Below are frequently asked questions about a stewardship ministry. We’ve answered these questions in the context of what we at Good Sense Movement believe.
1. What is the foundation of a stewardship ministry?
A stewardship ministry is built on a set of financial principles that reflect what the Bible teaches about managing money. The overarching and most important of the principles is the cultivation of a steward’s (or trustee’s) mindset (a mindset where one views oneself as a trustee — as opposed to an owner — of all they possess). Additional principles have to do with the four things you can do with money — give it, save it, pay debt with it or spend it. Biblically we are called to be generous givers, wise savers, cautious debtors and prudent spenders. The conviction that a lack of a biblical understanding of — and relationship to — our money can imperil our relationship to God has motivated the development of these ministry resources.
2. What is the strategy of the Good Sense Movement regarding support of a stewardship ministry?
The Good Sense Movement has a threefold strategy for supporting stewardship ministries within churches and organizations. First, it provides courses to educate both Christians and non-Christians about biblical financial principles. Second, those courses also offer training on how the biblical principles can be integrated on a day-to-day basis into one’s personal financial life. Third, Good Sense Movement provides resources and training that equip a church to provide free, biblically based and confidential budget coaching to those who need assistance with their finances.
3. What are the benefits of a stewardship ministry?
A stewardship ministry challenges us to “give careful thought to our ways” (Haggai 1:5-6). Most importantly, the ministry facilitates spiritual formation by removing money as a rival god. That leads to reduced stress in the lives of individuals and opens them further to the presence of God. The ministry also provides practical tools for better management of the resources God has given us. It inevitably results in increased giving to the church, which provides the resources for the church to fulfill its God-given vision and to impact its community for Christ.
4. Who does a stewardship ministry serve?
It serves people at all points along the financial continuum, not just people who are in financial difficulty. Whether participants are in financial crisis, are one paycheck from disaster, are in good financial shape, or are already handling their finances in a God-honoring way, they will all benefit by understanding more deeply the biblical basis for a God-honoring relationship to both our money and “stuff” and by being trained in how to live that out.
5. What do I need to launch a stewardship ministry?
For information on how to launch a stewardship ministry, visit our Start a Ministry page.
6. Will people come to a course about money?
There often is some hesitation; however, experience has shown that people will attend with proper encouragement and that attendance tends to grow during the second and third offerings (as word circulates regarding the benefits of the course). With “up-front” pastoral encouragement, advanced publicity, assurance of confidentiality and realization that the course is not just about getting people to give more money to the church, attendance is often greater than anticipated!
7. How important is the Freed-Up Financial Living course?
The Freed-Up Financial Living course is very important. It is the core curriculum that lays the foundation of biblical principles and their day-to-day application. Its applicability cuts across all economic levels and situations. It lays a foundation for other stewardship ministry offerings and provides a logical entry point for ongoing coaching. It also is an excellent opportunity to invite those outside the church to an event that is relevant to their lives.
8. Should the church be talking about money?
Absolutely! The Bible contains some 2,300 verses about money and possessions. Fifteen percent of all of Jesus’ recorded words had to do with money. The church cannot neglect a topic that God considered so important and that exerts such a strong, often negative, influence on peoples’ lives and their relationship to God. The church that does not teach what the Bible says about our relationship to money is simply not teaching the whole Word of God. If it sounds like we feel strongly about that, it’s because we sure do!
9. Won’t talking about money scare seekers away?
Our resources delve into how the Bible speaks to the very money issues that concern many seekers, and it does so in “seeker friendly” ways. Much of what turns people off over the church talking about money is that it we often do so only in the context of a budgetary crisis or the annual “stewardship drive.” The reality is that, whether one is a Christ-follower or not, following the biblical advice regarding earning, saving, navigating debt, spending (yes, and giving too), results in financial health. The Bible is a good economic textbook!
10. What are the common barriers to speaking about money from the pulpit?
Money is often the “great silent subject” for pastors. In many cases, they have not received training or have not personally studied the second most-mentioned topic in all of Scripture. Sometimes their hesitancy is because talking about money can be perceived to be self-serving. For some pastors, it may be hard to preach and teach with integrity when their own finances are not in order. There may also be a concern that people will get upset when the subject of money is taught.
11. Do small groups have a role within a stewardship ministry?
All of the Good Sense Movement Freed-Up resources lend themselves to being used very effectively within a small group setting. Being DVD driven, they only require that a member of the group act as the facilitator. A Facilitator Guide is provided as a free download for each resource.
Within the stewardship ministry itself, because serving opportunities are generally done “solo” (e.g. budget coaching), small groups are particularly vital to the ministry. The ministry presents an opportunity to create several types of small groups:
- New coaches who complete coaches training
- Experienced coaches who would otherwise be unconnected
- Teachers who teach ministry programs
- Course attendees who want deeper study about specific money topics
- People who choose to engage in the coaching process in a group setting rather than one-on-one
12. What are the qualifications of a Good Sense Movement budget coach?
A Good Sense Movement budget coach must be a member of the church who models the principles of good stewardship and has completed the Good Sense Movement Freed-Up Coaches training. A Good Sense Movement budget coach does not have to be a financial professional. (The expertise of financial professionals who wish to be a budget coach is welcomed, but they may not benefit financially in any way by virtue of their involvement in the ministry.)