RECENTLY I PRESENTED AT THE CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP NETWORK FORUM. This annual gathering of stewardship pastors and leaders from around the country is always an inspirational, relationship-building and great-ideas-for-ministry time. Following are some key takeaways from that time and some related questions for your ministry.

STEWARDSHIP IS A HUGE SPIRITUAL ISSUE: Money is the chief rival god for many people. Leaders at the conference repeatedly stressed that the spiritual importance of a right relationship to money should be the first and foremost ‘why’ for our ministries.

QUESTION: Does your senior leadership understand (many do not) that a person’s relationship to money has to do with where their heart is, who they serve, whether God’s word is fruitful in their life and so much more! How can you “lead up” in this regard?

MONEY AFFECTS ALL AREAS OF OUR LIFE – spiritual, practical and emotional. Most of our ministries speak to the practical and spiritual (though sometimes not enough to the spiritual). But very often we do not speak to the emotional. Yet our financial decisions are often driven by emotion.

QUESTION: Does your ministry help folks understand and manage the emotions associated with their finances?

OUR ACTIONS FLOW DIRECTLY FROM OUR THOUGHTS: This means that what we think directs how we act and the results that come from those actions.

QUESTION: Does your ministry take specific steps to attempt to change how folks think about their money in addition to simply trying to manage results or change behavior?

THERE ARE 5 STAGES IN THE JOURNEY OF FINANCIAL DISCIPLESHIP They are: 1. Financially unhealthy and in denial 2. Financially unhealthy and ready for change 3. Financially healthy 4. A biblical perspective on money 5. Christ-centered relationship to money.

QUESTION: How does your ministry shape its offerings to reach out to people in all 5 categories?

Tax time is here –this is the only time many folks are aware of just how much income they had last year. And many will also be wondering where it went! It’s a great time of year to offer the Freed-Up Financial Living course to help them manage this year’s income in a God-honoring and responsible manner.

Your partner in the great adventure of stewardship ministry,