Stewardship & Personal Finances

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The Lewis Center for Church Leadership is one of the great resources available on the Internet. It is part of the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.  Their Leading Ideas e-newsletter provides a wealth of free information.

The May 22 issue features an article by Robert Moon, "A Dialogue about Stewardship and Personal Finances." Here's the opening paragraph:

Too often, pastors discuss money with their parishioners in ways that suggest that stewardship is only about donating money to support the church. Faithful stewardship, of course, involves much more than what we give to the church. It is about how we care for everything God has entrusted to us. It is about how we live in right relationship with money and possessions.

Moon has some helpful suggestions for both pastors and laity regarding the church's dialogue about stewardship and personal finances. For example, if the church's consistent message (through sermons, publications, etc.) is that persons should put the church first, it's easy for a parishioner to believe that a pastor's fiduciary responsibility to the church overrides the pastor's concern for their overall welfare and spiritual health.

Moon suggests that a starting point for this dialogue is to embrace a larger perspective on stewardship:  

Too often, pastors discuss money with their parishioners in ways that suggest that stewardship is only about donating money to support the church. Faithful stewardship, of course, involves much more than what we give to the church. It is about how we care for everything God has entrusted to us. It is about how we live in right relationship with money and possessions.

Robert Moon is a former pastor now with Heritage Financial Wealth Management in Gainesville, Virginia. He is the author of My Pastor, My Money, and Why We're Not Talking: Bridging the Gap Between Pastors and Those with Wealth, 2012.

- Ted Leach