There are a variety of signs that we depend on to point us in certain directions. As I travel across the Indiana Conference, I rely heavily on road signs to point me in the direction that will help me to reach my destination.

What signs can we look for within our congregations to help us to know if our congregations are financially healthy congregations? These “signs” or practices not only help us to know if our congregations are healthy, they also point us in the right direction of growing in the area of financial discipleship.

What are the signs or practices that you see within your congregation? Is it a balanced budget? Is it the ability to raise funds quickly when an emergency occurs within the community or beyond? Are there other signs that you observe that indicate that your congregation is financially healthy? Are there signs that point to your congregation growing in financial discipleship? Here is a partial list of signs or practices that we can observe in financially healthy congregations.

Financially healthy congregations will help children, youth and adults to understand the theology of money and the concept of financial stewardship. These congregations will provide children, youth and adults with the tools that they need to teach them how to manage their finances in a responsible and God honoring way.

Pastors and lay leaders of financially healthy congregations will preach and teach regularly on the subjects of tithing and proportionate giving and not just during a stewardship campaign.

Financially healthy congregations will create multiple opportunities for children, youth and adults to give and to give sacrificially. These congregations will have a year round stewardship education program and not just during a stewardship campaign.

Financially healthy congregations will encourage children, youth and adults to practice the spiritual discipline of generosity. And these congregations who have wealthy members will be intentional to help these members to understand what financial stewardship means for them, too.

Michelle Cobb is director of the Rejuvenate project and can be reached at 317-924-1321 or michelle.cobb@inumc.org