The Truth About Giving

For years, financial discipleship has been completely left out of church fundraising efforts. In most churches, money is a topic that is all-too-often unaddressed, leaving Christians without practical biblical teaching on resource management. The result is a congregation that may seem financially secure, and yet is filled with struggling families living paycheck to paycheck.

While many pastors are uncomfortable talking about finances from the pulpit, it's one thing that affects everybody. "How can we not talk about it?" said Jon Bridges of Asbury United Methodist Church. "Divorce rates among Christians are the same as non-Christians, and money is the number-one cause!"

When a financial need arises within the church, pastors often either ignore the problem or attempt to motivate an already struggling congregation to give in spite of their own financial hardships. The problem only worsens in times of economic stress. Pastors in a money crunch may fear the negative backlash that could arise from a sermon on tithing during tough times.

While this inclination may be more "comfortable," it is not helping our struggling families. And more to the point, it is not biblical. Jesus did not hesitate to talk about money. In fact, He talked about it more than he discussed heaven or hell!

Sow, Then Harvest

The truth is that we can't harvest where we haven't sown. According to Empty Tomb, the average churchgoer gives less than 3% of his or her income to the church. The problem isn't that people are greedy; the problem is that they honestly believe they cannot afford to give. We need to stop asking our people to give, and instead start showing them how they can give.

Dave Ramsey’s church-wide initiative Momentum starts with a three-day workshop at Dave's office in Nashville. During this training, Dave's team trains and equips the church leadership to effectively implement the Momentum program in their local churches. It includes in-depth information on leadership, vision and stewardship as they relate to the Momentum journey.

The backbone of Momentum is church-wide participation in Financial Peace University. This program gives families step-by-step directions on how to handle God's money as He intended. Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey teaches each of the 13 lessons on DVD. They are filled with practical information, biblical wisdom and a hearty dose of humor and entertainment, all designed to get—and keep—the audience's attention.

Each lesson is followed by a small-group discussion led by a class coordinator. This reinforces accountability and, more importantly, behavior change. In his 20 years in the field, Dave has found that financial success is only 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. That's why group participation is so vital to everyone's success.

The average family completing FPU pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 just during the 13-week class, going on to become completely debt free in 18-24 months. Plus, FPU graduates report a 21% increase in giving by the end of the 13-week class and a 41% increase after a year of sticking with it!

After one year, those debt-free graduates report giving a full 10% of their income—32% more than those with debt!

So what is the "harvest"? It is simply a congregation filled with fired-up disciples of Christ that are free to do His work. As members apply these principles and get their financial houses in order, they begin giving more freely and generously than ever before giving becomes a natural byproduct. This increased giving provides churches with more funds to fulfill the vision God has given them.

Change Takes Time

Momentum is not designed to simply motivate donors to dig deeper, and it's not a microwave solution; this change takes time. It includes four phrases and seven steps of financial discipleship that result in a complete culture shift in regards to generosity.

Momentum operates on a four-phase timeline:

The Discovery Phase

  1. Unveil: Assess current giving patterns and realize the true giving potential of your congregation.
  2. Equip: Receive full training on how to implement Momentum from Dave Ramsey’s team.

The Launch Phase

  1. Establish: Build teams to accomplish each aspect of Momentum.
  2. Communicate: Inform the congregation of the life-changing opportunities to come.

The Transformation Phase

  1. Empower: Lead the congregation through Financial Peace University.
  2. Cultivate: Deliver the provided Momentum Teaching Series through sermons and Bible studies.

The Momentum Phase

  1. Unleash: Provide giving and serving opportunities as members are set free to release more resources than ever for kingdom work.

Momentum Results: More Than Money

Momentum is the most comprehensive, biblically based financial discipleship tool available. It covers all the essential financial topics—including the ones that other Christian financial discipleship tools don't address, such as how to deal with debt collectors and buying and selling property.

Momentum churches across the nation are seeing that the impact of this program is far more than financial. Here are just a few of the other results our Momentum churches have reported:

  • Momentum provides an incredible opportunity for outreach and evangelism. How many discipleship programs include an attractive built-in outreach mechanism? People in your community are looking for help with money management. Momentum provides an easy and effective means for including un-churched people to participate in a safe and practical setting.
  • Momentum creates an environment of church-wide marriage repair and renewal that gets to the heart of many issues and conflicts in a more direct way than a marriage conference.
  • Everyone is encouraged by realizing they are not alone on their financial journey. This opens lines of communication with other believers, which allows everyone to speak more freely about their situations with others. It also creates an environment of emotional support and direct accountability in individual financial journeys.
  • Momentum provides the opportunity to intentionally integrate intergenerational groups. It is a great environment to allow older/wiser generations to interact with younger generations while learning together. This leads to a healthier and more unified church body.
  • Momentum provides an environment for friendships to form that would not normally occur and creates an excitement within the church body that is new and different from other church-wide programs or campaigns.

Momentum is a multi-faceted solution to many of the problems you face as a business administrator. It’s the catalyst to financial discipleship that results not only in increased giving but true culture change and lasting generosity.

For more information about Momentum, view the preview video on the Momentum homepage.

If you would like a full information packet, fill out our online contact form.