Financial Preparedness an Element of Christian Stewardship
- Ed Thomas Agape Press
- 2006 1 Jan
The co-founder and CEO of a financial stewardship ministry is pointing to last year's Hurricane Katrina as providing at least one example of why Christians should be good stewards of their finances. In that light, Crown Financial Ministries' Howard Dayton now points to the beginning of the year as a time to work on preparation for any financial emergency.
Dayton -- co-founder of Crown Financial Ministries along with the late Larry Burkett -- says the ministry's passion is to see people financially stable enough at all times to fund the work of Christ. According to Dayton, that means they are also able to contribute without stress to outside situations of need, such as last year's Hurricane Katrina.
"We certainly saw that with these hurricanes [Katrina and Rita] and the relief effort that went on," Dayton observes. "When folks had a little margin -- when they had done their savings and they were eradicating their debt -- they were in a better position to really help serve others."
With the after-effects of holiday credit spending likely to soon set in, the ministry's CEO suggests a new strategy for the new year's budgeting through the "Crown Money Map," a seven-step plan for getting finances in order. Dayton says the first few steps of a good plan have to start with saving and budgeting.
"The first destination [on the Map] is to get on a spending plan. Our grandparents used to call it a budget," he says. "The second thing to do in destination one is to set aside a thousand dollars for emergencies, because emergencies happen. Destination two, we encourage folks to pay off their credit cards and save one month's living expense."
Dayton points to financial freedom and stewardship as keys to being able to add to the reputations of Christians as people who are ready to help others in financial or material need. Emergencies, he says, will occur -- and setting aside money for them enables Christians not to have to go into debt or be financially unwise to handle them.
Ed Thomas, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.
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