Our lives are filled with change. The mission statement of The United Methodist Church expects change. Our mission is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The purpose of Rejuvenate Ministry is to strengthen clergy excellence and enhance the viability of congregations. We do this in order to strengthen leaders, churches and communities for ministries that will be transformative.
I have had the opportunity during the past nine months to be with clergy and laity who are engaging in conversations about changing their approach to dealing with and talking about money. Sometimes these conversations have been hard. Often there have been “aha” moments when someone in the room sees a new way to address an old problem. What is true for others is also true for me. I have been changed by these conversations. Inspired by the honest conversation about money and how to be good stewards of our resources, I have made changes in my financial planning practices.
Change is happening in the lives of clergy in our annual conference. Clergy families are paying down debt and celebrating the freedom they are experiencing. One of our pastors chose to cut up his credit card during a sermon. Churches are finding new ways to tell the story of how ministry and money are connected.
Maybe the most significant thing I have heard from clergy and laity in our conversations is this: “I am going to make the changes that will give me peace of mind regarding my financial health. I have the tools and know where to find help if I need it.”
Jesus spent a lot of time talking about money. In the parable of the talents, Jesus reminded us how hard it is to make good decisions about resources when we are afraid. One of the gifts of Rejuvenate is the educational program. Knowledge about financial planning can calm fears about money and encourage grateful generosity.
Change is certain. Through Rejuvenate we have seen change that is making the lives of clergy and laity better. More than 700 clergy and about the same number of laity have attended educational programs offered by Rejuvenate. That is at least 1,400 people who have had the opportunity to become more faithful stewards of the resources they have been given. As one lay person said, “Thank you – I appreciate the information and hope to make the changes.”
I have often heard it said you cannot change what you refuse to confront. I am grateful for clergy and laity who are confronting the issues of financial faithfulness in their personal lives and in their congregational life. They are being changed. Thanks be to God.
For more information about Rejuvenate visit rejuvenateindiana.org or call Mary Ann Moman at the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana (toll free) at 877-391-8811 or email her at email@example.com.