CSRM's Blogs are designed to Equip the Local Church for: Strategically Relevant, Effective and Efficient "Evangelistic-Disciplemaking" Sports Outreach
GOD, MONEY AND US (Local Church Sports Ministers)
Struggling With Finances in Difficult Times
Warren Fish, CFP® Qualified Kingdom Advisor™
This blog is going to be about money. Why? Because among the many tensions and stresses a Sports Ministers faces is managing an income that may not seem to be adequate in the midst of some difficult economic times. I write from the perspective of personal experience and the experiences and training I have been privileged to be taught. I have learned that Christians in all walks of life (including Sports Ministers), and with a wide range of incomes, have some very common struggles. Permit me to share what I see are a few of the arenas of struggle.
BIBLICAL AURTHORITY: while we say we take God’s word as true and inspired we sometime do not search out what all He has to say about money. There are 2350 verses in the bible pertaining to money. Jesus spoke 38 parables, 16 of which dealt with money or, 45%. Since there is such an abundance of scriptures regarding money we may want to ask “why?” I believe God spoke 5 times more about money than any other single topic is because he knew money would be the leading competition for the Lordship of Jesus in our life. No matter our income, or lack of it, money will compete with Jesus in our hearts.
The Psalmist tells us in 24:1, “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” If he owns it all then he has the right to instruct us in the best use of his assets. In future blogs I will share more of the specific verses and teachings, but for now let me share with you another struggle:
CONTENTMENT: or the lack thereof! Paul writes in Philippians Chapter 4 that he has lived with a lot, with a little and all in between. But, he has learned to be content (13). We know that the Lordship of Jesus was firmly established in Paul’s life and he wrote from that perspective. What causes discontent among believers…among Sports Ministers? I believe is falls into not fully trusting what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.” A major cause of discontent comes from comparing ourselves with others. Ken Boa writes that “comparison is the basis of discontent.” Do you find yourself comparing what you earn to others on your church staff? To your Senior Pastor? To others in your congregations? When we compare ourselves to others who seem to have it much better, we can get quite disgruntled and take our attention away from serving Jesus. Our discontent can also lead us to another major struggle:
CONSUMERISM: or the penchant to purchase items and desire to live a lifestyle above our means. Consumerism is saying to God “you aren’t providing well enough for me so I have to go into debt to get the things that I deserve and will make me happy.” Consumer debt and credit card debt is as high among the family of God as it is in secular society. Struggling with issues of being in Sports Ministry becomes more difficult with a credit card payment due every 30 days. I mention this because I have personally: “been there, done that.” Getting wise counsel and then “gritting our teeth” for the struggle of getting out of debt is all worthwhile when we finally arrive at a place of being at peace with Jesus and our finances. This leads to another arena that is:
PERSPECTIVE: or, seeing things from God’s point of view. We need to learn that all money decisions are spiritual in nature, and often emotional. God wants to instruct us in all matters including money. James 1:5 tells us to seek wisdom from God and He will give it without making us feel stupid. We learn to view life from a biblical perspective through wise counsel, taking advantage of the many teachings in the Christian community and just simply and sincerely asking God. God’s grace is extended to us and he does not condemn us even in the area of finance.
THANK YOU: for reading this far! Look for more blogs in the ensuing months regarding money and finance as we expand further upon what God would have us to know.
Warren Fish is a retired United Methodist Pastor & Financial Counselor. He is a former CSRM Board of Trustee Member, father and grandfather. He lives in Canton, Ohio with his wife.
Dr. Greg Linville was one of the founding members of CSRM and has served as the Executive Director since 2000. He served for 15 years as a local church sports and recreation minister and coached over 30 years at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels as well as 30 years in rec. leagues. Dr. Linville has consulted with churches from Australia, Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and North America. He was awarded the world's first honorary Doctorate in Sports Ministry and holds an earned Doctorate as well. He is the author of Christmanship: The Theology of Competition & Sport. Dr. Greg has been married for over 35 years, is the father of two married children and the grandfather of a growing number of grandchildren.