Crisis Avoidance

The way we handle finances is a huge factor in whether we experience chaos or peace in our home as well as in our church. An abundance of money doesn’t bring us peace but mishandling it can quickly throw our lives into chaos. Mishandling of church finances can affect our household finances just the same as mishandling our household finances can spill over into the church.

If we don’t put proper guardrails such as budgets and cash handling procedures in place, it’s easy to slide down the slippery slope of financial mismanagement.

I suggest that rather than practice crisis management we implement crisis avoidance as much as possible. Begin with the understanding that all we have belongs to the Lord. It’s not our money, and we need to handle it as if He entrusted us with it.

Hebrews 13:5 serves as a great guardrail in helping us as ministers in both our personal and church finances.

Hebrews 13:5 ESV

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

This passage spells out three key points that should serve as a baseline in dealing with finances.

 

Keep free from the love of money.

Could the writer be saying in regard to the love of money that it’s a matter of where we place our trust and where we find security?

If you find yourself worrying about how much was in the offering every Sunday, you may have a budgeting issue. It’s possible you’re spending more than you should, and this might be because you haven’t found yourself to be content.

 

Be content

We should want to do everything with excellence but if you’re continually chasing what your neighbor up the street has you may not be content. You need to ask the question “Is your peace coming from the things around you or from God”? Things will break, and trends will come and go.

 

Know He will never leave you or forsake you.

It’s quoted often from our pulpits, but do we put this into practice in the way that we live?  If we believe this, then that is where our love and trust should lie. If we think he loves us, then we should be content right where we are because he is sovereign and placed us there.

 

Finally, if we believe this, we can know he will provide all that we need.

Is Debt Keeping You From Winning?

Back to basics - piggy bank

“Same as Cash,” “You Belong Here” and “You’ve Earned It” are all examples of phrases to run from when it comes to personal finance. If same as cash were truly the same as cash, people wouldn’t need to pay for a TV over 24 months. When it comes to personal finance, far too many let the tired old saying “live on less than you make” bore them. It seems it’s an idea not sophisticated enough for the average American– and pastors are not excluded. “Leveraged” on the other hand, tends to have just enough sophistication to garner attention. (more…)

Reserved Parking?

You arrive before everyone, and you leave after they’re all gone. I get why you may want to park close to the building but what kind of message does your Pastor Parking sign give? It not only says to a guest you can’t park here; it also means I’m more important than you.
The sign that gets you in the door sooner so that you can serve the people might keep the very people you’re trying to reach away. If that’s not reason enough to take down the sign check out this article from Christianity Today.
http://bit.ly/2WMh26sPastorParking
The sign might also end up costing your church money.
Take down the sign. We could all use a few extra steps anyway.


Is Your Coffee Worth A Million Dollars?

Nearly every day we make decisions that affect our current and future financial position. Many people stop for a $5 cup of coffee nearly every morning. While there’s nothing wrong with a good cup of coffee, you need to understand that decision– if done every day of your working career — could be a million dollar decision. Look at it this way: instead of having a $5 cup of coffee five days a week, if you invested those funds earning an average of 12% return over a 40-year working career, you would have accumulated $979,307. I hope it was a good cup of coffee because that coffee potentially cost you a million dollars. (more…)

Does Your Family Finances Need A Workout?

Strengthen Family Finances -weights

A quick visit to any fitness center during the first quarter of the year and it’s clear that a new year brings a new attitude for many people when it comes to physical health. If you took a cursory look at the physical health of most Americans, you’d agree the gym is where most of us need to be found. The interesting thing is most American’s financial health is in just as bad of shape yet financial counselors are not being overrun with people trying to get in financial shape. (more…)