Financial Health TestimonialsNAE Financial Health Online
“I had an accident at work (as a sr. pastor) where the tip of my finger was cut off by a manhole cover. Since it was a work related accident, all medical expenses were paid and they gave me a settlement for the ‘amputation’ of the fingertip (below the fingernail). With this settlement, I was able to fully pay off the remainder of my appendix bill (from the year before) after the assistance from this Financial Health grant program! I was able to set aside close to $1000 in extra ‘giving’ money, where we’ve been able to freely bless people without even thinking about it! It has been awesome! Plus – it was a great story for the sermon series on tithing: ‘First Church, I believe so much in tithing that I HAD ten fingertips, but I gave one to the Lord!’ I’d rather have my finger back, but it was amazing how God used a work-related finger amputation to supply the funds needed to pay off an appendix surgery loan that was weighing us down!”
“This course taught me how to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of pastors and their families, pay an adequate salary and benefits to pastors and other staff and provide annual compensation reviews. After taking this course, I switched health insurances (went with a Christian Healthcare Ministries), saving $2400 annually in monthly ‘premiums’ and $7000 out of pocket expenses for a medical emergency! I also looked more intentionally when purchasing plane tickets and found out I had enough points to buy instead of using cash. I saved $280 by using my airline points. I also met with a financial planner to begin looking at long-term investments, began the ‘giving account’ and have been setting money aside even from the small things we receive from others.”
“This past April, right after Easter, our custodian found some water damage in the crawlspace of the church. When we had a contractor look at it, we realized there was significant structural damage that would need to be fixed as soon as possible. We began meeting with different contractors to get several bids. It took several months of meetings with contractors and engineers. What we hoped would be an easy fix turned into a project with a bid just a few dollars under $100,000. New roof. New flooring. New structural support joists. And the list goes on. After discussion with the church Board of Directors, we decided to pursue a loan from our denomination’s foundation. We told the church about the loan and informed them that we would be beginning a capital campaign in September to see how much we could raise and have pledged. In the middle of August, we had a meeting with a gentleman whose mom had passed away a few months earlier. She had left a large estate gift for the church. From that gift, he designated $50,000 for the ‘rebuild’ project. A couple other smaller gifts also came in during our regular offering, without us specifically asking for people to give yet. With two weeks left in August, before saying anything else about the loan to the congregation, we were able to give them a letter stating that $56,000 had already been committed to the rebuild project! Praise God – as we would have less hoops to jump through to secure a smaller loan! We gave that letter out on a Sunday. On the following Monday, the church received an anonymous gift, designated for the building project, of $35,000. I initially thought it was a scam! It was dated one week earlier, before we had given the church the financial update! It was a legitimate check! Imagine my joy when I wrote the Board stating that we now had received (or had committed) $91,000 – even before the capital campaign had officially started! On Sunday, Sept. 2, I planned to give an update on the finances for the project at the end of the service. We had a wonderful service, with a time of sharing where we’d seen God moving during the summer. We took our normal offering, with nothing said or explained about the ‘pledge card’ that was in the bulletin. I was going to talk about that at the end of the service. After the offering, our Board treasure, who happened to be counting offering that day, slipped me a note with tears in his eyes. He couldn’t even speak. On the note, it said we had received (or had committed) another $31,000! So, at the end of the service, I stood up and said something like this: ‘First Church – for close to two months, I’ve been telling people that God wanted to grow the faith of our church, as I was sure He would provide somehow for our daunting $100,000 rebuild project. I stand up here to tell you that God apparently needed to grow MY faith! This morning, we officially start our capital campaign to raise the necessary funds for the rebuild project. Our goal is to raise (or have committed) as close to $100,000 as we can by the end of 2019. We start our campaign with $122,000 already pledged/given! God provides….in ways I cannot even imagine!'”
“We are starting to follow through with the things we learned from the Personal Finances course. This brought about small adjustments in some financial aspects of our lives and significant changes in other parts. But, the largest change we made was in regard to our vehicles. My wife and I both had nice cars that we were still making payments on. We looked at the combined amount of interest we were paying on our loans and decided we had to do something about it. We had enough money in our savings to pay off the rest of her loan, so that’s what we did. We then made the decision to sell my car, which took care of the auto loan. With the excess and some of our savings, we bought an older car with cash. We no longer have car payments, and are saving a lot of money by not paying any interest. The next step that we need to do is start putting a monthly car payment into a savings account for when we purchase our next vehicle. Getting ahead in this cycle will save us tens of thousands of dollars of interest over the course of our lives!”
“I received $900 as a Pastor Appreciation Offering and Christmas gift after my leaders went through the Church Generosity course. After our congregation went through the 40-Day Generous Life devotional, the church’s giving did not decline over the summer months for the first time in five years.”
“My wife and I finally sat down and created our budget and got on track with our tithing. Bills were getting paid off, not just down. We were able to pay off $2400 in medical bills and $2300 in car loans in one month. Our tax return came in higher than normal and then was money left at the end of the month. I cannot stress the importance of what I learned about budgeting. If you have a plan and hold yourself accountable to the plan it will work itself out. This period during the training showed me my lack of self-discipline when it came our finances but also other areas of my life. Work the plan and it will work for you.”
“I went through the Personal Finances course with my wife and the Church Generosity training with our church board and two associate pastors. This training was sooo helpful in many ways. Very well rounded. I would recommend it for any pastor or church. The access to free practical tools are unprecedented. In our church, we have added a weekly generosity verse, giving videos or testimonies every other month, EFT giving and stewardship bulletin inserts once a month. In the future, we are planning a financial seminar, churchwide 40 Days of Generosity and the Bless Your Pastor offering.”
“Our entire administrative board went through the training. There are 10 of us on the board. It helped us evaluate where we were as a church and gave us incredible resources that we could use to implement some of the Best Practices in our church. We have started a capital campaign and have also paid off debt since starting this training. We have added multiple new Best Practices into our church calendar.”
“My wife and I went through the God Is Your Provider Personal Finances course, the church leaders completed the Church Generosity course and our congregation of 45 people went through the 40-day Generous Life devotional. Following this training, here are some exciting things that happened:
- I received a 3% raise.
- With the help of a donor, a retirement fund was started for us with a $10,000 gift.
- Church members have given us gifts of food, taken us out to dinner, blessed us in practical ways, and gave us an $1100 Pastor Appreciation gift.
- Our church was able to pay-off of a city assessment of over $20,000. In addition, we re-roofed our facility and did some internal work that cost us approximately $20,000 (instead of the $50,000 we were first quoted). This too has been paid off.
- Our congregation and our partner organization increased their giving to the needy over Thanksgiving. Last year, we gave out 1,500 bags of groceries for Thanksgiving and this year we stepped up and gave 5,000 bags of grocery to the needy.
It has been a tremendous season of generosity and blessing for our tiny congregation of approximately 45 people. They have been dedicated to taking care of both us (the pastor and wife) and the community in need.”