Many high-profile Christian leaders are now proclaiming that the time has never been better for churches and pastors to start teaching bible-based principles of financial stewardship. According to Rick Warren, Pastor of the huge Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, “The Bible is literally filled with advice on how to get out of debt, how to stay out of debt, how to prosper, how to have financial stability, and how to save and spend”.
Pastor Chris Goulard, who leads Saddleback Church’s stewardship ministry, says that in the past lots of churches across America have been reluctant to teach regularly about money. This stems from the fear that the churches would be perceived as always asking for money. But now, with much of the country still suffering through painful personal financial situations, Goulard has seen more interest from church leaders in teaching about financial matters. “I’m actually thankful for this economy” he says, “because it has awaken a lot of people up to what’s important in life. I think it’s a unique opportunity. Jesus talked about money more than any other topic.”
And according to Pastor Warren, “the Bible is the best place to go for financial advice”, because it is “literally filled with advice on how to get out of debt, how to stay out of debt, how to prosper, how to have financial stability, and how to save and spend”.
So will a financial back-to-the-Bible mentality help pull left-behind Americans out of their gloomy economic times? In the long run it very well could. But according to Goulard, “when people start applying good stewardship principles it is actually a negative for the economy in the short run because people start saving more and spending less.”