Sermon By Committee

I didn’t exactly preach the sermon Your Money Or Your Life, our second installment of Money Talks.

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.