David Goodwin is in his second year at Nazarene Theological Seminary and is one of the 2016 Stewardship Ministries Sermon Scholarship Winner.
In recent years, the idea of simple living has come into prominence. Since the market crash of 2008, people don’t buy and sell goods like they used to and spending habits are quite different. After their houses were foreclosed on and they lost their jobs, people found that the American ideal of always chasing “the next best thing” (the bigger, stronger, faster, etc.) may no longer work. Folks began to realize that perhaps some lifestyle adjustments were needed, and indeed, wanted and they began to spend less.
When a pastor visits a parishioner in the hospital, details about bodily functions often become part of the conversation. I will never forget the visit with a man who showed me diagrams and tubes as he described in great detail how he catheterized himself. Similarly, when a pastor shares a meal with a couple who just started attending worship services, getting to know them may include the revelation of a life altering event, such as the tragic death of a child.
How do you determine when you have “enough?” How much money in the bank account would be “enough?” How many square feet would make your house big “enough?” What would attendance at worship have to be for you to consider it “enough?”
Dr. Jeren Rowell, NTS Board of Trustees chair and Kansas City District Superintendent, reflects on the minister's often conflicted relationship with money and suggests some new ways to view fundraising in the church as well as one's personal relationship with money.
An Introduction to Income Creativity The notion of “making your money work for you” is not just an accepted practice in the world of finance and business, it is the professional standard. And it is not one you are likely to hear about in a Dave Ramsey course. The principle involved is simple: Your money is your employee. The idea is rather complimentary to those in scripture indicating that money should never occupy “master” status in the lives of Christ-followers. It is also a brilliant understanding and fiscal application of the Parable of the Talents. Though it is most often used to refer to investment strategies connected with anything from the stock market to real estate to the funding of small businesses, the principles can also be applied on a smaller scale and to everyday life. This can be of particular benefit to the small church or bi-vocational pastor who…
One of the easiest ways to understand a person’s life is to look into their spending habits. For example, in college I spent the majority of my income on coffee and books. Have we not all been there?! Although this may seem like a simple example, I think we can use this principle in any stage of life we find ourselves in. Spending money on things we enjoy doing or put value in, is part of the reason we are motivated to work. We motivate ourselves to save money because we believe that after we achieve our goal we or people we love (value) will benefit from it. However, on the flip side when we choose to spend money on one thing we are also sacrificing something else.
Our family’s commute to church this summer included driving through a significant construction project.
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