NASHVILLE (BP) – In his new role as President and CEO of GuideStone Financial Resources, Hance Dilbeck’s goal is to match the lessons he learned as a local church pastor with the values of the organization.
Dilbeck became president of the entity in March 2022 after the retirement of O.S. Hawkins, who led GuideStone for 25 years. Dilbeck is the guest of this week’s episode of “Baptist Press This Week.”
A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dilbeck most recently served as executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists before joining GuideStone’s staff in 2021.
Yet in his new role as president and CEO, Dilbeck hopes to apply lessons he learned from the very beginning of his ministry as a local church pastor in Oklahoma.
“I think it’s very important that we have people who have developed a shepherd’s heart come into these administrative leadership roles,” Dilbeck said in a video interview with Baptist Press.
“There’s nothing that quite shapes a man like pastoring a church and shepherding the flock of God. I’m grateful that God used that role to shape my perspective and my approach to leadership.”
These lessons build on the organization’s legacy, he said.
“I’ve discovered that really my calling to GuideStone had to do with a burden that was the very same burden that the founder of GuideStone William Lunsford had,” Dilbeck said.
“He wanted to see pastors finish well and had a burden for pastors who were reaching retirement years without the financial means to retire and felt like Southern Baptists could do something about that. As the GuideStone opportunity presented itself, I realized that’s what God was calling and preparing me for.”
Even more than leading financial endeavors, the presidential role also comes with a platform to help pastors learn how to take care of themselves and finish well.
“Along with that stewardship also comes a platform,” Dilbeck said. “This is an opportunity for me to speak to pastors and to churches about the importance of financial security and resiliency for ministry over the long haul.
“We want to help our pastors advocate for their own financial benefits, but we also want to advocate on their behalf toward our churches and come alongside our state convention partners in helping our churches understand how they need to be taking care of their pastors and their families financially.”
Dilbeck went on to explain a few things the average Southern Baptist may not understand about GuideStone. Three things in particular – GuideStone is financially independent from the Cooperative Program; It is the largest Christian mutual funds system in the world; and it has more than 400 well-trained employees.
Dilbeck also highlighted Mission:Dignity, a program that provides financial assistance to retired Southern Baptist ministers and their widows.
GuideStone will help more than 2,600 Southern Baptists through the program this year, and it is a crucial part of what the entity does, Dilbeck said.
“We were founded as the Relief and Annuity board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and so along with helping pastors and churches and institutions plan and prepare for the retirement of those who are serving them, we’re also here to get relief to those who find themselves in the retirement years without adequate financial resources,” he said.
“Not only does it help them bounce back from adversity, but it also reminds them that their service is significant and the people of God care about them. I think it’s something that not only honors those recipients, but I think it honors Christ when we take care of those people that way. That’s what Mission:Dignity is all about.”