Hello, I’m…

Hi, I’m Shay Olusegun Owode. I grew up in East London and now live in a small town in Thurrock, England.

Before I entered the marketplace, I was drawn to the financial sector. I hoped to influence corporations and the people in them with biblical principles and to steward resources to positively impact society. Now, I work as a corporate pensions consultant, helping manage pension assets, strategy and decision-making on behalf of current and former employees of corporations, financial institutions and non-profit organizations.


God’s Generosity

In my teenage years, I had very little ambition for my life beyond wanting to be popular amongst my peers. I wasn’t happy with my life generally and sensed there was something I needed. I attended a Friday evening youth group service where the pastor was leading prayers centred around knowing Jesus. I left the room, broke down, and surrendered my life to Jesus’ Lordship. God rescued me from the path of destruction and gave me the gift of knowing him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he sent. (John 17:3) God’s generosity humbles me to know that I could not earn it and cannot repay it. It’s all a gift from our loving Heavenly Father. I see God as the Ultimate Giver who gave me the ultimate gift—eternal life. 



As a young Christian, I was taught the importance of giving the first portion of my income to honour the Lord. (Proverbs 3:9-10) However, my understanding back then was that giving was more of an obligation to win God’s favour, so I would give a portion of my income to my church because it was the right thing to do. But later, I discovered the joy of giving at a different church that didn’t request a tithe or offering in its regular services. There, I finally realised that giving was not something I have to do but something I get to do. I learned I could give joyfully without desiring anything back. Since then, it has been a real blessing to help fund causes that I am passionate about, including my local church.  


Dangers of Wealth

The first danger of wealth is to see the finances and assets under my management as my own. I too quickly forget that I have been blessed with far more than I need or deserve and everything I have is a gift from God to steward for his purposes. Like the rich fool who built bigger barns, I too can forget eternity and live for the material possessions of this world, which is foolish. (Luke 12:13-21) This leads to the temptation of anxiously trying to obtain more money, believing it will validate me and help me feel secure, instead of seeking God’s kingdom first and above all else.


Treasuring Jesus

Treasuring Jesus more than wealth has been a journey because the love of money was deeply rooted in me. I grew up in challenging circumstances and felt the lack of resources. My school was an underperforming state secondary school with many young people from deprived communities. More money seemed like the pathway to security and respect.

My turning point was understanding the substitutionary sacrifice of an innocent King for my rebellious heart. God opened my blind eyes to see that Jesus is everything and without him I am nothing. He is my true treasure. I came into the world with no material possessions and I will leave it with no material possessions, so it would be inadequate to treasure anything, including wealth and success, more than I treasure King Jesus. 


I Wish I Knew…

I am only 29 years old, but I do wish that at 25 I had seen my place of work as my personal mission field. I didn’t consider that my giving could extend to my colleagues, many of whom do not share my Christian faith. This feels even more important now as the new normal of remote work means I have fewer tangible ways of connecting with my colleagues.


My Routine

As soon as I wake up I thank the Lord for a new day, pray the Lord’s prayer, and then read a devotional. I am currently enjoying a devotional called Word@Work provided by BeaconLight, which helps me pray in light of what I read in Scripture. It can be a battle to do this daily, but when I do it fills my mind with hope and trust in God. My perspective is reoriented to what God says is important, no matter what I am going through.


Giving Decisions

Giving decisions are hard because there is so much need in the world. First, I pray that God connects me with the right people and organisations to give to. Second, I have found that proximity to the leadership team of any cause I give to also helps me get involved personally beyond sending money. Ultimately, I want to support causes that meet people’s spiritual needs as well as their physical needs.

Therefore, the majority of my giving goes to causes that have a very explicit focus on declaring the gospel—especially to the unreached. I also strongly believe in fighting for justice. So I give to Christ-centred organisations and causes that relentlessly pursue justice in the courts, including cases where Christians are being oppressed for standing firm on their faith and rejecting ideologies that do not fit into God’s intended plan for his creation. 


My Mission

My personal relationship with God means my life is now deeply meaningful instead of meaningless. I know in whatever I do, my true calling is to seek first God’s kingdom. (Matthew 6:33) I am also called to be salt and light in my sphere of influence, to help others to taste and see that the Lord is good so that they will glorify my Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16) My specific mission is constantly being worked out in the financial sector to lead, influence, and steward with biblical principles to positively impact society. 


3 Words

I want to be remembered as someone who “Lived for Jesus.”


© 2022 John Rinehart