Coaching Clients toward Faithful Stewardship

The Five Financial Personalities

We’ve looked at the five key financial areas and contrasted cultural messages with Biblical wisdom in each.  To summarize, God calls his people to be:

  • Diligent Earners – who work with commitment, purpose, and a grateful attitude;
  • Generous Givers – who give with an obedient will, a joyful attitude, and a compassionate heart;
  • Wise Savers – who build, preserve, and invest with discernment, while avoiding hoarding;
  • Cautious Debtors – who generally avoid debt, are careful and strategic when incurring debt, and always repay debt; and
  • Prudent Spenders – who enjoy the fruits of our labors while guarding against materialism.

Cultural priorities vs. God’s priorities

Our culture leads us to value consumption above all else. The resulting priorities look like this:

  1. Lifestyle spending
  2. Debt repayment
  3. Saving/giving if anything is left

In contrast, Scripture characterizes the faithful steward with these priorities:

  1. Giving
  2. Saving
  3. Lifestyle spending

Getting from here to there

Chances are, most of your clients will have priorities that look more like the first list than the second; in fact, that’s exactly why they’re in financial trouble. They didn’t get there overnight, and they’re not going to achieve financial freedom overnight either. Getting from where they are to a place of freedom and God-honoring stewardship is a journey. They’re not going to be able to suddenly abandon one set of priorities for another. They’ll need a transitional phase.

In this transitional phase (which will last different time periods for different clients), your coaching will help your clients shift from the pull of the culture to the mind and heart of God when it comes to finances. We’ll look at some details in the final lesson as we tackle the Spending Plan, but at a high level, priorities in the transitional phase should look like this:

  • Give…something
  • Save…something
  • Debt…maximize repayment
  • Lifestyle…spartan

In this phase, your clients will need to minimize spending in order to free up funds for giving, saving, and debt repayment. In many cases, they may need to adopt some patterns that aren’t sustainable over the long run but that are needed as a springboard. Your job as coach will be to encourage them along the way, celebrating accomplishments, putting setbacks in perspective, and exhorting them to growth.