Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Simple Financial Wellness: Four Words!

Reading time: two minutes. I’m enjoying this “four words” series.  I hope you’ve found it helpful.  Every aspect of the Lutheran Wellness Wheel is incredibly complex.  Finding the healing touch of Christ in every wholeness-wheel-cps-2011area of our lives is a wonder of God’s kingdom, and to Him belongs all the glory. But it’s also important to keep this as simple as possible.  I hope these four word handles on wellness have been encouraging to you as we all seek the Lord’s healing grace to help us live as stewards of self. Week eight of the series brings us to financial wellness.  Here are my four words of encouragement: “Let’s have a talk.”At each of our five day couples’ retreats, following the excellent financial seminar from our partner Eustolio Gomez of Concordia Plan Services, we invariably hear from one or more of the couples in attendance, “That’s the first decent, open, productive conversation we’ve had about our checkbook in (choose 1: 5, 10, 15) years.” If there is anxiety in your household over finances, and if you are a professional church worker, dollar_signmore likely than not there is, the place to start is with a conversation.  “Let’s have a talk.” Eustolio does a great job of helping people deal first with the emotional side of money and then with the practical side.  It’s possible for every couple to do the same. I’d suggest a couple of simple guidelines for the conversation.
  1. Introduce the topic and set aside a special time for the talk.  “I really need your help and your wisdom, Honey.  I think we need to discuss our finances.  Could we set aside Thursday evening after the kids are in bed to discuss this.”  These hard conversations happen best with a little advance warning.
  2. Live by grace.  Avoid the blame game.  Avoid thinking and saying, “I should make more,” or “It’s the church’s fault,” or “Where is God?”  Your situation is unique and your situation is reality.
  3. Stick with the facts.  Knowing the reality of where you stand is so important.  Don’t let your conversationmind wander into disastrous scenarios.  This will take your best rational thinking, so try to put a lid on the emotions to the best that you are able.
  4. Brainstorm some helping strategies.  There’s a world of help out there, probably right at your fingertips.
That’s another reason why “Let’s have a talk” is my four word phrase of the week.  If you’re in a financial quandary, it’s time to get help. Concordia Plans members can call the number in your wallet, the Employee Assistance Program number (1-866-726-5267) for some guidance and suggestions.  Carol and I are fortunate to have some really smart family members we rely on.  Our Thrivent representative has offered us some great wisdom and insight and is trained to discuss our finances very confidentially. I hope you have a level of trust and respect with the church leadership or your senior pastor or principal to say, “Let’s have a talk.”  Discuss your financial needs frankly and graciously.  Your circuit visitor or District President might be another resource, someone who needs to know if you’re in need. This is a tough topic many church workers carry as a burden day after day and year after year.  Do you?  Maybe it’s time for a talk.  I believe it’s the place to start. Thanks for reading! Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee?  Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!