By Mrs. Shay Cook, CEO of Crusaders for Change, LLC (C4C) Accredited Financial Counselor® & Financial Fitness Coach®
As we step into 2024, an opportunity awaits church leaders: Guiding your congregation toward financial health and peace. We’ve spent years working alongside church leaders to develop practical tools that empower church members to get out of debt, start saving, begin tithing joyfully again, and start budgeting to stay on track. Now Crusaders for Change’s Accredited Financial Counselors® want to pass that wisdom along to you and your church.
Churches can position their congregation for a successful and financially healthy new year by focusing on financial health and providing financial counseling. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (ESV) says, “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” We’ve worked with many good and faithful shepherds of God’s flock over the years, and we have seen church leaders foster flourishing, financially healthy churches and communities.
Empowering your church for success in 2024 is important, and we want to share some of what we’ve learned with you.
Cultivating Financial Health: A Pillar of Church Strength
Picture, with me, a church where financial worries don't overshadow prayers or put dark clouds over marriages. Financial well-being, intricately woven into the fabric of faith, enriches the spiritual health of your congregation. Financial peace is about breaking free from the “master” of money and possessions, and instead clinging to the true Master that brings Ultimate Peace – even peace with our finances. Financial peace fortifies both individuals and the collective strength of the church in several profound ways:
When individuals within the congregation experience financial peace, they can focus more on their spiritual growth and active participation in the church community. Reduced financial stress allows them to engage more meaningfully in church activities, fostering a sense of well-being.
Financial stability provides individuals with the mental and emotional bandwidth to engage in spiritual practices more deeply. They can participate in worship, community service, and other spiritual activities without the distraction of financial worries, contributing to their overall spiritual growth.
Generosity and Tithing
Financially secure individuals are more likely to participate in the spiritual practice of tithing, which reminds us that all we have is from God, and we are returning a portion to Him. We are stewards, meaning that God owns all that we have, but we are responsible for it. Matthew 6:24 (ESV) says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” By tithing, we are leaning not on our own possessions and wealth, but trusting God for our daily provisions.
Reduced Strain on Pastoral Care
Churches often play a role in providing support to congregants facing financial challenges. When individuals experience financial peace, the demand for pastoral care related to financial stress diminishes. This allows pastoral resources to be directed towards other critical areas of need within the congregation.
Financially stable individuals are more likely to contribute positively to the community spirit of the church. Reduced financial tension among members fosters a sense of unity and support, creating a healthier community where members can rely on each other for both spiritual and practical needs.
A financially stable congregation can more effectively engage in outreach activities and support local and global initiatives. The collective financial strength of the church allows it to make a more significant impact on social issues and contribute meaningfully to charitable causes.
Attraction of New Members
A church known for fostering financial peace and well-being becomes an attractive community for potential new members. People seeking spiritual homes often value congregations that actively support their members in achieving financial stability.
Overall Church Stability
Financially empowered individuals contribute to the stability of the church as an institution. Regular tithing and financial support ensure that the church can maintain its operations, support its staff, and invest in programs that benefit the entire congregation.
Financial peace among individuals translates to a collective strength that propels the church forward in its mission, creating a harmonious and impactful community. But how can you help your congregation achieve financial health and stability?
Planting Seeds of Wisdom: Financial Counseling Programs for Your Flock
People are starving for financial wisdom and guidance in today’s culture. Your church members can be equipped with practical financial skills in a fun and engaging way! Instead of a one-size-fits-all (which often does not fit all) program, Crusaders for Change (C4C) prefers to partner with churches to create a customized and individualized financial counseling program to empower members with biblically grounded financial stewardship. This financial health program is provided by Accredited Financial Counselors®.
Every community has different cultural and socioeconomic factors going on. As church leaders, you possess an intimate understanding of your members and the distinctive factors in your community. C4C’s personalized approach, with financial counseling experts in the lead, reaps benefits for both individuals and the church community. You, the church leaders, are the ones who know your members and your community best and what they need.
Our Accredited Financial Counselors® have extensive knowledge and experience in personal finance education, finance training, and human psychology, and help each church member cultivate healthy financial habits, nurture a culture of saving and budgeting, and provide faith-based insights.
Starting a financial wellness program starts the journey of financial transformation within your congregation! C4C loves to help individuals and families achieve significant milestones through professional financial counseling programs. We make financial counseling fun, interactive, and biblically based. Quite often the initial success stories of the first families through the program become seeds of hope and motivation for others on their financial journey. Hebrews 13:7 (ESV) says, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
Pave a Path to Financial Health
Reaffirm to your church members the crucial role churches play in providing not only spiritual guidance but also practical tools for financial health and success. Encourage your church leaders to embark on this transformative journey first, sowing the seeds of financial peace and abundance for both the church and its members in 2024 and beyond.
Reach out today to schedule a free call about the financial wellness program for your church. Equip your church members with biblical money principles, helping them break free from debt, save, and experience peace in their families. Discover the transformative power of financial peace in your congregation through personalized financial counseling—a biblically based approach that has changed lives in countless churches.