We cannot manipulate God by giving, or by praise or by claiming something. God is too smart for that.
Beware of greedy teachers who exploit you with false words (2 Pet. 2:3). If some really believed in “seed money,” they would send you the money.
Where Is Your Treasure?
The “prosperity gospel” preaches materialism and greed in the name of super-spirituality.
Some teach that Jesus was rich, “justifying” a Rolls Royce.
According to the NT, riches are instead a spiritual liability, making it harder to enter heaven (Matt: 19:23-24). Riches tend to choke the Word of God (Matt. 13:22).
The Creator and The Creation
Material riches are not to be our goal, but things material are not evil in themselves. The good God created very good things out of matter—stars and people and butterflies and whales (Gen. 1:31).
The focus is to be on the Creator, instead of upon His creation.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” NIV
If God is our treasure, He can entrust to us the good things of His creation, knowing that they will not become idols—i.e. become more important to us than is God.
Psalm 37:4 “ Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” See also Ps. 16:11; 84:11b; Rom. 8:32. The more we love God, the more He is free to bless us, and I suspect we place less and less intrinsic value upon those gifts.
Wealth and Christians
God blessed Abraham, Job, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, etc. with much wealth . (Gen. 24:35; Job 1:3; I Chron. 29:3-5; 2 Chron. 1:12; 2 Chron. 32:27)
The fact that stealing remains a sin (Rom. 13:9) implies that private property is approved by God.
The “rich” (us) are not told to divest of wealth, but to be richly generous (1 Tim. 6:18). If you make $10,000/year you are among the upper 9% of the worlds affluent.
From the World Christian Encyclopedia, David Barrett, George Kurian, Todd Johnson, Eds. 2001, p. 1:6
Riches are deceitful. It remains harder for the rich to enter heaven—Matt. 19:23.
Your name written in heaven, Lk.10:20
Contentment, with godliness, 1 Tim. 6:6
Without contentment, you’ll never have enough.
God meeting ALL your needs, Phil. 4:19
How much more do you need?
Proverbs 30:7-9 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God .
Having all the funds you need to accomplish all the work that God has given you to do in life, Eph. 2:10
Preparation and ministry cost money.
Having the world--all things are the Christian’s (1 Cor. 3:21-23; Rom. 4:13—JRW Stott).
FINANCES TEST COMMITMENT
If you go for the crown and the Lord
All your basic needs will be met—Matt. 6:25-34 (sometimes these will be met by others, James 2:14-17).
All other needs will be met—Phil. 4:19, Rom. 8:32
Can you buy a policy that meets ALL your needs?
We’ll have enough to share
Our lives will find balance between work and rest—Eccles. 4:5-8.
Is my trust in my Master or in my MasterCard ® ?
If your security is in wealth, you will never have enough wealth to be fully secure. A man who has given away over 11 million dollars freely admits this, since wealth is quickly lost.
God is enough. When you have Him, you are secure no matter what happens financially.
Are you content right now ? 1 Tim. 6:6
Debt often indicates lack of contentment.
What are the minimums? 1 Tim. 6:8
Will Christians always have them? (2 Cor. 11:27; Matt. 8:20; 2 Pet. 1:3). How was Paul content? Phil. 4:13
What would it take to make you
content, if you’re not ?
What is abundant life? (John 10:10)
Life = possessions? Luke 12:15
Life = Christ? Colossians 3:4
Loss = despair? Job 1:20-21; Hab. 3:16
Advertisements-- $850 @ American in 2000
Materialism & the shopping mall temple
Giving fights materialism
The prosperity of the wicked—Psalm 73:3- 5,12
The prosperity of other believers—Acts 20:33
Is God enough right now? Psalm 73:25
WHO IS THE OWNER ?
YOU ? THE BANK ? GOD ?
What does God claim? Ps. 24:1; 50:10-12; Haggai 2:8
Where do you go when you need $ ?
Ask, Seek, Knock—Matt. 7:7-11; Ps. 50:14-15
How does God meet needs?
God “burdens” folks to desire to give—2 Cor.
8:5,16; Jews, 1 Chron. 29:8-14
How can I admit God’s ownership?
Should a wife or mother work outside the home?
Adam provided—Gen. 3:17-19
Male provision for the wife illustrated in
1 Tim. 5:8; Hos. 2:2-9; Ezek. 16:8-13
The wife assists her husband—Gen. 2:18, doing him good—Prov. 18:22
She raises the children and manages the home—1 Tim. 5:14; Titus 2:3-5
God wants “godly” offspring—Malachi 2:15
The Prov. 31 lady met family needs and was a businesswoman (vs. 16, 24)
An empty nest may require new challenges for a wife.
If a mother of young children works to increase the standard of living, she may gain little net increase.
She may end up with work both at home and the office.
Daycare means someone else raises the child and extra sickness (1-2 year-olds, especially).
13 million children are in daycare in the US and 2/3 of mothers with children under 6 are working (Katha Pollitt, “Happy Mother’s Day,” The Nation , 5/28/01)
The Institute for Social and Economic Research (British) found that “Married men earn more than single men, but only if their wife stays home—and does all the chores.”
Sociologists Vincent Duindam and Ed Spruijt of Utrecht Univ. found that “the more hours the mother works, the worse the father’s physical and mental health.”
“ Housewives make their men healthy and wealthy” 6/30/05 www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=health/2005/06/30/hworking30.xml
55% of mothers with children under 1 worked or were looking for work in 2000, down from 66% in 1998. ( USA Today, Stephanie Armour, “More moms make kids their career of choice” 3-12-02)
A separate income may promote an independent spirit in the wife and divorce. 33% of married Christians (and 34% of non-Christians) divorce ( Barna 8/6/01 ). A job may be seen as an “insurance policy” against it.
Sometimes wives and singles must work.
Divorce, death, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and desertion may force a mother to work.
GIVING How much?
Should a Christian tithe because mandated in the Old Covenant? (Gal. 3:10; James 2:10; Heb. 8:8-13)
Generosity is commanded of the rich (us) in the NT (1 Tim. 6:18)
The Law of receiving and giving (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6; Eccles. 11:1; Prov. 11:24-25).
Attitude is crucial—why do I give?
For love (I Cor. 13:3), cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7; 8:1) and secretly (Matt. 6:1-4)?
Give to receive ? To buy God off (Amos 2:6-8; 4:1-5, 12) ?
GIVING How much?
Christians are to give an unspecified percentage of our increase to God, but we give proportionately to our receiving.
1 Cor. 16:2 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made) .
We receive proportionately to our giving. Giving 7%, for example, is not a sin. The Spirit will lead you.
However, a tithe is the least that God has asked His people to give (Larry Burkett). A tithe was given before the Law (Gen. 14:18-20); and was commanded in the Mosaic law (Lev. 27:30).
GIVING How much?
Generosity is commanded of the rich in the NT (1 Tim. 6:18)
The Law of receiving and giving governs our giving (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6; Eccles. 11:1; Prov. 11:24-25).
Attitude is crucial—why do I give?
For love (I Cor. 13:3), cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7; 8:1) and secretly (Matt. 6:1-4) ?
Do I give to receive ? To buy God off (Amos 2:6-8; 4:1-5, 12) ?
Can we first give to God ? (Rom. 11:35-36)
What part does God request ? (Prov. 3:9)
How much should Christians give ?
Should we tithe ? Only 3% of born-again Christians tithed in 2002—down from 8% in 2001 (Barna 5/19/03). In 2001 16% gave nothing to the church (Barna 5-21-01). Globally Christians give 2% of personal income to Christian causes, while in the US it is about 2-3%. (Barrett & Johnson, Int’l Bulletin of Missionary Research , 1/03, p. 25)
A tithe was given before the Law (Gen. 14:18-20); and was commanded in the Mosaic law (Lev. 27:30).
Don’t give due to being pressured (2 Cor. 9:7) via phone, mail, or solicitations from friends. Ask for time to pray for guidance. Many ministries use the most effective marketing techniques to generate income. Because someone found you does not mean that you are to give. Some have very high overhead (fireman’s charity concert).
A need does not necessarily mean that you should meet it, just as a ministry opportunity does not necessarily mean that you should engage it. We are to walk by the Spirit, and keep seeking God’s wisdom (Gal. 5:25; Prov. 3:5-6).
Should all giving go to the church?
Is the staff adequately paid? (1 Cor. 9:7-14, 1 Tim. 5:17-18, Gal. 6:6)
Are the truly needy supported—believers and unbelievers? (Jas. 2:15-17; Gal. 6:10)
Are missions advanced? (Matt. 28-19-20; 3 John 1:5-8)
Is the property maintained? (Haggai 1:7-9)
Guidelines for giving outside the church
Whose kingdom is glorified? (1 Cor. 10:31)
What percentage is spent on administration?
Check www.give.org for organizations giving 60% + to programs and www.charitynavigator.org for evaluations of charities. See www.wallwatchers.org
Form 990 can be obtained from Guidestar for many not-for-profits at www.guidestar.org
Follow the burdens (work) God gives specifically to you (Eph. 2:10). Only God can meet all needs.
6 LEVELS OF GIVING
1. Giving little or nothing. Among Baby-busters (18-35), only half gave anything to the church in 2002. 1
2. Inadequate giving. Giving less than 10%.
3. Obedient giving. Giving a tithe.
4. Giving beyond obedience--beyond the tithe.
5. Giving generously, being “willing to share” (2 Cor. 9:6).
6. Surpassing generosity. Giving out of God’s bounty, becoming a conduit of His blessing (2 Cor. 9:8,10-11).
1 George Barna, “Americans Were More Generous in 2001 Than in 2000,” 4/9/02, accessed at www.barna.org on 2/7/03
BIBLICAL FINANCIAL PRINCIPLES ..Documents and SettingsJimMy DocumentsRMNiLogotype.jpg Jim Sutherland, Ph.D., Director www.RMNI.org/financial
Jim’s Badboy 13 Omens
If you missed a paycheck, you’d qualify for federal disaster aid.
You hit-up your friends for a loan until payday, or you’ve gotten a check-advance loan.
Your first strategy to meet an unexpected bill for $1000 is the Lotto 5.
You owe more than you own. If you died, your family would need help.
Jim’s Badboy 13
You skimp on groceries and work clothes.
You have no plan to (1 save for your children’s education (2 pay off your home (3 have enough for retirement.
Because of debt, your paycheck is already spent. But you might be able to rent a movie.
You try to stay one-jump ahead of disaster by rolling over credit card balances, and carefully picking who to pay this month.
Jim’s Badboy 13
Dollars stick to you like Superglue ® when you have the chance to give.
You argue almost every week about money.
You’ll really be content when you get the new ….
Bankruptcy is looking good.
You’re trying to get rich quick.
“ 33% of born again adults say it is impossible for them to get ahead in life because of the financial debt they have incurred.” Barna.com BarnaPageStats.htm accessed 8/20/98
“ For at least a half century, household debt has been rising faster than income, as ever-higher levels of discretionary income have increased the proportion of income spent on assets partially financed with debt.” Alan Greenspan (Oct. 2004) www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2004/20041019/default.htm
“ Throughout the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s, households showed a surplus of varying degrees. It wasn't until 1999 — for the first time in about 50 years — that U.S. households started spending more than they took in. What started as a small deficit of about $50 billion among households quickly spiked to a deficit of more than $350 billion in the second quarter of .” U.S. Consumer Credit Card Debt May Crash Economy, 12/31/04 By Susan C. Walker ww.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,143037,00.html
On average, we carry eight cards per person and have a balance of $8,400 in credit card debt. Twenty percent of our cards are maxed out, reports CardWeb.com, which tracks the lending industry's machinations. And just 40% of Americans pay off their accounts in full at the end of the month. The average line of credit is around $3,500. (A decade ago it was just $1,800.) The average household pays their lender $1,000 a year in finance charges. “Our Credit Crunch” Dayana Yochim www.fool.com/ccc/secrets/secrets01.htm accessed 8/20/05
Home equity loans are more popular than ever as people borrow against their home to feed their spending binge. Today, average homeowners owe nearly 50% of their home's value. Twenty years ago that figure stood at 30%. Can't you just picture the modern-day needlepoint plaque? "Home, Sweet Credit Line." “Our Credit Crunch” Dayana Yochim http://www.fool.com/ccc/secrets/secrets01.htm accessed 8/20/05
The US government owes over 8.2 trillion dollars in 2/06. (www.brillig.com/debt_clock accessed 2/10/06)
What is your debt/income ratio—more than 10% (non-household debt to monthly income)?
DEBT IS DISCOURAGED
The Bible discourages debt (Rom. 13:8; Prov. 22:7; Dt. 28:44), but it isn’t sin (Matt. 5:42; Dt. 23:20)
Bankruptcy should be avoided and all debts satisfied (Ps. 37:21).
Debt is usually poor stewardship
Paying only the balance due (2%) on $2,000 at 18% would take 30 years and cost $8,000 in interest (Cardweb). A mortgage may triple the face amount borrowed
Average debt for 4-year private schools:
$17,500 (1998-Nellie Mae)
Debt may be lack of self-control--Gal. 5:23.
Debt and Dissatisfaction
Our consumer debt (debt other than for our home, but including home equity debt), is generally an excellent indicator of our level of discontent.
We step outside the circle of God’s provision, to get more, by borrowing.
Lack of contentment is a spiritual issue.
How Can I Get Out of Debt?
You must be serious about it. As Larry Burkett said, getting into debt is fun, but getting out of debt isn’t. It will likely take years.
If you are spending much more than your income, you must go on a survival lifestyle.
Before every purchase you need to ask yourself, “Do I need to purchase this in order to survive?”
You’ll need to determine if cutting back will enable you to get out of debt, or if you’ll need to increase income to meet your commitments.
Getting Out of Debt
If you have cable, or a cell phone, cut them off. Buy out your contract if necessary. Stop eating out. Tell your family that you won’t be able to give gifts as you would like to do, until you’re back on your feet.
But don’t stop giving to God. That would be a bad solution.
Determine ALL your debts and pay off the highest interest rate debt first. When that is paid off, use the same payment, plus what you don’t have to pay on the first debt, to tackle the second debt, etc.
You must go on a strict budget.
See the “How to Budget” and “Philosophy of Budgeting” paper at www.RMNI.org/financial
You may need to go to Consumer Credit Counseling Service to negotiate lower interest rates and penalties.
In over 20 years of personal financial counseling have I seen a completely hopeless situation, and none that would justify bankruptcy.
Her Money—His Money
You are one in God’s sight (Matt. 19:5). Don’t let money divide you.
The husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23). With separate money, the wife can develop an independent spirit and ditch the husband.
Have complete financial openness between you. Each should know the total assets of the union. You should have joint ownership of those assets. Both names should be on the deeds and financial accounts.
If the man directs the inheritance from his family, the wife, in fairness, should be able to direct the assets of her family, under the final authority of the husband.
If one of the partners has an addiction, then it is not prudent to hold all assets jointly. Additions include drugs, gambling and shopping.
Avoid Separate Bank Accounts
But have one person balance the books and reconcile the statements.
This person should be the one with the greater aptitude, discipline and interest in financial matters.
A husband is wise to obtain the counsel of the wife in financial matters. She does not want your half of the boat to sink. Many husbands regret not listening to that counsel. One husband told me that he’d now be in “Fat City” if he’d have listened to his wife when she suggested buying specific pieces of property many years ago.
If you cannot trust you prospective mate with your money, you shouldn’t marry that person. Faithfulness in money is a small thing (Luke 16:10-11). Being bound for life to someone is a heavy matter.
What Are Your Savings Goals?
Save money/pursue investments:
8% of those having non-retirement income make this their main goal (not all goal responses are noted)
Home purchase or renovation: 8%
Be debt-free: 4%
Emergency fund: 2%
But 100% have emergencies.
No goals: 6% Is this you?
67% of workers aged 35-44 and 74% of workers aged 45-54 saved something for retirement in 2004. Of those 55+, only 69% saved something.
But 100% of old folks will need something.
Source: Retirement Confidence Survey ® 2004
Social Security Is Not Enough
Currently, if you were born in 1960 or later, you will not be eligible for full Social Security benefits until you’re 67 .
As of 2000, if you are a man and live to 65, you will live another 16.3 years—to 81.3. That’s a lot of Christmases.
Women at 65 live an average of 19.2 more years—until they are 84.2—almost 3 years longer than men. Will you be able to take care of both of you, and will your wife be provided for when you’re gone?
The average Social Security payment is $10,500/year
One dollar can be spent today or sometime in the future
23% of all workers are very willing to cut back on current spending to save for retirement
38% are somewhat willing
19% are not too willing
15% are not at all willing
Are you among the 34% unwilling to curtail spending for retirement?
Source: Retirement Confidence Survey ® 2004 (not all responses were given)
“ Earlier this year , Fidelity [Investments] said that, based on the current rate of savings, the average American household will live on 59 percent of pre-retirement income once they stop working.” “ A third of U.S. workers retire late, lack savings,” Wed Aug 24, 2005, Reuters
Reasons not to save:
“ He who loves pleasure will become poor, whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.” Prov. 21:17
“ I’m not supposed to worry about tomorrow.” But “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Prov. 27:12).
Reasons not to save:
“ I have too much debt to be able to save.”
Go on a survival budget. Spend only what you must to survive and pay down debt.
Pay off your smallest debt first and work up.
I’ll start when things aren’t as tight.
Reasons to do nothing:
I can’t budget.
You can budget. Only my wife likes to budget. The alternative is to spend without a plan. Only the very wealthy can afford that.
I can’t save.
Unless you are devoured by debt, you can save, if you want something in the future badly enough.
I’m beyond hope.
I’ve never seen anyone in about 20 years of financial counseling who was beyond hope, or who had to file bankruptcy.
We are far more concerned about having good credit—the privilege to accumulate more debt--than about saving.
In June 2005, the US consumer savings rate was 0%. http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/02/news/economy/savings/ Accessed 8/27/05
Even “breaking even” is foolish (Prov. 21:20). Why?
1 http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/newsrel/pi1201.htm , Department of Commerce, accessed 2/5/02
The Spirit can put to death the desires of the flesh (Rom. 8:13).
Irresponsible spending is a “spiritual” problem.
We save against future “evils” (Prov. 22:3, 27:12) such as breakdowns and disability.
An emergency fund of at least 3-6 months income is prudent.
Know why you are saving.
You need an emergency fund to cover potential major expenses. They should be expected.
Appliance or major system failure in the home.
Medical, dental and other un-reimbursed expenses.
Cash for national emergencies
Large auto costs/replacement costs
Track how much in savings is for a particular purpose
Other savings goals:
Inheritance for children/grandchildren (Prov. 13:22)
Retirement and old age care—The average SS payment is about $10,500/year http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Retirementandwills/Playingcatchup/P34625.asp 7/24/04
To make it harder to “raid” your savings, make it harder to access.
Automatically debit your checking account to savings at a bank account hard to access.
Automatically debit your checking account to invest in the stock of a solid company through a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP). Such stock purchases may cost little or nothing. Visit www.DirectInvesting.com for details on how to establish this account.
Establish a “ladder” of savings.
Begin with a passbook savings account.
When you have sufficient funds, transfer it to an out-of-town money market account with low fees (such as Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund).
From there move into higher-paying investments—bonds, CD’s if interest rates are high, mutual funds and stocks, or into tangible investments such as land.
Try to save at least 10% of your gross income. You only think you are saving if it is not there at the end of the month.
Social Security is solvent only until 2041 1 . Expenses will exceed income by 2017. Today 3.3 workers contribute per 1 retiree—it will be 2.2 by 2030.
The earlier you save and invest the better. If you start investing $2,000 annually at 8% in an IRA at 25, you will have $606,487 at 65. If you delay until 35, you’ll have only $266,427, a loss of $340,060 1 .
1 Dean O. Webb, “Don’t delay, start saving today,” Christian Financial Concepts, Money Matters, 10/99, p. 3
The only mention of retirement is at Numbers 8:25-26a, where priests were to retire at age 50, probably due to physical depletion (see Eccles. 12).
If you live to 65, you’ll probably live to 83 1 .
First, be “rich toward God” (Lk. 12:21), unlike the rich fool who tried to construct heaven on earth.
Ask God what standard of retirement living He wants you to have, then plan toward it.
God’s plans never fail (Is. 14:27; Ps. 33:11), so we need to try to understand God’s will (Eph. 5:17; Jer. 9:23-24).
Planning is “spiritual” (Prov. 12:5; 16:3)
Get good counsel (Prov. 12:15; 13:10)
God can will in our will (Phil. 2:12-13)
“ What has God given you faith to believe Him for ?” Bill Gothard
Try constructing a financial timeline, using 70 years.
TWO APPROACHES TO SPENDING
From a false assumption
of what “ought” to be able to spend.
“ I owe it to myself!” “I deserve to be able to ….”—a deductive approach
From actual income/provision
From within the circle of God’s provision—an inductive approach
Income usually isn’t the major issue in budgeting
Here is a list of the nations with the highest percentage of consumers who have no spare cash: 1—America (22%) 1—Portugal (22%) 3—Canada (19%) 4—United Kingdom (17%) 5—France (16%) 6—Netherlands (15%) ACNielson Online Consumer Confidence Survey—Global Survey, 1/11/2005
But godliness with contentment is great gain--1 Timothy 6:6
HOW TO BUDGET-- 7 STEPS
1. Pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and for self-control (Galatians 5:23). Habitual overspending is a spiritual issue.
2. BEFORE spending, plan MONTHLY expenses and LONG TERM GOALS (greater than 1 year, requiring savings).
3. Record DAILY expenses in a ledger or software program—keep a running total in each expense category (using the ledger or on the outside of a cash envelope).
4. At month’s end, TOTAL expenses in each category and compare with target figures, and adjust for next month, if needed.
5. Compare ALL expenses and with ALL
6. Move any surplus to savings, earmarking it for a particular need.
7. Deduct any shortfall from your next pay before spending it.
Go to www.crown.org/Tools/budgetguide.asp to find percentages for each category for your income. Budget busters: Print this form at www.rmni.org/financial/income_and_expense.pdf
Typical Budget Problems -1
Spending over 40% of net spendable income (gross income, less taxes and giving) for housing & utilities
Long distance/cell phone bills too high Tip: use www.OneSuite.com
Food category out-of-control, including eating out Tip: shop from menus
“ Over-recreating,” including cable, trips and fitness clubs Tip: spend from envelope
Paying too much for auto insurance & having inadequate life insurance
Typical Budget Problems -2
High debt load and failure to even list and total all debt Tip: debt list at www.rmni.org/financial/debt_list.pdf
Little or no savings—failure to plan for future needs and goals
“ Miscellaneous” spending out-of-control
Unable to pay for private schooling
Putting too much or too little into retirement investments
Typical Budget Problems -3
Little giving to Christian causes & too much giving to relatives
Inadequate or inordinate tax deductions
High cost of health insurance—consider a good Christian health cooperative: see
How do Americans try to balance their budgets?
Cutting down on take-away meals—66%
Saving on gas and electricity—61%
Cutting back on out-of-home entertainment—60%
Spend less on new clothes—54%
Not driving as much—47%
Switching to less expensive grocery brands—42% ACNielson Online Consumer Confidence Survey—Global Survey, 11/2005
At year’s end, total all expenses for each category and divide by the number of months included, to refine your budget figures.
You will probably have to adjust your budget each month if your income varies (using a computer spread-sheet helps). See: www.rmni.org/financial/budgetsheet.asp
More BUDGETING TIPS
Expect UNEXPECTED expenses. Satan will try to discourage you. This is the reason for an emergency fund. The budget may take at least 6 months to begin to work smoothly.
If you use software (Quicken ™,
Money Matters™, or MS Money™), use both a checking account (checks & debit cards) AND a “cash” account, then combine them when running reports. You may also need a credit card account (if you pay them off each month), and again, combine accounts for a report. Using software makes tax season fairly simple.
(Courtesy of Christian Financial Concepts, Inc.)
Visit the Financial Ministry section of www.RMNI.org
Will you spend it upon yourself and your family? Are you a bucket or a funnel (L. Burkett). Will you give at least a tithe of your income to the work of God? Or will more money lead you away from God (Matt. 11:14)?
Will you be more generous and better steward of your life and gifts, or simply enjoy personal financial freedom with a focus upon this life?
African American Personal Finances
As of February 2006, African Americans had an annual buying power of 762 billion dollars (expected to rise to 981 billion by 2010). “The US African American Market” MarketResearch.com http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7002523834 accessed 1/8/07
Black household contributions were 1.9% of expenditures in 2003 1 . Telephone services were 2% and insurance was 2.5%.
1 Target Market News
What if income increases to your church?
Will the church spend it upon its own people, upon African Americans, and ignore the global Kingdom of God?
Do we care about the 37,000 people who God didn’t wake up this morning, who never even had a chance to hear of Jesus Christ?
OK, What Is Left to Do?
The number of unevangelized people by mid-2007 is 1,850,402,000, which is 28% of the global population. As of mid-2007, there are 4,420,319,000 non-Christians on the planet. Of these, Muslims total 1,359,745,000, Hindus total 888,300,000 and Buddhists total 382,482,000. Muslims and Hindus both have a higher growth rate than the general Christian population, due to higher birth rates.
David Barrett and Todd Johnson “Missiometrics 2007…” International Bulletin of Missionary Research , Jan. 2007, p. 32.
1 From “Annual Statistical Table on Global Mission: 2002,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research , Jan. 2002, p. 23
Ghana sends 500 missionaries per year. Her population is 22.1 million and her Gross National Income is 10 billion. African Americans spent 10.7 billion on household furnishings and equipment in 2004. Nigeria sends 2500 missionaries per year and has a Gross National Income of 74.2 billion dollars. African Americans spent this much on vehicles, insurance, clothing and gifts in 2004. Sources: The World Bank: http://devdata.worldbank.org/external/CPProfile.asp?PTYPE=CP&CCODE=GHA
http://devdata.worldbank.org/external/CPProfile.asp?PTYPE=CP&CCODE=NGA ; the World Christian Database and Target Market News http://targetmarketnews.com/BuyingPower05.htm
A Traditional Black Church and Global Missions
One traditional church in Chattanooga with a budget of $120,000 spent .4 % on evangelistic home missions (to blacks).
This church spent NOTHING on global missions. More was spent on the annual men’s breakfast and on the copy machine than on missions.
What percentage of your church budget goes to cross-cultural/global ministry?
“ The tragedy is that after we are born again, we can build upon the Rock things that are going to be consumed, so that after we have stood before the Lord Jesus Christ as Judge we have little left. This is a danger not only to businessmen but to missionaries and ministers, not only to individuals but to congregations and organizations. By God’s grace, let us not be infiltrated by the values of affluence and personal peace. Let us use the treasures God has given us in such a way that when we come to that day we will have treasures laid up in Heaven and people eagerly waiting for us.”
Francis Schaeffer, No Little People , ISBN: 0891073345, 3:191.
Will Generations of African American Christians be Lost to Stuff ?
Since the early 1980s, Black income has been rising. African Americans finally have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream, to have “a piece of the rock.”
If we focus upon accumulating stuff, that will never satisfy.
“ Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV
All Christians should seek first the Kingdom, not prosperity. Where our treasure is, there is our heart (Matt. 6:21).