Israel Galindo offered his usual thoughtful remarks in yesterday’s teleconference on how we function around money in ministry. “It’s not about the money, it’s about what the money represents,” he said. He suggested that one of the most critical tasks of pastoral leadership is to work with the congregation to help them “get clear about what money represents to us” both as individual members and as a corporate body. This kind of developmental work “doesn’t happen overnight, it’s something that you cultivate. It has to be done throughout the year, you can’t do it just at budget time.”
Galindo also emphasized the importance of clergy understanding their own family story — and not only to reflect about it individually, but to talk about it with the congregation. He said this “allows them to overhear it and to see how theological reflection happens as the pastor reflects on, ‘this is how I was shaped in my family of origin, and how it influences my thinking, and here’s my thinking and talking out loud with you.'” I find myself wondering about giving a sermon on money where you tell some of your own family story and make some personal and theological observations on it — at a time which is not stewardship/budget time.
He said that he has been convinced that “to the extent the pastor has not resolved issues about money related to his or her family of origin, the pastor will never be able to resolve issues about money in his or her congregation.” This is a strong statement — and one I agree with. The hard family work pays off, sometimes (though not always) literally.
The recording of the teleconference is available. E-mail me at Margaret@margaretmarcuson.com, and I’ll send you the link.