Introduction: We are coming to the end of this teaching series on personal financial management. It is my prayer that it has been a blessing to you. What I want to do in this session is share my vision for where the rest of our economic empowerment energy should be focused.
An Economic Empowerment Ministry Vision for December 31, 2014
- 35 members complete this course on Christian personal financial management
- Quarterly support group/enrichment sessions for the graduates who are strongly urged to develop personal economic empowerment plans with journaling as well as establish accountability partnerships
- Cast a vision for 2020 by the end of this vision period
The 35 members completing the course seems to be a challenging goal that measures our effectiveness in helping people understand basic personal financial management material. It is predictable that some of those who need the material the most will not attend or complete the course. “Completion” includes getting at least an 80% on the quiz.
The quarterly support group/enrichment sessions are to focus on subject matters requested by the attendees. The attendees are to be those who completed the course. So one session may be a workshop on how to develop a budget, another may be a workshop on how to write the letters and make the phone calls to get your credit report in shape, and yet another session may be focused on meeting local financial advisors.
Assuming the sessions will be at least 60 to 90 minutes long, 20 to 30 minutes should be devoted to a support group forum. This is a time for attendees to share their joys and concerns related to pursuing their individual economic empowerment plans. A word of prayer should offered to transition from the support group portion to the informational portion of the session. The group may decide to have alternating sessions - one session all informational, the next session all support group, and so on.
A personal economic empowerment plan is simply a document that features your goals and plans in the area of being economically empowered. These documents are for you, not be turned into the staff or shared with anyone you don’t want to share them with. Examples of goals may be to reduce your credit card debt to $2,000, by the end of the year. It may be to seek career counseling, within the next 30 days, to determine which occupations may be more satisfying to you. It may be to build a three month emergency fund by the end of the year.
Each goal (i.e., I would suggest that you have at least three but no more than seven) should have a plan - a “how-to” statement. For example, with the goal of reducing your credit card debt to $2,000, by the end of the year, your plan may include the following: take all extra money and apply to the credit card debt; avoid all unnecessary spending - with or without the credit card; and research credit cards that have lower interest rates than the one you have.
You will discover that having written goals and plans will help you to stay focused. If you take it a step further and keep a journal on how you are coming, you will be even more likely to succeed. For the first seven to 30 days of journaling, make a daily entry of what you are doing, even if you are simply praying for wisdom and energy to stay focused on your goals and plans. After the initial period, you can make entries less frequently, but I would still recommend at least weekly.
An accountability partner is simply a person like you who has completed the course, developed a personal economic empowerment plan, and who is open to a weekly check-in. The nature of the check-in is to support and encourage one another to keep on working towards your goals and plans. Advice giving should be limited, especially, if you are not an expert in the subject matter. Being a good listener and maintaining confidentiality are important things to look for and to develop within yourself, as an accountability partner.
I believe that with this course on Christian personal financial management, your individual plan, journaling, accountability partnerships, and quarterly sessions, God will bless so many people to move from a miserable pay check to pay check situation to getting out of debt, owning homes, owning businesses, having well funded retirements, helping others, and so much more. Investment clubs, home ownership ministry, and the expansion of our selective patronage (e.g., banks via the Collective Empowerment Group) efforts are all well within our reach for 2020.
This is a marvelous vision. But it takes commitment on the part of people like you to make it a reality. I call on you to not only complete the course quiz, but to be a part of the greater vision (i.e., individual plan, journaling, accountability partnership, and quarterly session). The staff is willing to help you with your plan and partnership; all you have to do is ask.
Christian Personal Financial Management Discussion Questions (use extra paper as needed):
1. Fill in the blanks for the economic empowerment vision: ________ members complete this course; ______________ support group/enrichment sessions; and cast a vision for _______________
by the 12/31/14.
2. A personal economic empowerment plan is simply a _________________ that features your _______________ and __________________ in the area of being ________________________________ empowered.
3. Do you think journaling, accountability partnerships, and quarterly sessions can be helpful? Explain.
4. What else would you like to share (e.g., goals, accountability partnership, etc.)?
Conclusion: Let’s work on being better stewards of our finances and helping others do the same. God has much for those who obey His will, regarding Christian personal financial management.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.