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!
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.
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:
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 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.