Money shapes the hearts of your congregation’s members. It can be their gateway to unparalleled joy in Christ, and intimacy with him. But according to Jesus, it can also keep many from reaching maturity as disciples! The stakes are high.
As church leaders, we should talk about money not because we are fundraisers, but because we are disciple-makers.
There are four key transformations that God desires for us as we relate to money. As we invite Christ into our financial life, he moves us toward maturity in each of these unique ways.
- From Pride to Gratitude
Our natural inclination is to believe that we have earned all that we have, deserve our possessions, and are worthy of admiration. The Gospel teaches us that we were dead in our sins, have been bought with a price, and thus – all of our life is a gift! The first step in achieving a Christ-like financial attitude is to recognize that everything we have – our money, our life, and our salvation – is a free and gracious gift from God.
- From Coveting to Contentment
We live in a culture of striving. A promotion, a raise, a graduation, a new car, a vacation – it’s an endless pursuit! But Jesus challenged us to find our identity in Him, rather than in our external circumstances, possessions, or accomplishments. The second step to a Christ-like financial perspective is embracing contentment through Jesus Christ, which provides a spiritual foundation for living a simpler, debt-free, and peaceful life financially.
- From Anxiety to Trust
Will I have enough? This question drives us to save and accumulate. We believe no one else will look out for us, so we’re driven to stockpile resources. However, Jesus encouraged us to move from anxiety to trust, remembering that God provides even for the birds and the flowers – and to store up treasure in heaven, through generosity. The third step to a Christ-like financial perspective is to learn to trust God’s provision and avoid reliance upon our own financial plans, even as we save toward reasonable, godly goals.
- From Indifference to Love
When we’re consumed with pride, coveting, and anxiety, there’s no room to care for others. We’re indifferent to the needs of our church budget, the unreached people groups of the world, or the poor who suffer among us. But Jesus invites us to embrace his compassionate spirit of love, which will animate and motivate extravagant generosity! When we love our church and others, we can give like never before. The fourth and final step to a Christ-like financial perspective is to let the Gospel fill our hearts and overflow through love for the world, expressed through joyful, open-handed generosity.
— Adapted from True Riches: What Jesus Really Said About Money and Your Heart, by John Cortines and Gregory Baumer
How To Use This Book
“I am a Christian financial advisor, working with a company whose mission is to help people integrate their faith and finances. If I was still a pastor, and I could only hand out one book to my church to help them learn how to approach finances, at ANY income level, from a Biblical point of view, this book would be it! John and Greg share that our minds should be 100% focused on Jesus, and from that relationship stems how we respond out of the generous provision he has blessed us with. I FULLY recommend this book to any Christ-follower wanting to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus and take their financial situation seriously.” ~ Sam Shultz