A Generosity Project Reflection: Money Talks

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A Generosity Project Reflection: Money Talks

The Generosity Project is a collaborative effort between ABCUSA, regions, and local congregations. The Generosity Project aims to help pastors re-frame the conversation around stewardship and generosity in their congregations. Bi-monthly blogs help support new growth and understanding as we deepen our ministry and discipleship. The reflection below was provided by Rev. Stacy Emerson.

Lynne Twist wrote, “Whether you are aware of it or not, you make an impact each day with your choices about how you live and how you allocate your resources. If “money talks” it is with your voice. Each financial choice you make is a powerful statement of who you are and what you care about. When you take a stand and have your money reflect that, it strengthens your sense of self.” (The Soul of Money)


We make hundreds of financial decisions. In the way we earn money. In what we spend it on clothing, food, entertainment, recreation, and charitable donations. In what we decide to loan or give away or save for our children’s future. Every day we have an opportunity to give voice to what we value in our decisions about money. And in so doing, we express ourselves—our vision, our hopes, our individuality. Being aware of these choices is essential to making sure that we are making our voice heard in the ways we intend. It is how we are empowered to realize and understand that what we do matters in the world.  As Twist said, “Each financial choice you make is a powerful statement of who you are and what you care about.”

This statement is as true for an individual as it is for a congregation. The way we talk about money and the collective financial choices we make are a powerful statement about the way a congregation identifies itself and what it cares about. Consider doing an “audit” of the way your congregation talks about money—what are your core values in regard to money?, and of your congregation’s budget—looking at the financial choices you make, what is it that your church really cares about? Is your budget in line with what you value most? If “money talks,” is the way you spend it saying what you want about who you are and what you stand for as a congregation?

As individuals and congregations, when we make prayerful, intentional decisions about money, we are empowered to align our actions with the faith we claim. We are inspired to make our mission and ministry reflect the call of God to heal, to bring justice, to inspire hope, and to love our neighbors. Money talks with our voice, as Twist says, and it is important to ask ourselves and our congregation, what are we saying?

Rev. Stacy Emerson is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in West Hartford, CT and the Stewardship Consultant for ABCUSA.  She is also the Coordinator for The Generosity Project which is about helping congregations deepen their understanding of stewardship as a call to generosity as disciples of Jesus; re-framing the stewardship conversation; and cultivating generosity in pastors, lay people, and congregations.