When Ron Smith committed his life to Christ, he knew that also meant he was committing to a life serving others. As he continues to study and learn God’s Word, Ron faithfully serves in multiple different Watermark ministries. Most recently, he serves as an Ally with Financial Catalyst, Watermark’s financial stewardship ministry helping under-resourced individuals to grow spiritually and personally.
How did you come to know the Lord?
“My mother took me to church when I was two weeks old, and I grew up in that environment. I trusted Christ as my Savior when I was eight years old. After losing contact with my father at 17, I noticed unwise financial choices made by the church we attended, and it broke my trust with the church and ultimately God. I not only became agnostic, but then an atheist. I met and married a woman with the same beliefs. We had a nice little home and life, and I decided I needed to go back to college to get an education and become a lawyer.
“At school one night, some classmates reviewed a book about the end times and the Rapture. On my drive home, I came to a usually busy intersection where no one was around except a car sitting in the turn lane with no driver. I was so scared after hearing about the Rapture and pictured it happening that night. I thought God was going to pour out His wrath on me. I drove home as quickly as I could and searched our house for a Bible. I read the book of Revelation that night in one sitting. It made no sense to me, so I reread it. It still didn’t make sense!
“In an effort to gain a better understanding of God’s Word, I poured myself into the Bible at night after work and school. I realized that in the 17 years of my life that I was in church, I never read the Bible. We were at church every time the doors were open, but I never took the time to read God’s Word. That bothered me. I started going to a church where the pastor there helped me start effectively reading through the Bible, verse by verse. That is where I gained my foundation in Christ – through daily devotion in the Word.
“Later in life, I had four close family members, including my wife, die within a month. It made me very aware of death and how immanent it is for everyone. I saw how fragile human life is even though we all think we’re invincible. That is when I decided to dedicate myself to the Lord and take my faith seriously. I prayed, ‘God, wherever you want me to go, I’ll go. Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do.’
“I started attending Watermark after visiting for one of the funerals. Quickly thereafter, I got involved in a lot of the ministries offered. I went through all six Equipped Disciple classes, and eventually became a leader in that ministry. I volunteered with Our Calling, a ministry for the homeless in South Dallas. I attended GriefShare and became a facilitator, led a Summit Men’s Bible Study, and had the opportunity to shepherd some community groups. Now I also serve as an Ally with Financial Catalyst. God has kept me busy, but I have Fridays off!
“I am able to share the wisdom and knowledge I have learned from the Bible and the importance of a Christ-centered life with others in each ministry. Life on earth is where I am being trained for the work I will be doing in Heaven. In Heaven, I will have the time, ability, and confidence, without hesitation or interference, to perfectly accomplish what God desires me to do.”
How have you seen the Lord’s faithfulness through the areas you serve, specifically as an Ally with Financial Catalyst?
“I served with the leaders of Financial Catalyst in the past in other ministries, so this seemed like a natural place for me to get involved. In my time serving, I’ve seen the Lord change people’s lives. That’s a big breakthrough for the men and women in this ministry, whether they’ve been incarcerated in the past or are living in poverty. I’ve been able to have many conversations with men, not only about financial stewardship, but also about their desire for more time with the Lord. There is a hunger for the Word of God.
“I have seen men motivated to openly share their lives with others, to ask for advice on various challenges they face, to offer help to others without finding fault, and to bring others back into the group with determination to finish the course. They talk of a future they can achieve when they never felt like they had a purpose before. They bond together as friends and even call each other brothers. It isn’t anything I do; it comes straight from the Holy Spirit. I get to watch God transform lives.
“You’re going to be one of the major influences in someone’s life. I would not recommend it to anyone who isn’t interested in helping someone become who God has created them to be.”
Financial Catalyst is looking for mature followers of Christ who will provide encouragement, advocacy, and support in a mentor position known as an Ally. Applications are now open at watermark.org/financialcatalyst