Instead, I facilitated the conversation for those who actually did the teaching: Jason Handschumacher and Kelly Starnes.
Who are they? Not hired guns. Not preachers-in-training. Not even experts for a day. Instead, they are regular people from the body of Good Shepherd. Jason is a physical therapist and Kelly is in pharmaceutical sales.
And yet both have walked the long, difficult, faith-filled journey from financial crisis to financial stability. From debt-full to debt-free. From keeping to giving. From anxiety to peace.
So they shared their stories with the church yesterday. I simply asked the questions and then tried to stay out of the way.
Here are some of Jason’s keenest insights:
- Making a budget with your spouse is more of a communication tool than a financial one.
- Talking about money connects generations . . . some of us will need to change our family trees when it comes to the philosophy of money while others get to pass on what we learned.
- You should talk about your will with your heirs while you are still alive rather than using it to “get back” at a family member from beyond the grave.
- Tell your children than when they have $10, they really have $7 . . . one of those dollars automatically goes to God while the other two are put in savings. Adults should live the same way. (Most American adults spend $11.50 of every $10 they have!).
- God is a giver.
- To live into our status as made in the image of God, we will need to be givers as well.
- There IS such a thing as “selfish giving”: when you give in order to get something in return.
- When it comes to mission trips, those who give are as heroic as those who go.
Kelly added the perspective of a single adult to the mix:
- Cash money and plastic cards create very different emotions in us. When we use cash, we feel it. When we use plastic (credit or debit), there is a sense of unreality to it . . . and that’s why we typically spend 12-18% more with plastic than with cash.
- Singles need a good financial plan because there is no fall back for them when crisis hits.
- The flow of money in a family represents the value system under which that family operates.
- Singles: choose ye this day who you will serve. Decide your values today, not when you meet someone who may or may not be “the one.”
- Sometimes singles size up a potential mate based on his or her financial statues. Many times, singles look for a new mate who will be grant security; one who will “save” them. The truth is, we already have a Savior and He can’t be improved upon.
We usually do whatever we can to avoid serving on a committee.
But I can tell you that sermon-by-committee works pretty well indeed.