Money is an interesting topic. Everybody wants it, yet it tends to create so much stress. Example, payday feels great, but bill day does not. You might find yourself lying awake at night worrying about how you are going to a pay a medical bill or find yourself in pure joy watching your child rush to the mailbox to retrieve a birthday card. Then, you have men in your church that feel driven both at work and home to earn more and more. While their wives fear the insecurity that today will never end. Money is a powerful voice in our lives. We love and hate it at the same time.
If you are a pastor, I would like to ask you a few questions about money, then offer some guidance.
- Do you know the financial condition of your flock? People chase stuff that doesn’t really solve problems. They need help. What if the only financial wisdom your congregation ever received came from you? People need help, real help, and direction when it comes to money. They are looking for a leader. I’m sure you have read Proverbs 27:23-24 and applied it to your ministry. Read it again and take note that it is a passage based on taking good care of your business resources. It’s actually a stewardship verse. You need to take daily care of your resources, or you will not have any. You need to help your flock or they will be hurting.
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” (Proverbs 27:23-24 NIV)
- Are you discipling your people financially? There are messages everywhere about money. If you watch the news, you may think global calamity is right around the corner. If you read a magazine cover you may think that the path to feeling better is a new outfit. If you go to school you may learn the place of acceptance is in the car you drive. Yet money comes and goes. It can be rather uncontrollable. Is there something we can count on? Yes, it is God’s word. It is flawless and can direct our lives, even our financial lives. We need to help people make the great exchange from chasing the temporary to trusting in the permanent.
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5 NIV)
- Are you a confident stewardship leader? Most pastors I meet really struggle to confidently answer this question. It isn’t for lack of desire, but it is a lack of a resource, time, and understanding. Most of us have not even been discipled ourselves on this topic, so how can we confidently lead others? It is so easy to find yourself spinning your wheels. Your people and church can really struggle with how to handle the funding issue. Plenty comes in, but plenty also goes out. Will there ever be a time of financial peace or even surplus? Is it possible to enjoy a true enduring-free culture of generosity?
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV)
Help has arrived. Several years ago I was reading through Proverbs and noticed that every chapter contained multiple jewels of wisdom about money. Recently, I took the time to put together a simple 31-day journey through Proverbs for a staff team to experience together. It contains a daily nugget and weekly team-up exercise. If you are struggling with confidence in being the lead financial discipler or if you just want to sharpen the skills on your team, check it out. I hope you enjoy it.