Summary: First in a series on Getting a Grip on My Finances looks at the meaning of stewardship.

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(Powerpoint slides available)


[Opening Activity

Begin The following items are needed:

1. An empty, old bottle

2. A large key made of cardboard and spray painted gold. The key will have the verses of Matthew 6:19-21 printed and attached to one side.

"Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.

Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.

Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.

3. A treasure map with the following directions: Find a person wearing red. Move three people to the left. Go two rows back. Find the closest person wearing glasses. Move one row forward, then take five steps toward the center of the building. Go to the closest person with a birthday in this month. Look under that person’s seat for the treasure.]


1. Hide the key under a chair prior to the church service.

2. Roll up the map and put it in the bottle. Take it to the pulpit to begin the sermon.

3. Say:


I am so excited because I found this bottle with a note inside. It must be a treasure map! Read the title, which says, “The Key to Riches.” Would anyone like to see where it leads? Select a volunteer, then let them start following the directions. Have fun!

4. Of course, the key probably will not be under the chair that they land on. Say: Maybe we misread the directions. Everyone look under your seat and see if you can find the hidden treasure!

5. When someone finds the key, ask them to come forward and read the verses.


*Adapted from Bore No More by Mike and Amy Nappa, Vital Ministry (1995), p. 75.


I am beginning this series today on “Getting a Grip on My Finances.” I don’t know of a subject that creates more anxiety for people—whether be in a family, a business, or a church. So I admit right now that talking about this and even preparing these lessons created anxiety for me. Some people will get angry anytime you talk about money at church. And I’ve counseled more couples who’ve had intense arguments over finances.


Most church members hate when a preacher starts talking about money because they believe that the preacher is trying to take a little more money out of their wallet.

However, the Bible tells us that our financial condition can tell us some things about our spiritual condition. In other words, the Bible sees a connection between my finances and my spiritual condition. You show me your checkbook and I can probably tell you what’s important to you in life.


The email spammers—the people who send you junk mail through your email know that financial concerns will grab people. Here are some of the junk emails that I received just this week: (This is not even half of them).


· Learn How to invest and leverage Oil, Coffee, Gold,

Heating Oil, Sugar, S&P Stocks

· Get PAID To Take Surveys Online!

· You Can Get Paid $15 to $45 an hour just for giving your opinion

· How to Generate a Life time of limitless Wealth


· Get Your Unclaimed Military Benefits

· A Free End to Your to Your Bill & Credit Problems


· Rebuild Your Credit with a $5000 unsecured credit line

· Reduce your debt in 3 minutes –talk about quick service (or this next one is even better)

· Get out of Debt Now!

· We’ll pay for you to see any movie. (I looked into this one since I like to go to movies. It said I could get 8 free movie tickets to the theater of my choice. Well, it wasn’t that easy. You had to fill out this survey with your name and email address—so I could be inundated with more junk email offers. And although I could have received “8 free movie tickets” I had to give my credit card number to pay a shipping and handling fee to receive the tickets. Thanks but no thanks—I closed that web page)


{8:30 SERVICE: Well, since I realize this talk is making you anxious today, I’ve brought in a therapist to help you. And I’m not talking about any therapist—I brought in the big gun—Dr. Phil! Yes I want to bring you some words of wisdom from Dr. Phil. He’ll be here with us for the next couple of weeks. Welcome, Dr. Phil!

[SHOW VIDEO CLIP 1]} START: It’ a matter of setting up your environment (follows: It is bad as we thought)—END: ..and only enough cash to get what you are going to do}

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Kirtes Calvery

commented on May 12, 2009

good job!

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