Reading time: two minutes.
I’m always pleasantly surprised when our retreat evaluations indicate that for many couples, the financial workshop offered by our friend Eustolio Gomez from Concordia Plan Services was the most significant part of the retreat!
I’m not surprised that Eustolio does such a good job, I’m just glad to hear that the message of financial wellness is addressed in a way that it helps professional church work families who are experiencing stress and anxiety in their financial lives.
As I listen to table conversations where couples offer counsel to one another, I often hear that couples had their breakthrough in financial health when they finally said to each other, “Let’s get some advice.” Maybe that’s a good place to wrap up my thoughts on the best advice I’ve heard from you through the years.
We kingdom workers try our best to manage this paradox of our profession on a daily basis: this calling so expensive to prepare for, and with such modest financial remuneration. While not the case for all workers in the church, a large percentage of us struggle to make ends meet. The extra burden of educational debt can put us in a very challenging place.
Why are church workers so hesitant to get the advice we need to work through the financial challenges we face? I think there are a number of answers, that include:
- We’re expected to be experts on every topic and the expectation to have every area of our life in perfect balance keeps us from seeking help.
- It’s a topic that’s often too emotional for couples to bring up with one another, so we don’t get help. If we can’t talk openly about it with our spouse, how can we even think about getting outside advice?
- We’re uncertain about where to seek confidential help.
When we can say to one another, “Let’s get some advice,” we’re breaking through those first two barriers. Baptismal grace is our encouragement to do away with the sinful pride that let’s unreasonable expectations of self or the fear of a conversation that might be uncomfortable. God’s grace teaches us to say, “I need Your help, Lord.” It helps us to recognize that God’s help often comes through the wisdom of others.
So where do we go for help and advice through the challenges of managing scarce financial resources? There are a couple places to start.
First, ask a trusted friend. A fellow pastor or a congregational member might suggest a trustworthy financial advisor. Someone at your bank might have a referral also. Carol and I have been blessed by the wise, confidential counsel and advice of some really terrific Thrivent field agents over the years.
Those who have been to our retreats know that Eustolio Gomez is a great resource. He’s glad to offer advice or a recommendation of where you might seek counsel. Concordia Plan members should also not forget the Employee Assistance Program number on the back of their insurance card. The Pastoral Care Network exists also for this purpose.
And don’t forget that your District President would much rather hear from you sooner than later.
“Let’s get some advice” is great advice. Thanks again for the blessing you have been to me in sharing your wisdom.
And, as always, thanks for reading.