What Are Your Money Values?

Here are ten tips for church leaders on money and values:

1. Write down what your values about money are. It’s hard to lead others in this area if you are not clear yourself.

2. Start conversations with others, especially church leaders, where you ask them questions about their values about money. This is a contribution to them as well as to congregational life. Do this in a light and curious way, rather than a heavy-handed way.

3. Preach a sermon where you articulate your values about money to the congregation. Do this at a time which is not stewardship/pledge time.

4. Review your own spending. Compare your actual use of money with your stated values about it.

5. Assess the church budget to see what you think it says about the actual values of the congregation. Ask other leaders what they think the budget says about the church’s values (without trying to convince them to agree with your assessment).

6. Read some of the Scripture passages about money and try to imagine you are reading them for the first time. What values are expressed? Be open to surprising new perspectives.

7. Notice, without judgment, the choices you and others make about the church’s financial resources. See what you can learn over time about what is most valued.

8. Ask yourself, if you were going to add a new value about money, what would it be? (For example: generosity to self, tithing, buying locally.) Try acting as if this were one of your values for a day or a week.

9. Interview your best friend to find out what his or her values around money are. Notice how the responses are similar to and different from your own.

10. Put your own statement of values where you will find it a year from now. When you read it, notice if anything has changed.

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