August 28, 2016

August 2016 Good $ense Newsletter: Shopaholic vs. Leadership Junky?

Dear G$ Friends and Partners,

A shopaholic and a leadership junky walk into a bar… I know, it sounds like the start of bad joke but somehow I am intrigued by the dichotomy of the characters involved.

A week ago I was on a plane coming back to Chicago from Kansas City and next to me was a very distraught woman.  She had been bumped from a previous flight and she now had no idea where her luggage was.  She really had off-the-chart concern about her luggage which she was sure gone AWOL. Turns out she had been at Mall of America that week for what she called a “shopping vacation” and all the great buys were in her luggage.

As she gushed about her bargains, the economics of it all – the plane fare, the nights in a hotel, not to mention the credit card interest – to get those bargains – somehow eluded me. I kept thinking about the enticing myth of discounts: “the more you buy the more you save”!  So, I’ll continue along with you to devote myself to offering an antidote to shopaholism (and a lot of other crazy financial behavior) and to draw encouragement from the inroads that your ministries are making.

Richard Foster points out in his classic Celebration of Discipline that the more disciplined we are, the more freedom we have and the more celebration that freedom brings with it.  This idea is very counter-cultural….which makes it all the more exciting to me! We say the same thing in Freed-Up Financial Living  – that setting safe boundaries through a spending plan, and exercising the discipline to stay within those boundaries, is what gives financial freedom. And within that freedom is joy and contentment.

Our role as stewardship ministry leaders is to articulate that message in a compelling and grace-filled way. I hope you and your team spent a part of your summer planning how to get this message out in this next ministry season. And I hope you took some time to get re-fueled as well.

One of my annual “refuel” stops is the WCA Leadership Summit. As usual, this year’s Summit had so many take-aways that I’m still processing which one or two items to implement in my own life and stewardship ministry.  Our Good $ense sales manager Joe Richards summarized some key summit points you might find helpful during your team planning sessions:

  • Keep your ‘passion bucket’ full by living at optimal stress and health levels
  • Be intentional if you’re going to follow Christ ‘up-hill’ to truly live vs. just accept your life
  • Be humble (agree with who God made you to be) and intentionally value others by having more connection than correction in your interactions
  • Execution (of strategy) is harder than creating strategy and requires focus and accountability
  • There will always be more good ideas than capacity to implement them, so pick the best
  • Peace is the presence of justice not the absence of conflict
  • Intentionally develop your emotional intelligence to grow connection, capacity, and impact
  • Think the impossible to reach the unfathomable through implementation of wildly important goals (WIGs)

As you lead yourself and others in the area of stewardship, you can have major impact toward transformational behavior and living. Stewardship may not be the biggest ministry in your church in terms of numbers, but in it can be far-reaching in terms of sustained kingdom impact. (And over the long run, impact tends to lead to numbers rather than the other way around).

Well, that’s quite enough food for thought. May your summer conclude in wonderful ways and may you be refreshed for a God-led, impact-filled and downright fun ministry year!  May you impact both the shopaholics and the leadership junkies in your sphere of influence with the message of biblical stewardship.

Let your leadership shine!

Sid Yeomans

President, Good Sense Movement

Transforming Finances!  Transforming Lives!