Updated: May 29, 2019
with Gary Montgomery
Do you have a Biblical Financial Compass?
Successful churches have found that leading in financial discipleship, as part of a Biblical worldview, delivers the guidance the church and its congregation need much like a navigational compass provides direction. A Biblical Financial Compass helps people get their financial house in order, gives spiritual lift, and encourages generosity based on the financial principles found in God’s Word.
But does the Bible really have much to say about handling money? Yes, there are over 2,350 verses dealing with money and possessions. That’s more than the number of verses that discuss faith, prayer and love, combined. In addition, fifteen percent of everything Jesus said dealt with it.
God said so much about it because He loves and cares for us, and knew that occasionally we may experience financial challenges. Handling money His way is “The Best” way, and one that also pleases Him. As financial professional Ron Blue says, “God’s Word is always right, always relevant and never changes. As a result, when I make Biblical financial decisions, I can act with confidence, consistency, and credibility, every single time.”
Instructing on faith and finances was intended to be part of discipleship in the local church, but sadly many churches have gotten away from this discipline. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things become new.” For many of us we have become “new” in all areas of life, except financially. In that area, we are still operating in the ways of the world.
Most churches do a good job of helping people with their issues--their thought life, their prayer life, and so on--but seem to lag on teaching all their people how to handle money from a Biblical perspective. As a result, many Believers are still handling resources from a worldly point of view, as if they had been immersed with their wallets out of the baptismal waters.
When we preach or teach about finances and generosity without Biblical context, we miss our target message – “The Why” – And “The Why” is Jesus. We can do better by helping people live out their faith in a manner in which “old things have passed away” and “all things [have] become new.” That can occur by helping them learn and apply Biblically based financial principles and make Spirit-led financial decisions.
For example, we find when people faithfully complete the Compass-Navigating Your Finances God’s Way Small Group Study, not only does their financial situation improve, but they fall more in love with Jesus along the way. In so doing they now pray more, serve more, and are in the Word more regularly. In addition, 78 % of married participants tell us their marriage has grown stronger. Once people realize what God’s ways of handling money are, they determine that’s what they want for themselves and their family.
To learn more about handling money God’s way, go to www.compass1.org. There you will find great resources, videos and financial calculators that may help you on your faith & finance journey. To receive a free download of Howard Dayton’s book “Your Money Counts,” go to www.compassebooks.org and create a login. It’s a fun read and gives direction for spending, saving, giving, investing and getting out of debt.
At Compass-Kentucky, we find that, “Families that are spiritually grounded & financially healthy, make churches that are missionally generous & economically sound.”