Money and Your Ministry: New Online Learning Opportunity
How can clergy and other church leaders provide spiritual leadership to a congregation about stewardship and money when it’s an issue they avoid? Loren Mead, founder and former President of the Alban Institute, addressed this issue in his groundbreaking work, Financial Meltdown in the Mainline? (Money, Faith and Leadership) (Rowen & Littlefield, 1998). Over a decade later, much of his predictions have come true.
My own observations bear this out: congregations that have the most troubling issues with money, stewardship, and budgets tend to be those whose pastoral leaders have not resolved their own personal issues about money. Yet, providing leadership about money and stewardship is one of the most critical functions for pastoral leaders today.
I’m excited that our first new online course, Money and Your Ministry, will help congregational leaders face this issue with confidence. The course’s premise is that until congregational leaders resolve their personal issues about money, no amount of fiduciary expertise will have lasting impact on the church’s issues about stewardship.
During this four-week course, based on Margaret Marcuson’s book of the same title, participants will have the opportunity to interpret and reframe their understanding of money in the congregation and approach the issue of money in the church from a less anxious frame of reference. The big ideas we will explore deal with understanding the meaning of money, gaining insight on the function of money in your family, how to handle money challenges, and how to interpret the dynamics of money in your ministry context.
Another reason I’m excited is that Margaret Marcuson will serve as co-leader during the course. Together we’ll help participants clarify how their relationship with money influences the capacity to provide leadership for the congregation, whether serving as pastor or lay leader. A final learning project – an assessment and interpretation of your congregation’s history, theological, cultural, financial, and stewardship practices – will put this learning experience to immediate, practical use.
I promise – this course is a good investment. Now that’s something you can take to the bank, yes?
Registration is now open for the online course Money and Your Ministry which runs from October 6-31, 2014, with early registration discount available before August 15.