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Here’s a perfect example of “The Power of WE.” In our sixteen years of ministry, we’ve sponsored nearly 280 Grace Place Wellness Retreats for almost 8,000 church workers and spouses of The LCMS.
Eustolio Gomez of Concordia Plans Services has attended about 270 of those retreats and led a Financial Planning Workshop for church work couples that consistently is mentioned as one of the most impactful parts of the week. Thanks for your partnership, Eustolio! You’re an important part of our WE at Grace Place Wellness.
I’ve only been at about twenty of those workshops. I gain something new every time. But here’s the most amazing part of the feedback we get.
Couples tell us, “This morning was the best, most productive conversation we’ve had about our family financial situation in twenty or thirty years.”
Besides the “Canadian Proverb” that he shares, (you didn’t know Canadians had proverbs? Keep reading!) the best part of the workshop is the couples’ conversations about money. It’s an emotional issue around the parsonage and the teacherage, so we naturally tend to avoid it. That’s not good.
It’s emotional because of the call into ministry. We called workers feel so strongly about following where God is leading, even when we sacrifice materially to do so, it’s hard to discuss the financial side.
It’s emotional because of our belief in the providence of God. “The Lord knows what we need. I guess we’ll just learn to trust him.”
It’s emotional because of our pride. “I’m in the top percentage of the most educated with the longest workweek in the congregation, but in the bottom percentage of salary.”
These kinds of thoughts and emotions can destroy the Power of WE, both in a marriage and in a congregation.
The financial wellbeing of church work families can be one of the greatest causes of stress in the church worker’s home and in the church worker’s relationship with the leaders and members of the congregation.
And that’s where the devil gets a foothold (Ephesians 4:27).
Eustolio Gomez is like an exorcist. In his light-hearted, Christ-centered approach to biblical stewardship and family finance, he gets couples talking about the elephant in the room, the checkbook. And when an open, honest, grace-filled conversation starts to flow, and especially when a couple learns to work together on their stewardship of the Lord’s blessings, something wonderful happens.
The fruit of the Spirit is Joy, and clearing the air by setting a good budget, making spending decisions together, coming together as one body in Christ, restores the WE and brings back the Joy.
He might even tell you the Canadian Proverb: “When’s the best time to plant a tree? Thirty years ago. When’s the second best time? Today!”
How would a conversation about the checkbook in the Power of WE help restore the Joy in your home?
Thanks for reading.
Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region? We’d love to hear from you. Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities. We’d love to bring our Classic Retreat to your area soon!