Regent Bank

When reaching a billion-dollar milestone left Sean Kouplen feeling empty, he felt the Lord calling him to lead his company differently. What started with the question, "God, how do I do this?" has lead to simple things such as prayer before meetings, bible studies and even daily devotionals. Today, Regent Bank is focused less on acquiring as much business as they can from each contact. Rather, Sean and other Christ-following Regent Bank employees are seeing their day-to-day as a "spiritual scavenger hunt" and looking for opportunities to help people by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Seeing Your Day-to-Day Work as a Spiritual Scavenger Hunt

Work becomes very, very empty when all you're trying to do is make money.

Years and years ago, we set a goal to be a billion-dollar institution. I came into work and sat down and logged into my computer, and the core processing system said that our total assets were over a billion dollars. And initially I was like, man, that is really cool. And then I sat there and thought, huh, I really thought I would feel differently about this. It's just another number. It didn't really change anything. My day to day isn't gonna be any different today than it was yesterday, and it was kind of a letdown to be honest with you. And as I was sitting there in my office alone Jesus said, "This is why that's not your goal. That's why numbers and dollars should not be your goal. You need to focus on things that really matter. Things that will matter eternally."

Moving from Disenfranchised to Kingdom-Minded

So, region Bank is a regional community bank. We have seven locations. We're in seven different markets in southeast Missouri, throughout Oklahoma, and then North Texas. The bank has grown to $1.7 billion in total assets and about 215 employees. This is my fourth bank to be CEO of. It's the first one where I've brought God in and it's completely different. And so I believe it was the Holy Spirit's work in my life and on my heart that made me become a little disenfranchised. And I thought there just has to be more. So I closed my eyes and said, "God, what does this look like? What do you want me to do? You know, how do I do this?" And so we began doing things like praying before our meetings and we started bible studies within the organization. That was kind of our first tip of our toe into the water of being a kingdom business. That really changed the bank.

And then about eight years ago, I was sitting in church and the Lord called me to start a daily devotional for my team here at the bank. Under my breath I said, "Well, this must be the 1960s God, because you can't do that anymore. That's illegal." So I started researching and I realized, that I can do that. I can, I just have to invite people in. I can't require them to participate. So that is really when the big leap took place. So I announced to the employees, and it was terrifying, that we were going to start a morning daily devotional from 8:15 to 8:30. I was going to lead it. It was voluntary in nature, and that's when things really took off.

It Starts with an Intimate Relationship with Jesus

I lead the organization differently than I have in the past because my relationship with Jesus Christ changed. That's truly what happened. It was just a natural outgrowth of an intimate relationship with Him. It's so worth it that I don't even have the words to tell you.

Now, work becomes more of like a spiritual scavenger hunt. It's like when you show up in the morning, it's no longer about, I'm gonna sit down here in this conference room with a prospect and figure out how much money they have and how much of it I can get in my bank. Now, I'm just trying to help that person. I'm just trying to figure out what the Holy Spirit is calling me to do to help this person in their life. Now, if it involves banking services, all the better. We're going to make a living. I need to feed my family somehow. So it's great when they want to do business here, but if they don't, we don't care about that. We're all about sowing into the clients and employees that we're dealing with every day. It's not different, it's just your motive changes. Your motive becomes one of love and of caring and of wanting to sow into the lives of your clients and your employees. It's just your why changes.

It's Not an Either Or Scenario

The main thing that I need you to know is it is not an either or situation. It is not, we can have a faith-centered culture or have a great business. It is we can have a faith-centered culture and have the best business. I encourage you to think about business as a tool, as a spiritual tool that you are able to use to change lives. It is going to take you being brave. It is going to take you stepping forward. The enemy is gonna do everything in his power to keep you from doing this. Trust me, I wish it was something I had known earlier. I wish I had done it when I was 30. I was a bank president when I was 24. I wish I had started it back then. I feel like I missed 20 years of my career. It's almost like entering the promised land in the Bible, it is the promised land. What you will see on the other side is so different than what you are experiencing now that it will change your life. It will change your business. It will change every employee in your business.

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