Anna Bedley grew up hearing her father speak volumes about the benefits of investing with CDF Capital to fulfill its purpose of helping churches expand.
“Every Sunday after church as a little kid, I’m standing around waiting for my dad to finish telling people they should invest at CDF. I just grew up hearing all about it,” Anna recollected.
It only made sense for her to eventually pursue a career at the very same company that helped her small childhood church grow.
“When I wanted to have a job that made a difference in the world, it just seemed like a natural choice. As a bonus, it made my dad really proud of me.”
Anna is the Vice President of Loan Operations at CDF Capital and has been with the company for 17 years.
I'm Working for Christ
“I started in marketing and worked my way up to project management. Then ended up filling up a loan spot because my boss thought that would be smart,” Anna said with a smile. “I laughed at him and said, ‘No way! I’ll never be in loans. So boring.’”
Anna remembers playing with staples and paper when she was very young. She recounts creating an imaginary school and a make-believe office space in her house, while her brother and sister would watch her joyfully push papers around. At the time, Anna did not know that her imagination would take her into a career that required a tenacity for being detailed oriented while compiling and distributing documents. Despite her reservations, in many ways Anna feels like she was built for the work that she currently does.
“Being the VP, I get to speak into the broader perspective,” Anna said. “That’s really my favorite part. I get to see the whole process from beginning to end. I get to celebrate with people when they buy a new place, build a new space, or even pay off their CDF loans. Stuff that I originally thought would be boring, but it’s given me an opportunity to see the customers a little bit differently.”
When Anna initially applied to work at CDF Capital, she and her hiring manager, Brad Dupray (current Senior Vice President of Ministry Development), knew that Anna was overqualified for the marketing position she was applying for. Yet it wasn’t about trying to land a specific role with the company. For Anna, it was about simply getting her foot in the door.
“I’ve known about CDF since I was a little girl, and it’s where I wanted to work,” Anna explained. “It’s not about the money."
“It’s about the opportunity to wake up in the morning and to know that I’m doing something with meaning and purpose."
Anna’s presence at the company is about more than just crossing a few t’s and dotting a bunch of i’s.
“It’s the built-in purpose,” Anna said. “I can show up to work and type at a computer all day, and it’s making a Kingdom impact. I love that I can roll out of bed in the morning and help churches grow. No matter what I do, all day long, I’m literally working for Christ. I work for God.”
God's Church Is Living, Breathing, Growing
As much as she is part of the greater equation of helping churches flourish, Anna knows that God has placed her in a position to also experience personal growth and influence the spiritual growth of the teams she is in charge of.
“I’m always encouraging my team to speak up about what God is doing in their lives. Pre-COVID, when we were in the office, we would have some pretty deep conversations,” Anna noted. “These conversations started with my small staff and then people from other departments joined in. So we had this group of people—coworkers—who were studying the Word together, discussing what we thought Christian stereotypes were all about. I can’t explain how lucky I feel to work at a place that encourages ongoing spiritual growth.”
Anna went on to explain that, growing up in a conservative Christian environment, asking questions was not always encouraged. Anna, however, expressed the joy she has in being able to ask challenging questions with other CDF staff members, study the Word together, and own a personal understanding of what Jesus and the Church is about.
“I think we all grew up with the idea of church being a place for Sunday mornings. There was singing and preaching, a moment for shaking hands, and then everyone files out to the donut table,” Anna said. “Church under that definition remains just a place."
“My passion for the church is understanding it isn't just a place. It is a purpose."
Anna continued to discuss the beauty of being at a workplace that allows for dialogue beyond work tasks and assignments.
“Jesus came to serve people, and I firmly believe that is what Church should be about,” she said. “A group of Christians coming together in any place, on any day, to serve. God's Church is a living, breathing, growing spiritual body that is intended to serve its believing and non-believing community. My work at CDF lets me see Church bodies all over the country embracing this idea—and that excites me.”
When asked what kind of legacy she wants to leave behind when her time at CDF Capital is all said and done, Anna commented on the importance of empowering others to embrace their godly purpose and live out that purpose wherever they go—including the workplace. Anna said the role of the believer is to continually point people to Jesus, especially living in such a broken world that we’re in.
“I don't have to walk very far to find someone who has had a poor experience with a church or Christians. This country is filled with people who need to see the love of Christ,” Anna said. “I believe we will change our country if we serve people instead of preach at people—meet them where they are in life and ultimately their understanding of Church, Christians, and Christ's love becomes clearer through our service.”
God calls His people into a story of transformation. We help Christians and churches embrace their part in His story by providing the three kinds of capital every congregation needs for growth. See how you can play a part in the story of transformation.