Financial best practices for the church – Part 3

For the last three days Casey Graham has been sharing some important principles and practices of church finances. If you have missed either post, you will want to check them out: Part 1 & Part 2.

And now, with the final post of this series. Ladies and Gentlemen… Casey Graham.

This last post really FIRES me up! I am so pumped that I am about to have a panic attack. Let’s dive in!

Big question for the day: How are you going to help the people in your church become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ through their finances?

I am going to list two key questions that will help you develop a strategy to help your church members with their personal finances; key questions you must ask yourself:

1. How am I leading the way with my personal finances?

I rarely hear anyone speak about the role of the church leader’s personal finances. This subject has got to be talked about more. It is extremely important as the leader of the church to have authority in the area of personal finances. It is hard to speak about a subject with conviction if we feel like we are failing in that area ourselves. A key piece in helping the people within your church with personal finances is helping yourself first. Here is a great litmus test for your personal finances:

  • Do I spend more than I make?
  • Do I live off of a monthly written spending plan?
  • Do I track my expenses and know where every dollar is going?
  • Have I accumulated excessive debt? (Any debt other than of your house)
  • Are my retirement savings and investments limited?
  • Am I funding my children’s college education consistently?
  • Am I fully obedient to God in my giving?
  • Do I regularly communicate with my spouse regarding our personal finances? Are we on the same page about spending, debt, investing, and giving?

I do not see many PERSONAL FINANCE categories on church leader’s blogs! Why is this? I will give my humble opinion! Most church leaders I talk with are flat out BROKE! When I say broke, I don’t mean strategically broke because they have decided to give everything away. Most guys I talk with are paying off cars, credit cards, Mac computers, furniture, boats, student loans, home equity lines of credit, vacations, etc… People don’t like to talk about areas that they don’t do well in. Most pastors don’t feel equipped to talk about the subject of personal finances within the church. I know most of you were not trained at any point in your life to deal with your own personal finances! ReThink Money is here to change that! I want to challenge you to contact me if you need help. Paul Peterson is a great example of someone who I have personally coached to success in his family finances (You can read his story below).

The first key piece in helping others is to help ourselves. Email me at cgraham@rethinkmoney.org if you need help with your personal finances. I am passionate about helping church leaders win with money! DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! Just get it turned around today. I want to see every pastor have personal finance category on their blog. Let me know if you put one on your blog so I can celebrate with you.

2. How are we helping the people in our church with personal finances?

I am just going to shoot straight with you. It is imperative that the church leaders of America stand up against the god of consumerism that is plaguing our churches. We have to start helping people move their hearts from their OWN kingdom to GOD’S! Jesus was clear about, “where you put your money your heart will follow.” I am sick and tired of Christ followers building the Master Card and Visa kingdom! As church leaders we have a Biblical responsibility to teach the full counsel of scripture and a huge piece of Jesus’ teaching was finances. So what do you do? You have to help people in four key areas:

  • Spending – Teach people how to spend less than they make.
  • Debt – How to KILL debt quickly!
  • Investing – How to begin their financial lives with the end in mind.
  • Giving – God’s mission is accomplished through people giving their resources to the Kingdom of God.

Don’t know how to get started on these four? ReThink Money can help you! The ReThink Money System ONLY focuses on these 4 issues and we do it through a simple strategy:

Step 1: Offer a large-group one day event, four to six times a year.

I believe in the law of large numbers when it comes to financial training. You might be able to get a HANDFUL of people to go through a multi-week training on personal finances but you can get the masses of your church to go to one day events. We have found great success at Mountain Lake Church in having one day events on Saturdays at which we teach our ReThink Money Financial Curriculum. You can purchase this curriculum HERE and check out some of the success stories HERE.

Step 2: Offer personal financial coaching for people

I also believe in giving people the opportunity to get one-on-one financial coaching. People that can’t make it stick from the event will need some extra help. You can train volunteers how to do this. It really isn’t as hard as it sounds. Let me know if you need help with this.

Our system is a simple system that is easy to implement. We would love to help you and your church win with finances! You can click here on our proposal request form for a customized proposal for ReThink Money to help your church!

Paul talking here…

Guys, up until one year ago I had never balanced a checkbook in my life. I didn’t know where my money was going. While we did have a spending plan, I didn’t understand how to use it. I didn’t understand that I could be the boss of my money! We did not save regularly and we were always surprised by things like Christmas! We were not good managers of our money and I was not a leader in our home financially.

Then we met Casey!

Our post-Casey life looks something like this:

  • We are the bosses of our money. We create a monthly spending plan and tell our money where to go… and it goes there!
  • We have paid off several debts BEFORE they were scheduled to be paid off.
  • I now balance the checkbook at least once a week – I failed math in high school, so it’s not because I’m a geek… it’s just that I know how and realize the importance of knowing where my money is!
  • Sherri and I never fight about money! We now have a regularly scheduled “Coin and Calendar” meeting in which we discuss our finances and calendar. This holds us accountable to our spending plan and each other!
  • We are living on a church planter’s income on a cash-only basis… and making it! How? Not because we have a great income, but because we’ve learned some great financial best-practices from ReThink Money!

Guys, it’s critical that we as leaders get our financial life in order so that we can model the way and teach our churches and communities how to do the same, and in my opinion there’s no one better than Casey Graham to help us accomplish this!

Thank you Casey for the impact you’ve had on my life, my families life, Walls Down Church, and anyone that Walls Down will ever minister to!

For more information and resources, or to contact Casey, visit the ReThink Money website and start your journey AND your church’s journey to financial freedom… one dollar at a time!

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