Are you feeling the stress of the fall busy season? Are you struggling after paying college tuition, or your own college/seminary loans, or are you worried about end-of-year bills? My recommendation for church leaders: try a daily practice which will help you be in a different place by Thanksgiving.
Do this practice at a time of day that works for you. If you are a morning person, do it then. If you are most alert at night, use that time. You can do it in about ten minutes – and feel free to take longer if you want!
Follow this practice every day until Thanksgiving:
Pray for your needs today, financial and otherwise.
Also pray for those you love, those you know, and those you don’t know, locally and globally. Ask God to supply their needs, whatever they are.
Read and reflect on Matthew 6:25-33.
Use the following process, taking at least five minutes to do this: Read the passage slowly. Then read it again, perhaps aloud, looking for a word or phrase that stands out to you. Read one more time slowly. Consider the words that stood out for you. What might God be saying to you about your relationship with your finances, or anything else? Sit quietly for few moments in God’s presence.
Give thanks for the flow of money into and out of your life today and every day.
Record everything you spend and receive today.
Think of this as a prayer practice, not a financial one. You can track spending and income throughout the day or take a few additional minutes to enter it at the end of the day. Keep it simple. You can use an app like Mint, but even a 3×5 card with spending and income jotted down as you go through the day will work. If you miss a day, you don’t need to catch up. Just start up again. You don’t need to add everything up. The point of the practice is to notice what you are doing day by day.
By Thanksgiving, you’ll be truly in the mood to celebrate!