138: Who owns your career? You? Or, God? with Bobby McDonald

Bobby McDonald received a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the year 2000, and from there he became Special Assistant to the President of Erskine College. After serving at Erskine College, Bobby served three years as Vice President of the Palmetto Family Council before serving as both Executive Director and President of the South Carolina Christian Foundation.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • [2 min 50 sec] Tell us about your family. Married 23 years. Four children.
  • [4 min 22 sec] Tell us about your current vocation and how God has led you to this point in your career. President of the South Carolina Christian Foundation. The Foundation holds money for charitable donors and helps those donors direct gifts to ministries they have an affinity for. Also helps donors procure the biggest tax deductions they can so that even more of their money can go to support worthy causes. Grew up at Connie Maxwell Children’s Home in Greenwood, SC. His parents worked there. Wanted to do something similar when he grew up. Got a Christian Education degree from Erskine College. Then on to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for his masters degree, pastoral care and counseling. Was enrolled in a doctoral program at SBTS when God directed him to an opportunity in Christian education at Erskine College. This was a path different from what Bobby planned for himself, so it took him awhile to surrender to God’s new leading. It was a decision of faith. Bobby knew it was of God, so he changed course. Served at Erskine for seven years. Took a position for three years with Palmetto Family Council as Development Director. Through that experience, was introduced to South Carolina Christian Foundation, and joined that organization. Lesson: God will make it clear when it is His will to go in a certain direction in your career. John 7:17. Before you make a decision, be sure to discern God’s will first.
  • [14 min 13 sec] Biggest career challenge: Time at Palmetto Family Council. Was a season of learning. Wonderful organization that does great work in public policy regarding religious liberties and family issues in South Carolina. As Director of Development, was challenging to raise funds for an organization that mixes religion and politics in the State Capitol. Was hard to compete for dollars with ministries that were located in donors’ backyards and served more immediate needs, like local rescue missions.  Lesson: God is in control of all things. Man plans but God directs his steps. Story of God’s supernatural provision of funds – just in time for payroll – to PFC. Be diligent, but know that God ultimately provides.


  • [24 min 27 sec] What was your biggest career success? Participated in affirming Erskine as a Christian college. Erskine was going through an identity crisis when he joined the administration; was in the midst of a decision to either remain a true Christian college in both name and practice, or default to being a church-related entity with roots in the church, but more or less a secular institution. Erskine remained a true Christian institution. The question came down to “Who owns Erskine College? The church, or the board of trustees?” The decision was made that the church does. Therefore, the owner (the church) was able to dictate to its representatives (the trustees) which direction to go. Lesson: We, in our careers, need to come down to that same decision. Who owns my career? Me, or The Lord? If The Lord, then let Him direct the steps. Bobby shared a great quote from Oswald Chambers indicating that we can and should be preoccupied with Christ no matter what our vocation, and He will work through us to reach others.
  • [31 min 07 sec] Time where you were confused about which career path God wanted you to take. When he was finishing up his undergraduate degree in Christian education, he was confused as to what direction to go. Didn’t feel called into pastorate. Met with a pastor who said that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy. God wants you to have righteousness peace, and joy in your life because that is what His kingdom is all about. He encouraged Bobby to seek a seminary degree so that Bobby could understand more about his faith and where God had in store for him that righteousness, peace, and joy. Bobby was already wondering if he should go to seminary, and he saw this advice as confirmation that he should go to seminary.
  • [33 min 51 sec] How are you using your current career to impact others for Christ? Helping people understand that American Christian giving and biblical giving are not the same thing. We are to give sacrificially, not just when it is convenient.
  • [39 min 08 sec] Have you ever had a challenge to your faith in the workplace? How did you react to it? 1) Try not to covet. In the fundraising world, Bobby meets with a lot of folks that God has richly blessed financially. Sometimes he is tempted to desire that which he does not have. Works to stay focused on his calling and be content in it. 2) Challenges with having children (infertility issues and miscarriages) have caused them to wrestle with and make sense of God’s sovereignty. Bobby and his wife came to trust that God knows best. Robbie referred to Isaiah 57:1-2 for biblical reasons why God may take someone home early. See Sometimes, people die early for a very good reason.
  • [44 min 45 sec] #1 personal habit that drives career success. Personal quiet time with God. Ask for counsel from people who have experience in leadership. Has gathered a personal board of directors in order to get good, godly counsel. Personal board also keeps him accountable. Reads a lot of great books.
  • [46 min 57 sec] #1 business habit that drives career success. On a weekly basis creates a spreadsheet of both personal and work goals. Reviews goals every week, especially the big ones, in order to avoid mission drift. Does this to stay on task. Also, the first business day of every month, puts the first two hours of the day before The Lord, seeking direction and counsel from The Lord.
  • [49 min 00 sec] Productivity tool. His Google calendar, Gmail, Google Drive. Robbie mentioned contact manager Streak that interfaces with Gmail.
  • [50 min 42 sec] #1 book (besides the Bible) that you would recommend. Devotion Books: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. God’s Pursuit of Man by A.W. Tozer. Knowing God by J.I. Packer.  The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. Business Book: American Generalship by Edgar Puryear. (Interviewed 4 and 5 star generals.)
  • [52 min 45 sec] Advice for high school seniors. Listen to those who are older, wiser, and deep in their relationship with The Lord.
  • [54 min 20 sec] Best way to connect with you. bmcdonald@sccfonline.org

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imgRobbie Romeiser is a commercial real estate broker, real estate instructor, and author of the daily devotional Today’s Quote From God (www.TodaysQuoteFromGod.com). Desiring to help his own children follow God’s calling in their lives, Robbie founded Career Callings (www.CareerCallings.net) to help people find, prepare for, and pursue the work God has called them to do. To have Robbie speak at your church, business, professional association, or civic club, please email Robbie at robbie@careercallings.net.