When people are in trouble, they often turn to the church for help. And many churches are prepared to respond through their benevolence ministries. Serving people in dire financial circumstances is a key way of showing Jesus’ love and compassion.

But often, these difficult situations are caused by financial habits that will continue to foster crises until they’re addressed. While aid in a crisis is important, a stewardship ministry that addresses the deeper financial issues can extend that aid into life-changing financial patterns. And while immediate aid reflects Jesus’ love, training in stewardship forms a basis for lifelong discipleship.

To make a lasting impact, a benevolence ministry needs to help people connect stewardship principles with their financial situations. Benevolence ministries that offer stewardship training can often prevent recurring crises and take people from the bondage of financial instability to the freedom that comes from following Biblical financial principles.

Benevolence by itself can create a sense of dependence; but calling beneficiaries into a lifestyle of stewardship empowers them on a journey to financial freedom. This journey gives them more than financial stability; it engenders hope. Two key elements of this journey are a solid stewardship curriculum and a stewardship coaching ministry.

Podcast host James Lenhoff discusses how your church can transform benevolence ministry into a discipleship-empowering agent. If you’d like to learn more about stewardship coaching, check out the Good Sense Coaches program.