In the field of stewardship education, a growing number of resources are being written and disseminated. This is a good thing.
Enter Six Weeks on Money, a resource for individual or group use developed by Tim Schuster, most recently a Strategic Development Consultant for Thrivent Financial. He describes his program as a financial education program. This online resource is perhaps better described as an experience designed to help folks dig deeper into their personal money stories: how they relate to their personal financial resources.
The six topics—Values, Scarcity, Agility, Integrity, Options, and Giving—are organized a bit differently from other popular financial stewardship courses, but contain all the vital components of an effective financial stewardship plan. Biblical truths serve as a foundation for all content, but the principles included are spiritual, theoretical, and practical.
Each chapter builds on the previous chapter with “Values” being revisited frequently, giving the course life-changing potential. At the same time, topics covered include such practical issues as home- and car-buying, debt reduction, college education, and savings and investing.
The course is designed as a six-week course with daily sessions. While it is possible for individuals to plow through the entire course in a shorter period of time, the experience is enhanced with group participation and accountability. Each chapter is extensive and in-depth.
Some may say that chapters are a bit too long. In fact, the Introduction does include a great deal of material that might better be placed in later chapters. Significant time can be spent on the initial chapter, leaving the participant wanting to “get on with it.”
Both audio and transcripts are provided for each session, making review easy and allowing for different learning styles. Discussion guides are included for sessions which help with group discussions, but are also helpful for personal reflection.
The course requires enrollment online. After registration is complete, access is granted to all resources which include daily email reminders with a direct link to the course. Additional resources accompany the reminders, providing participants with even more valuable articles, worksheets and insights.
Each session includes real-life illustrations and case studies, worksheets and practical applications that, when put into practice, are designed to build a solid financial foundation for life. Put simply, daily attention over the course of six weeks will yield better results for all participants.
This latest entry into the stewardship education field is a welcome one. It deserves the attention of church leaders and individuals who seek to be better stewards of God’s abundance.
Review by Dr. Marc Kirchoff, an ordained American Baptist (ABCUSA) minister currently serving as Donor Advisor for International Ministries (ABCUSA) and as an adjunct instructor for the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving. He is completing nearly a decade of service as a member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center Resource Editorial Team.