Fall Financial Class; by Ryan Motola
Have you ever played the prosperity game? It’s a mental exercise that asks how you would spend ever increasing amounts of money. Here’s how it works. Each day, for twenty days, you receive a sum of money and you must spend it all that day (no giving or tithing on the gross allowed). On day one you have a virtual $100. Each day the sum doubles (day 2 you have $200, day 3 $400, day 4 $800, etc) and you continue to play (spend) for 20 days. For you math nerds, you’ve already figured that by day 20 you will have $52,428,800 – nice job.
If you seriously consider your purchases you will learn about your heart. You will also get frustrated as your virtual account is replenished anew each day and deciding how to spend your money actually becomes a burden (ha!). It really is fun to consider what we would do with that money!
What can we learn from this game? Our ‘play’ purchases teach us what our hearts value – the gospel, security, knowledge, experiences, learning, friends, and so on. It will be a unique combination for each of us. With this ‘play’ money we actually begin to form a (virtual) world according to our hearts desires. For a heart changed by the gospel, often times this (virtual) world can be a great one.
But the real world is messier. There is risk. There are no guarantees. There is unemployment, bad investment returns, and dashed hopes. There is debt, depression, and emergencies.
Interestingly, there is also a paper trail. Like stumbling across old, awkward middle school dance photos (no offense intended to the large and growing faction of All Saints middle schoolers!), our past bank statements might make us laugh or cringe. What is true is that this paper trail teaches us very interesting and valuable things about ourselves and how we are using the resources God has given us.
At All Saints we are in the infant stages of conversations about personal financial stewardship. This fall we will be utilizing materials from Crown Financial to inform an 11 week discussion during the Christian education hour before worship (materials are available at the book table or can be ordered online). We invite you to join us.
During the 11 weeks, participants will contribute to discussions on a wide range of challenging topics regarding money. For those just starting to consider how the gospel relates to money, we will work on basic financial disciplines like budgeting and ‘baby step’ planning. We are extremely excited for this time together! If this is an area you would like to mature in, or help All Saints mature, we hope you’ll join us!
~Ryan Motola; firstname.lastname@example.org