How Do You Invest in People?

It all started in the summer of 2010.  I had just finished a Beth Moore Bible study, was basking in the sun on the deck out back and pondering my next season of ministry options. My passion was facilitating spiritual growth and recovery groups at my church, but had taken some time off during my son’s senior year in high school.  As I sat in the sun and prayed, I asked God for direction on how to serve. He clearly ‘said’, it seemed, to invest in people.

How do you invest in people?

How do you invest in people? One person at a time.

Invest in People?

“Hmmm,” I thought, “what does that mean?”  Within a few days I had my answer.  It came during a Skype with Pedro, the Spanish exchange student who stayed with us earlier that summer.  He told me that his grandmother had just been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and only had a few months to live.  With my mother being on hospice care and living day to day with the aid of a feeding tube, I sensed that I was to come alongside Rosa and support her through this painful period in her life.

I still wasn’t very sure how to do that—especially since we didn’t speak the same language—and I was struggling with my own mother’s prolonged illness.  Yet that connection led to the peaceful passing of our mothers—just three weeks apart, the beautiful bonding of two hearts across the world, and eventually the publishing of my story, “Walking My Mother Home”, in Journeys to Mother Love.

Over the last two plus years I’ve had to let go of the comfort of serving in an organized ministry role in favor of more one on one time connecting with people.  It is the continuation of my ‘invest in people ministry’.  Last week I was reminded of just how unexpected and profound those encounters can be.

A chance meeting in my hometown

A chance meeting in my hometown

A Chance Meeting

For this particular meeting, I was again basking in the sun, but this was at a nearby country club. I was with a woman I met two months ago at the marriage workshop my husband and I attended in California.  Her brother had suddenly passed away and she was in town for the memorial service.  The service was over and we stole some time away to reconnect, encourage and pray for one another.

What struck me was how God had orchestrated this ‘chance’ meeting in my hometown and how fortunate I was to be able to be there for her.  I didn’t have to ask a boss for time off.  (And I’m sure it would’ve been frowned upon by an employer.)  I did have to make a choice to delay some promotional work, but it was well worth the investment of my time. (For more about this chance meeting and how God’s hand was all over it, check out “Filling the Jar With Rocks”, on the Journeys to Mother Love blog.)

The R.O.I. points to heavenly rewards.

The R.O.I. points to heavenly rewards.

What’s the R.O.I?

I always find that my people investments have a two-fold benefit.  They serve to encourage and support the other person, and they also provide an intangible return to me.  In other words, it undoubtedly blesses both of us in some unexpected or profound way.  And ultimately they create a big R.O.I. (return on investment), not just in our day to day lives, but in the heavenly realm as well.

Just like any other investment decision there are risks associated with it—the biggest I think is rejection.  But I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone and take those risks instead of living with regrets.

After two years of heeding to those ‘investment’ nudges from God, I strongly encourage others to be on the lookout for those same kinds of encounters.  We may never know the R.O.I., but I believe there is a banker up above who is keeping track.

What are you doing to invest in people? I’d love to hear your story.

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

Leave a comment


  1. Great encouragement! TY Ardis. I’m praying for you., esp.
    for your upcoming adventure of a lifetime… ❤


    • Thanks Terri! I find it interesting how God crossed our paths as well. We even had a chance meeting later at the mall. Blessings to you, my new friend. 🙂


  2. I found you through Faith Filled Fridays linkup. I love your message and your blog. This post resonates with me so much. Thanks. 🙂


    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I enjoyed reading your post about fasting from the computer–definitely food for thought in this high technology age. Blessings to you on your writing, as it is one sure way to invest in people. Ardis


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    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

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