Bruised Camels and Their Money

Small group helps members shape their views about how to handle money.

What am I doing here? I was sitting at a 6:30 breakfast with a handful of men from our congregation, and the talk was about money. Our money. Specifically, how much we made, and gave, and saved. And now they were looking at me.

Our idea was that together we could learn more of what God wanted us to do with our money. I had been praying for the opportunity for months. The group had formed, and now, suddenly I was scared silly.

One problem was my salary, only a quarter of the next lowest. After all, these men were impressive: a wealthy heir, the vice president of a pension plan, an entrepreneur who left a bank to start his own business, an editor/author on the brink of a major book deal, and two successful real estate brokers. Each had responded to a sermon and class on Christian faith and wealth. They wanted specific help, but now I wasn't quite sure how to proceed.

My nascent convictions on wealth and faith came out of a growing concern for the poor, who are so close to the heart of God. I was quick to see the needs of the deprived, and in our society the rich make an easy scapegoat. How easy to blame them, as long as we are vague enough. But what about the godly wealthy, such as these men sitting across from me? Growing disillusionment with "things" turned these honest seekers to me for direction. They wanted to talk about the faithful use of money.

Though our group may be richer than most, many churches have people with discretionary income, people wrestling with issues of faith and money. They may be only a few, but when they come to us, we want to offer sound pastoral counsel.

What I didn't know then, I have been learning along the way. Our group was dubbed the "Bruised Camels" by one member who ...

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