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@Bob Swanson - Sorry about that. Not sure what happened to that link.

Try this link instead:

Let me know if it doesn't work and I'll get it to you another way.


Bernard -- you are spot on! Giving from an IRA is a fantastic way to achieve smart and powerful giving. Here's a link to a useful information sheet on gifts from an IRA:

Tim, thanks for taking the time for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it. I completely understand your discomfort with the prospect of preaching a sermon title which says Jesus is key to financial success. Of course, this is easily filtered through our western, capitalistic perspective and can be understood merely on those terms. I suppose what a sermon like this does is try to redefine financial success in kingdom terms to reflect the shalom of Jesus. This is no small task and certainly something a single sermon can't accomplish. At the same time, I am trying to look head-on at a verse like Proverbs 15:6 and I completely agree with you that a wise saying isn't intended as a universal principle. Still, I find this teaching - that the house of the righteous contains great treasure - often reflected in Scripture, especially in the Psalms. I want to understand this truth without spiritualizing it or ignoring it altogether. Wealth is such an integral part of our daily existence and if we can't come to terms with it then we get managed by wealth instead of the other way around. No doubt a sermon like this should end up exactly where you suggest -- with repentance. 


I like the idea about telling stories about how ministry is making a difference in the everyday living of folks who are connecting to your church. That is so spot on!

I recently read about a church which intentionally highlights its own practice of generosity within the community by telling stories of how time, energy and even dollars are being given away at different times during the year. This is an example of leading by example and demonstrating that church ministry is about both receiving and giving.


Thanks, Colin. Obviously, most folks are careful about sharing household income but an anonymous survey would give people the freedom to choose a range of income which is helpful information too. There's another piece here too that I haven't touched on which is financial literacy. Providing resources around growing budgeting and saving skills is another part of good leadership.  

Scott -- I really like the idea of proverbs as life hacks. I think that would make a great sermon series!!

I wouldn't say that life is too messy for a system because systems are built into the fabric of our existence. However, the assumption I am making is that human brokenness can throw off even the best systems. I read a lot of FIRE blogs and often am left with the impression that nearly anyone can achieve FIRE if they have the right priorities, make the right decisions, save enough etc. I might be able to achieve FIRE but I'm under no illusion that my own frailties (or the frailties of others) have the potential to undo my perfect life scenario. I just read a story in the news today about (another) financial planner who bilked his clients out of millions of dollars. These were friends who attended the same church as him! This is what I mean when I say that the human condition and its resultant messiness is a monkey wrench for even the smartest systems.

I appreciate your feedback. Hope this helps.

Thanks for sharing about your dad. That's real leadership and also shows integrity. What a great example!

Ken -- This is great. I love it! I've been thinking too that giving is a doorway through which we enter into a deeper fellowship with God and one another. I like how you contrast giving with the role money plays in the current economy of this world. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

By the way, the context for Paul's summary reminder of Jesus' teaching on giving is instructive. He's warning the Ephesian elders about wolves who would seek to tear up the fragile church by greediness. The remedy for church leaders, says Paul, is practicing generosity. In this way, the church is protected and provided for so that fellowship and gospel ministry can flourish. I'm impressed with how Paul interprets the blessing that comes from giving in terms of the body of Christ and not just personal benefit. I wonder how much more blessing there is to be had for the church through giving?

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