Money has never been a big deal for me. In fact, it’s probably not been bright enough on my radar.
Over the last seven months I’ve been paying a lot of attention to finances for two reasons:
- Personally: Living on less requires that I manage better what I have been entrusted with! Starting a church is not the best way to line one’s pockets, but it is one of the best ways to learn how to live well on less! This experience has forever changed the way I view and handle money.
- Professionally: I feel an increased sense of responsibility to learn more about financial management so that I can lead Walls Down Church with integrity and wisdom. As soon as we can we will hire/recruit someone to oversee this side of ministry, but until that point it lies squarely on my shoulders.
A few changes that I have made in the world of finances since we’ve set out on this church planting adventure:
- I balance our checkbook at least once a week. Before coming here I had never balanced a checkbook… Sherri always did that. I now own this process. In years past I abdicated financial responsibility leaving it all to Sherri… I earned it and she did the rest. No more.
- We create a spending plan every month in which we balance to zero. We have learned from Casey Graham how to tell our money where to go… and we do it better than we have ever done it before! We create this spending plan together based on our calendar and upcoming expenses. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done!
- I turn my receipts in every month. My buddy Jeff, the Director of Operations @ Northgate church where I previously served as senior pastor, still can’t believe I do this! Believe it Jeff. 😉
The list could go on, but the point is that sometimes having less forces you to be better!
Looking back, I wish I would have been as financially disciplined then as I am becoming now!
Anyhow, part of my financial training has been through books I’m reading.
One great book I’m reading now is The Millionaire Next Door.
The authors make seven observations about millionaires that I think are worth noting:
- They live well below their means.
- They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
- They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
- Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
- Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
- They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
- They choose the right occupation. Hmmmm… I wonder if any of them are church planters? 😉
I don’t know if I’ll ever be a millionaire… quite frankly, I don’t care. What I do know is that I will:
- Manage well what God entrusts me with.
- Lead our church with more financial awareness than ever before.
- Model the way for the people of Walls Down Church in the area of personal finances.
So anyway I’m gonna go take Lexington to school…