The Unpopular Truth About the Dangers of a Dave Ramsey Only Approach to Christian Finances

No one wants to write a post like this. It's so easy to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. It also makes me, the author, sound like a grumpy young man. But, something's been troubling me. So, I feel like I must write this post. I'm concerned by the direction Christian finances is heading. To be blunt, I'm concerned about the amount of Christians who allow Dave Ramsey to be the sole … [Read more...]

Materialism and Consumerism Grips Christians | What Are You Doing About It?

Richard Beck just finished up a fantastic series on the topic of giving.  In the fourth article of his series Beck wrote: Here's the cold hard truth. If you were to poll church leaders asking them to name the most pernicious influence upon American Christianity I bet the answer would be unanimous: Materialism and consumerism. I agree with Beck about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000%. Perhaps I … [Read more...]

24 Books Every Church Leader Should Own

I’m sort of a geek when it comes to books.  Since moving to PNG, I’ve slowed down on buying books, but a quick estimate confirms that I have around 500 ministry/theology/Bible study related books.  By contrast, I have about 25 personal finance books. The ultimate irony of this blog is that I spend a lot more time studying topics other than finances.  Most of the time I read theological books - … [Read more...]

10 Ways To Encourage Your Minister Today

Did you know that ministers and church leaders get discouraged? You are the members of churches.  You are the ones that talk about the ministry with a sense of awe and appreciation. They are the minister, pastors, clergy, and church leaders. They often feel discouraged and unappreciated. Here is what they say: Is this the ministry?  To be misunderstood, unappreciated, alone, and … [Read more...]

Are We Making Minimum Payments to the Poor?

If you are part of a church, can I ask you to consider something I’ve been thinking about lately? Are we, as a church, making minimum payments to the poor?  Or better yet, am I, as an individual, making minimum payments to the poor? All of us know that if you make minimum payments on credit card debt, you are basically just treading water.  When you make minimum payments, the situation … [Read more...]

Considerations for Churches Before and During a Building Project

Here is a trustworthy statement – how people spend personal funds is typically how they spend church funds. I’m a frugal guy.  When I had a church budget as a youth minister, I always came in under budget.  Now as a missionary, I rarely spend all of my working funds.  There are other people I know who would burn through money in their homes and when entrusted with church funds, they do the … [Read more...]

Church Parsonage | Should A Minister Buy A Home?

A very important decision that many ministers and pastors will face is making the decision between purchasing their own home and staying in a church owned parsonage.  In a previous generation, a church parsonage was the common way to house a church minister.  However, there are fewer and fewer churches that offer a parsonage as part of their compensation.  It is impossible to fully account for a … [Read more...]

The Importance of Attitude for Christian Finances

Christians can do the right things with the wrong attitude and this ultimately makes their actions wrong. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10) What these two did was amazing. They gave more than I have ever given on a single occasion.  This couple sold a piece of property and gave a substantial amount to the church. The problem is that they misrepresented the sale price.  They said it … [Read more...]

Who Should the Church Help?

There are basic levels to every question and then those issues quickly become more and more complex.  We found that at the church in Alotau we were dealing with the complex issues before first understanding the basic fundamentals of giving.  Here are some of our reflections on the fundamental principles of the church as a helping community. By way of introduction, let me give some background … [Read more...]

How Did the New Testament Church Spend Their Money?

Last year the church here in Alotau decided to look at the Bible to see how the church used money.  This is what we found (does not include every verse, but enough to give us a feel for the church's spending priorities).                Photo by monstershaq What did the early church spend money on? Acts 2:44-45 – common needs, common things of life, material needs of members Acts 4:32-35 – … [Read more...]