What Does Money Have to Do with Spirituality?

Here are ten tips for church leaders on connecting money and spiritual life:

1. Find some way to connect your spiritual life with your personal financial life. Integrating your life in this way will help you lead more effectively around money.
2. Make a list, on paper or at least in your head, of five things you are thankful for daily. This practice will help you focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.
3. Read Scripture devotionally. Pick a passage such as Matthew 6:25, “…do not worry about your life…” and use a practice such as lectio divina (meditative reading of Scripture; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_Divina for a description).
4. Practice noticing your reactive responses around money (fear, wanting, envy). Don’t try to change them, simply notice. Over time (a long time), this practice can deeply affect you for the better.
5. Pray for members of your congregation who are struggling financially. One effect of offering their names to God is to help you gain clarity about what you can and can’t do to help. It can also help you let go of any judgmental attitudes you may have.
6. Pray for members of your congregation who have ample resources. This can help you let go of any judgmental attitudes you may have toward them.
7. Take a walk on some ground that is not paved (even your own backyard). Connecting with nature from the ground up will help you keep your perspective about the material world.
8. Try bringing a spiritual element into church finance and budget meetings. Some groups are more receptive to this than others, but gentle persistence over time can have an impact.
9. Include church financial matters in the pastoral prayer in worship, if you have one. This communicates to the congregation as a whole that faith and dollars are related.
10. Tell the church something about your own efforts to relate spirituality and money. You don’t have to reveal your deepest secrets about your financial life, but you can share something of yourself as a way to help others grow in this area.

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