By Shannon Crow, Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
Usually when we talk about financial stewardship in relation to ministry, we are talking about giving to the church. However, it is just as important that as individuals, families, and businesses, we are good stewards of God’s provision. God’s Word tells us that everything we have has come from the Lord. So how well are we managing God’s money?
In Dr. Craig Blomberg’s book Christians in an Age of Wealth, Blomberg quotes Tom Sine: “The themes of the American dream are accumulating, upscaling, statue, power, consumerism, individualism, and self-actualization. The themes of the homecoming future of God are justice for the poor, peace for the nations, the redemption of the people of God, a restoration of community, a renewal of creation, and a celebration of the shalom purposes of God for a people and a world.”
As students of God’s Word leaning toward the homecoming future of God, we have a starting point at which to think about what our goals are for our time, talents, and money. If I am to manage my money in order to contribute to the kingdom, what must I do? What choices do I have to make about my lifestyle in order to meet God’s and my goals? What changes do I have to make in my lifestyle to meet our goals? What outside help do I need to achieve our goals?
As adults we are expected to know how to manage money, but most of us were never taught how. We probably learned for better or worse how our parents handled their money. If they managed well, we have a leg up. But, if not, we have to manage the best we can. Even if they were good money managers, there was probably a lot of information that you did not learn from them.
Did you learn about debt, mortgages, use and abuse of credit cards, how to build your credit score, what your credit score means to your monthly finances, or how to negotiate when buying a car? Did you learn anything about financial planning for the current time as well as long-term? Do you know what insurance you need on your car and apartment? Did you learn what to do if you can’t pay your bills? Since we were never taught how to manage our own money, how are we going to manage the church’s money if that is part of our responsibility?
In the weeks that follow, the Financial Wellness team will publish several money management articles. If there is something specific you would like to see in these articles, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.