivating for me.”
David said we’ve all been given a purpose, and once we understand that purpose we can drive toward it without wavering. “I don’t have any doubts if I’m on the right path, that question never comes up anymore for me,” he said. “It’s like, I know what I’m doing for the rest of my life: I’m building His Kingdom. I’m living for the next life; that is my God-given purpose, and there’s so many facets to that purpose, and being a benefactor is one of those.”