05 Mar Here’s My Guest Blog on Pastor’s Wallet~
Financial Tips For Single Women in Ministry
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, here is a piece for single women in ministry. I know you are the minority, but you matter and you are some of my best friends!
Though geared towards women in ministry and their unique challenges, everyone can benefit from what guest writer Michal Slate has to say. A Certified Financial Planner™ with a master’s degree in business leadership from Colorado Christian University, she has more than 13 years experience working with individuals on a personal level to help them discover the best course of action for their finances. Michal is passionate about both Jesus and helping Christian women master their finances. You can learn more about her and what she does here.
What are your financial goals?
Are they funding the day-to-day work you do in the inner city or poverty-stricken countries? Or is your financial goal to run a mega ministry that partners with other ministries to bring in millions in donations to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and counsel the broken? Is your financial goal somewhere in between?
Is your goal or dream to make a difference big or small as a lover of Jesus? Do you desire to leave a mark on this world that isn’t your name but the name of Jesus Christ? I am so overjoyed to assist! Your calling to work as a shepherd is one that I respect and admire. I want to see you succeed in your finances and as a leader in your calling to serve our Lord and Savior.
I am excited to share with you some tips for personal financial management as a woman in leadership… wait, a Christian woman in leadership, or a Christian woman pastor, or a single Christian woman pastor…
No matter how specific we get in your role as pastor/leader/shepherd, we can absolutely learn to navigate the world of financial planning as it relates to you: The Christian Woman Leader. I am humbled to advise in this area.
The call for women in leadership is ringing from the rooftops in every industry. I work in business and finance and I can see it everywhere.
Even in the church, God is raising up a generation of powerful female leaders. It can be especially challenging in the church, though. Many in the Christian community recite 1 Timothy 2:12 until they are blue in the face while ignoring Biblical figures such as Deborah, Priscilla, Lydia, and Mary of Magdalene. Where would the church of Corinth be if Priscilla had been afraid to teach Apollos?
I admire you for following God’s call on your life in spite of the challenges.
I know how it feels. Personally, I used to doubt myself because of some well-meaning people who made me feel less than qualified due to my age, gender, or lack of pedigree upbringing. But, with God’s help, I overcame that and here I am. I am one of only a few Christian women with 2 Master’s degrees, the prestigious Certified Financial Planner™ designation, and I’m also pursuing a doctoral degree. On top of that, I’ve got a pretty successful career as a financial advisor.
I am highly passionate about educating and empowering women, especially Christian women, in all things financial so that they know how to navigate the world we live in and won’t get taken advantage of. Thank God for the Holy Spirit and discernment that assists us when we don’t know which direction to go; however, practical insight from someone who knows this industry inside and out can be of great importance.
In an ideal world, we would begin our financial education as children, under our parents. As little girls, our parents would meet all of our needs and we would be oblivious to any financial stress. Getting older, a wise parent would show us how the bills are paid and how the job or business brings in financial resources so that the bills can get paid, vacations can be taken, and items can be purchased.
As a little girl you would be taught to divide your money into 3 jars: Spend, Save, and Give. Your parents would show you the value of each, both in word and deed. You would be allowed the freedom to make mistakes with your money, like overspending or over giving, and face the consequences in a safe and secure environment.
Eventually, you would get your own bank account and an after-school job. Then, as a young woman, you would go to college and graduate without debt because of the way you and your parents worked and saved. After college, you marry and live happily ever after with a well-functioning husband who understands the money world as well as you do. You raise your children to do the same.
Unfortunately, most of us did not grow up this way. If you did, I am so happy for you because you are well ahead of most when it comes to understanding personal finance.
Even if your parents loved you and provided for you, that doesn’t mean they had the knowledge or experience to teach you all about personal financial management. And, while some schools value financial education, most do not offer it. For many of us, our greatest financial lessons came from making mistakes and getting hurt, ripped off, or manipulated. I know, because that’s how I learned.
Today, I want to save you some pain and suffering.
My number one piece of advice may sound cliche, but you know how powerful it is: PRAY. Bring all of your needs to God and ask him for guidance, wisdom, and resources. Follow God’s direction and TRUST Him to keep his promises when things don’t make sense.
As Christians who live and breath to serve Jesus, we can’t always horde our savings for a proverbial retirement plan. We can’t always save for goals when we see the need to give and feel the call so strong on our hearts. We can’t do many things that the world tells us to do, so we need to hear and obey what God tells us to do. As his stewards, though we can’t do everything that may sound good, we can be wise and operate our finances with our eyes open so that we can see how God might use us to benefit the Kingdom around us.
In addition to seeking God’s wisdom and direction, here are some other things that will help you be successful with money:
Keep track of everything that you earn. This should be everything that you receive, even if it doesn’t come in a traditional form like a paycheck.
Allocate your earnings into three categories: spending, saving, and giving. Pray and allow God to direct you in what percentage of your income should go towards each category. It can also help to work with a professional to determine the appropriate level of spending and giving in relation to your unique circumstances.
Plan out on paper or on a computer what you expect your financial situation to look like in the foreseeable future. Determine your goals and plan out action steps that align with them. When you have to make a difficult decision, you can refer back to this plan for guidance, knowing that you will be moving in the right direction.
Never compromise the calling on your heart for financial gain. The world will try to tempt you, but stay true to God’s call. Also, don’t hesitate to alter your plan when God speaks something different to your heart.
In order to be a good steward, you should treat your ministry as a business. Be as careful as a business owner fighting to stay in business. When you’re in need of additional information before making an important decision, work with someone who has business, non-profit, and Biblical know-how.
Work to bless others in all you do, leading by example. The way you manage the financial resources you are given is an example for those who work with you and look up to you.
Remember Matthew chapter 6 as the guide for how to be successful. The whole chapter is essential, but the key is in the final verse that Jesus leaves us with, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34, NIV)
I hope you find these tips helpful. Finally, thank you so much for your ministry! You are an important part of God’s Kingdom and you have no idea how what you are doing right now will impact eternity.