Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide Sample

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Facilitator Guide 2022.1

FA I T H & F I N A N C E S Facilitator Guide By: J. Mark Bowers Editorial Team: Jerilyn Sanders, Sam Moore, Amy Kuenzel, Bethany Sargent Illustrations: James Harrison Photography: Front cover image by Jessica McIntosh and Project Connect Nashville; photography throughout by Gretchen Becker Shaw

We would like to thank Dr. Lance Wescher, Dr. Robb Davis, and Brandon Russell who provided content direction as well as technical and pedagogical review for Faith & Finances. Additionally, we would like to give special thanks to Gary Nederveld for his partnership and contributions. We would also like to express our appreciation for the facilitators, participants, and implementing ministries around the United States who have used Faith & Finances over the years. Thank you for learning alongside us and contributing to the development and continuous improvement of this program. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is quoted or paraphrased from the Contemporary English Version (CEV). Copyright © 2012 Chalmers Center The Chalmers Center equips local churches to address the broken relationships at the root of material poverty, living out Jesus’ Kingdom today. Permission from the Chalmers Center is required for reproduction or distribution of this material. This curriculum is designed to be used by certified facilitators. To learn about training, give feedback, or for further inquiries, please contact: Chalmers Center 507 McFarland Rd Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 USA


FAITH & FINANCES: AN INTRODUCTION The teaching and miracles of Jesus Christ proclaim that His Kingdom is here and coming. He heals our diseases, restores our relationships, forgives our sins, calms our fears, fills our hunger, and yes— even offers the hope of resurrection and new life! Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has begun the work of reconciling all things on heaven and earth, both now and to come. And we, the church, are to declare and demonstrate that He is making all things new. Because of this calling, Faith & Finances has been developed to provide local churches and faithbased ministries with a tool for equipping vulnerable individuals and families in their community with a biblical vision for how the comprehensive healing of Jesus encompasses finances. Through Faith & Finances, the local church is equipped to: •

Share basic, technical money management skills to financially vulnerable people in their congregation or community;

Build awareness among vulnerable people regarding financial practices and systems and how to overcome real-world pitfalls on the path to financial health;

Encourage vulnerable people, showing them that they are known and loved by God and that He can provide peace, healing, and freedom in their relationship with Him, with others, with themselves, and with their money.

GETTING STARTED Faith & Finances is a series of twelve units on financial literacy for low-income or financially vulnerable adults. Each 90-minute unit is designed to meet the learning needs of those who struggle to manage their money. Through group discussions, participants gain important information and skills relevant to their everyday lives. The Faith & Finances course begins with laying the foundation for good financial literacy by discussing money in the context of relationships, attitudes, values, and obstacles. Next, the curriculum encourages participants to plan ahead—to set goals and to make a spending plan. After establishing a spending plan, Faith & Finances discusses giving, thrift, debt, and risk. Finally, the curriculum encourages learners to protect their assets and consider their net worth. For further details, see the Faith & Finances Course Map below. WHO


The curriculum is designed for groups ranging from 5-20 people. Target participants are financially vulnerable adults with limited financial understanding and a high school level education. The typical course participant has some level of personal debt, no emergency fund, does not live within a budget, and has a net worth near or below zero. Ideal participants may include men and women with


job skills (i.e. they are employable), single mothers with small children, men with mandated child support payments, or any person with low or fixed income (e.g. Social Security, disability). The spiritual maturity of the target audience may vary greatly from those who are not believers to those who are mature Christians. By using biblical passages and stories followed by open-ended questions, Faith & Finances is designed to stimulate thoughtful reflection on financial motivations and practices for learners at different places on their journey of faith. The ideal facilitator will have completed at least two years of college and have successfully managed their own finances for at least five years—or have the equivalent relevant life experience. Through training by Chalmers Center, these facilitators will also be familiar with best practices in the following areas: •

Poverty and holistic ministry as described in When Helping Hurts and Becoming Whole;

Socio-economic and cultural differences between people living at various income levels;

Facilitation skills and principles of how adults learn; and

Basic financial literacy theory and practical money management skills.

Facilitators and allies help participants to understand and enjoy the learning process and take action based on the discussions. As co-learners with the participants, facilitators and allies should participate in the activities, modeling openness and vulnerability. They should also make themselves available before, during, and after class. Building real relationships gives them a stronger ability to hold participants accountable to their commitments and to persuade them to take action. WH EN


The Faith & Finances training is provided in units of 90 minutes for a duration of 12 total sessions. The ideal configuration is weekly classes for 12 weeks (approx. three months). This is based on the assumption that participants may not be accustomed to intensive coursework and extensive time commitment. This also allows the participants weekly time to track their income and expenses—which is key data for building a monthly spending plan. The Faith & Finances units are designed to be easy to use, scripted so that the facilitator only needs 20-30 minutes of preparation time each week. WHER E


The primary intention of Faith & Finances is that a local church serves as the host. However, Faith & Finances sites have flourished around the US in myriad settings – from jails and low-income housing projects to non-profit organizations and community centers. The learning space for the course should be large enough to accommodate up to 20 people, with access to tables for writing, wall space for posting group activities, and physical space for small group discussions and activities.


FA I T H & F I N A N C E S : C O U R S E M A P

Laying the Foundation for Financial Literacy

Setting Goals and Budget Building

•Unit 1: Connecting Money and Relationships •Unit 2: Exploring Values and Attitudes •Unit 3: Overcoming Financial Challenges

•Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals •Unit 5: Creating a Spending Plan

•Unit •Unit Integrating Sound •Unit Practices into •Unit

6: 7: 8: 9:

Living Simply Giving Joyfully Managing Debt Taking Loans


•Unit 10: Getting Banked •Unit 11: Preparing for Emergencies Protecting Assets •Unit 12: Planning for Long-Term Change and Considering Net Worth




Faith & Finances is intentionally low-tech and designed to be delivered in-person in a small group setting. While circumstances may occasionally dictate hosting classes by video or 1-on1, the best practice is for small classes to meet in person whenever possible. Because transformation does not occur as a result of information transfer alone, Faith & Finances is designed to build interpersonal relationships, amplify multiple voices and experiences, and allow people to practice hands-on learning. As such, this course primarily relies on simple tools such as markers and paper rather than videos and slide decks. We like to say that the “HOW” matters as much as the “WHAT” for our learners. Each unit of Faith & Finances begins with an information box that contains a summary of the objectives, materials needed, preparations, and time required to conduct the session. Review this information carefully. The “Materials Needed” section lists the items you’ll need to gather before the unit. The “Preparation” section lists actions needed before the unit begins—like creating flipcharts or researching local prices and services. Other important information to facilitate Faith & Finances: Study the objectives. The objectives in the information box for all Faith & Finances units are each mapped to a specific learning task. Studying this connection helps the facilitator focus and direct each task in the units toward accomplishing the learning objective. Be mindful of the time. Allow participants to speak and engage with the content, but keep the session on task and moving forward briskly. Otherwise, time may run out to cover key content. Utilize the 4As1. The design of each Faith & Finances session uses the 4As of learning: ANCHOR the content in the participants’ experiences, ADD new content to the session, APPLY the new content through an activity during the session, then ask participants to take the new learning AWAY through small commitments to act. Take full advantage of this framework to encourage reflection and action on the new knowledge, skills, and attitudes being formed. Adapt the content to the needs of your target group. An example or story might better connect with your group if you change it from what is written in the curriculum. This is highly advisable! You know your participants best—feel free to make the content as relevant as possible. The Faith & Finances curriculum is not static—it serves as a tool and a guide for you.

After each unit, post all flipcharts on the walls of the training room. Leave these charts up and continue adding to the walls each week to build on further learning. As the sessions progress, participants can easily see and call to mind past units – and the facilitator can draw on previous


Derived from Global Learning Partners’ 4 Steps for Learning That Lasts, 2012.


learning tasks. Posting participant responses on the chart also affirms their contributions and helps them own the learning process. Make the scripture accessible. For ease of understanding, all scripture used in Faith & Finances is from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted. Using a readable version and printing the passages directly in the Faith & Finances Participant Guide helps to create a comfortable environment for those who may not have had much prior experience locating passages in a Bible.


Regular font = specific information or instructions for the facilitator to read or paraphrase to the participants.

Italics font = instructions for the facilitator. Do not read this text to the participants.

Bold = highlights action verbs that connect the participants to the content through action-oriented tasks.

Arrow (➢) = specific open questions for the facilitator to ask. Deliver this text as it is written. Allow for discussion time and a variety of voices to be heard.

PRINCIPLES FOR GOOD FACILITATION OF FAITH & FINANCES2 Participation and dialogue are essential in adult learning. As the facilitator, you are also a learner. The participants come to the sessions with rich experience and add value to the learning. All participants, including you, must both teach and learn. The facilitator is responsible for engaging the learners and listening to them with respect. Discussions about money are sensitive and intimately connected with issues related to personal relationships. It is important to establish a safe, affirming environment so learners can participate in discussions, share experiences, and feel safe asking questions. Facilitating group discussion


Listen carefully to learners and thank them for speaking. When people feel safe, they speak more freely, give honest answers, ask questions, and, in the end, learn more.

If people give a very short answer, you might want to encourage them to say more. You could say, “Can you tell us more?”

Derived from Savings: You Can Do It! by Freedom From Hunger, 2008.


Avoid interrupting people while they are talking. If you must interrupt someone who is talking too long, do so, but apologize.

Try to have as many people as possible participate in the discussion. Encourage this by saying, “Let’s hear from a new voice...”

Use paired discussions where indicated so that more participants, especially very quiet ones, will have the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Telling a story

Know the story well and practice telling it dynamically before the session. Show different feelings on your face and in your gestures, such as worry, excitement, and fear. Be sure to follow a story with the questions presented in the curriculum. Most learning happens after the story, during the discussion of open questions.


Create a safe learning environment.

Give feedback to the participants and praise them for their efforts.

Show respect by valuing the participants’ knowledge and experience with the subject.

Presenting information

Be familiar with important points to avoid reading them word-for-word.

Role plays, learning games, and art affirm and draw on different learning styles present.

Look at the participants as you give the information. Even if you read the information, look up occasionally so that people do not feel ignored.

Let the participants know that you are a learner with them.

Ask open—not closed— questions to promote discussion and interaction.

Use small groups as suggested in the sessions to build a sense of teamwork and create safety.

Watch people for signs of confusion. If you see them, stop and ask what questions they have.

Asking open questions


Use open questions to draw out ideas, opinions, and experiences. These questions help participants think for themselves, discuss the issues, and make decisions. A closed question sounds like this: “Any comments?” An example of an open question: “What can you add to this discussion?”

Pause after asking an open question to allow participants time to think. Look around the group expectantly as you wait for someone to answer. Don't be afraid of silence.

If no one responds, ask the same question using different words and pause again to indicate you are waiting for responses.

Once someone volunteers a response, take some time before proceeding to the next question. Ask if someone else has something to add to the first response.

Listen to the responses for important points, repeat them for emphasis, and commend the speakers.

Creating safety

Learners need to feel that their ideas and contributions will be valued. Encourage even small efforts. Be careful not to judge or humiliate learners in front of others.

Some subjects, especially related to relationships and money, may be difficult to discuss in a group. Be sensitive and aware of the participants’ reactions and protect their feelings. Having the participants set guidelines and ground rules up front helps to create this safety.


Trusted Faith & Finances Partners

Prison Fellowship is the world's largest Christian non-profit organization for prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading advocate for justice reform.

Active in 29 states, Love INC mobilizes local churches in communities to provide a network of holistic care to people: spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical.

STCH Ministries is committed to healing hearts and sharing hope through their 9 ministries across Texas, nationally and internationally.

CCT Fresno builds the leadership capacity of individuals and institutions to contribute to the economic, social, and spiritual well-being of Central California communities.



Connecting Money and Relationships



Exploring Values and Attitudes



Overcoming Financial Challenges



Setting Savings Goals



Creating a Spending Plan



Living Simply



Giving Joyfully



Managing Debt



Taking Loans


10. Getting Banked


11. Preparing for Emergencies


12. Planning for Long-Term Change


13. Faith & Finances Alumni Gatherings: Getting Started


14. Illustrations


15. Glossary


16. Reference Page



SETTING S AV I N G S G O A L S OBJECTIVES By the end of this unit, we will have: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Reviewed our recent practices with income and expenses; Shared our own experience with goal-setting; Examined a story about setting long and short-term savings goals; Set a long and short-term savings goal; Shared and evaluated potential savings goals; and Committed to sharing our goals and to continue tracking income and expenses.



• • •

Participant Notebooks/Pens Flipchart/Markers/Tape Colored Paper/Post-it Notes

• •

Bible Calculators

• • •

Create Flipcharts: Meeting Our Goals, Eva and Isaac’s Savings Goals, Evaluation Symbols Nametags: Isaac, Eva, Jessica, the elder, and Dolores Create poster board cut-outs: check mark, plus sign, triangle, question mark Review/note page numbers in participant guide

TIME 90 Minutes


Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide

INTRODUCTION (5 MINUTES) Welcome back to our session today! Review our chart on the wall. In our last session, we discussed Overcoming Financial Challenges— let’s put a check next to that topic. To review, let’s hear one or two quick things that stick with you from our last session together about financial challenges.

Today, we’ll begin discussing our next topic: Setting Savings Goals. 1. Connecting Money and Relationships 2. Exploring Values and Attitudes 3. Overcoming Financial Challenges 4. Setting Savings Goals 5. Creating a Spending Plan 6. Living Simply 7. Giving Joyfully 8. Managing Debt 9. Taking Loans 10. Getting Banked 11. Preparing for Emergencies 12. Planning for Long-Term Change We’ll track our progress on this chart over the next weeks. Let’s open in prayer as we begin our time of learning together.



1A: Check in with a partner you’ve had from our past weeks together. Take two minutes to discuss: How are you doing:

Ø with the expense you committed to eliminate? Ø in tracking your income and expenses? We’ll hear from several of you that would like to share. 1B: As we build confidence and trust in our group, we can better pray for and support each other in times of need—like the early church. Share: What do you remember about them from our last unit?

I appreciated our discussion last time about how we can support each other in this same way. God did not design us to function on our own but gave us one another as a community. We are relational


Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals

just like God is—made in His image to reflect His character. When we put our trust in God, we are part of His family and can depend on each other.



As we begin to discuss saving, let us consider the story of Joseph from Egypt. Joseph was a man who went through a lot of suffering. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers and thrown into prison over a false allegation. Yet he had great faith and trust in God through it all. While Joseph was in prison, Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, had a dream. 2A: Lay back in your chairs as I lower the lights. Pretend you are dreaming! Close your eyes and imagine the dream as I tell it to you:

Seven cows came up from the Nile River, fat and sleek. After them, seven other cows came up— scrawny and very ugly. The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows! Then, seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted— thin and scorched by the wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads! After none of his advisors could understand the king’s dream, the King brought Joseph out from prison to tell its meaning. God gave Joseph a special ability to understand the dream’s meaning. 2B: Listen to how Joseph interprets it. As you listen, think about how this applies to saving and goal setting—and to God’s larger work in the world. Would a volunteer please read?

And Joseph said: “God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming to the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. The famine will be so bad that you won’t even remember the abundant times! So, collect all the food you can during these good years that are coming. This food should be stored for the country, so that the country may not be ruined by the seven years of famine.” Pharoah was delighted with Joseph and put him in charge of all Egypt. When the seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” Joseph had stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea. When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians. All the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, even his own family, because the famine was severe everywhere. (Genesis 41:28-57, author’s paraphrase)

2C: In the large group, discuss: How did Joseph use his abilities to plan ahead, save, or set goals? We’ll hear a variety of voices. 59

Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide

Joseph wisely planned ahead, predicting future needs and setting goals to meet them with a plan of action. And even more than setting goals and planning ahead, Joseph used the assets God gave him—his ability as an interpreter and his stores of grain—to support his family and stabilize the whole community during crisis. Like our second theme posted on the wall, Joseph used his resources as part of something larger than himself. Saving and planning was not just for his personal gain or security but was part of God’s work of restoration. 2D: Find a new partner—someone across the room! Consider a time in your own life when you set any type of future goal and fulfilled it. What were the key actions you took to meet your goal? For example, maybe you had to sacrifice time or opportunities. Discuss the key actions with your partner for three minutes. Then, we’ll list some of your ideas on the flipchart entitled: Meeting our Goals.

[Suggest if not mentioned: planning ahead, giving up harmful relationships, delaying gratification, avoiding distractions, asking for help from others, doing research.]



Like these experiences we’ve listed, Eva and Isaac need clear, actionable goals if they are going to succeed at saving. They know that saving is essential and that there are no shortcuts. They also know they must do it together. As you mentioned, meeting their goals is going to require sacrifice, discipline, and help. Like all of us, sometimes they struggle just to get by on a day-to-day basis and to make ends meet. Ø From our past sessions, what do you remember about Eva and Isaac—their finances and relationships? 3A: Listen to Eva and Isaac’s story as we continue. This time, let’s act out the story! I need 5 volunteers to role play the story as I tell it: Isaac, Eva, Jessica, the elder, and Eva’s mother Dolores. You don’t have to say anything—just show us your best acting skills with gestures! As you watch and listen, note Eva and Isaac’s long and short-term savings goals. EVA AND ISAAC’S SAVINGS GOALS

Eva is exhausted, falling into her chair at the day’s end. She’s tired of the cycle that her family is in— she knows that God has invited them to become part of His larger story in restoring all things. Eva is ready to take action. Later that evening, she graciously interrupts Isaac while he’s watching football, asking him if they can talk about savings goals. They laugh, disagree, debate, ponder—and then finally agree that the family needs a savings fund for emergencies. They shake on it: their long-term goal is to build a $500 emergency fund. As Eva and Isaac examine their expense tracking sheets, they decide they can save $25 per month toward this goal. 60

Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals

But it’s hard to find that $25 a month when other expenses are so high! They really need a lump sum of money to buy that washer and dryer. As she walked home from work the next day, Eva stopped back in at Green n’ Go Payday Loans to see Jessica, the lender. As usual, Jessica was so friendly— and there was free popcorn as always! But as always, the deal sounded too good to be true. Eva tried to be polite as she walked out. She refuses to get the money that way again—it took them all year to pay off that loan last year with the hidden costs. Instead of taking a loan, Isaac suggests they set a short-term goal of saving for a washer and dryer. With laundry expenses at almost $15 per week, a washer and dryer would save money and time in the long run—which would allow them to work toward their long-term goal. After six months, their investment in the machines will pay off. Plus, Eva would feel safer not having to go out at night to the laundromat. If the machines were at home, her mother Dolores said she would also be delighted to help! Dolores asked around at the church and found an elder she trusts who agreed to sell his good, used set for $60. She introduced the elder to the couple. Eva trusts they are better quality than the pawn shop and will make their investment worth it. To reach their long-term goal of having an emergency fund, Isaac and Eva know they must be faithful to their short-term goal of getting a good washer and dryer. They commit to saving $10 per month toward the washer and dryer. The elder agreed they could Venmo him the $10 per month until the


Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide

washer and dryer are paid for. It was a done deal—they shook on it 3 ways! If they stick with it, they’ll have the washer and dryer in six months. That night at dinner, Eva, Isaac and Dolores discuss their new savings plan. This gives Eva even more motivation to cut back on smoking. But she knows she can’t do it alone. Instead of smoke breaks at work, Eva and a co-worker commit to take walks to destress. She also tells Isaac and her mother about her plan to cut back and asks for their support. They all agree to think about ways to cut costs. Isaac agrees to eat at home for the rest of the month, plus he suggests some ideas about saving energy. Dolores offers to make the family’s favorite soup in large batches. That night around the table at dinner, the three of them pray together about their savings goals. 3B: On the flipchart, let’s write out Eva and Isaac’s long-term goals, short-term goals, and plan for reaching these goals. As I write each category, you call out the savings goal, how long it will take, the total amount, and their plan to reach the goal. EVA AND ISAAC’S SAVINGS GOALS

LONG-TERM GOAL Emergency fund for the family

SHORT-TERM GOAL Used washer and dryer


TIME About 2 years (20-24 months)



TIME 6 months

WEEKLY COST About $2.50

SHORT-TERM PLAN TO REACH GOAL Commit to develop a savings fund; plan together to invest in washer/dryer

PLAN TO REACH GOAL Found a good quality washer and dryer; cut back on smoking and eating out

3C: Now, in the large group, discuss:

Ø What do you like about Eva and Isaac’s savings plan? Ø What challenges might they face? Notice how their short-term goals connect to their long-term goals, enabling them to immediately take small steps—like saving $2.50 per week—that contribute to their long-term goal of protecting the family with an emergency fund. Also, note how working together through their finances is helping


Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals

to restore relationships in the household. As we work through our own savings goals, think about how working together on finances can help to build and restore relationships with those you love.



4A: Consider your own savings goals. First, set your long-term goals. Long-term goals are usually one to five years away—these are the big picture goals. For long-term goals, ask yourself: Where do you want to be in five years? Call out some quick examples of possible long-term goals.

Next, set short term goals. These short-term goals are things you want to accomplish within the next six months to one year. Usually, short-term goals are steps toward reaching long-term ones. What are some quick examples of possible short-term goals? 4B: Let’s write down our long-term goals first. Before we complete the Long-term Goals worksheet, note the recommendations in your workbook entitled SMART Savings Goals:

SMART SAVINGS GOALS Your savings goals should be: Specific—to measure what you’re aiming for and remember why you’re sacrificing Made to honor God—connect them to your top priorities and His work in the world Accountable—ask someone to check on you or send reminders Realistic—to increase the likelihood of achieving them Time-bound—to track your progress and ensure the goal is accomplished

4C: As I name some examples of long-term goals that are too general, not accountable or realistic, or disconnected from your top priorities, call out how you would change them to become more specific, realistic, accountable, time-bound, and God-honoring. For each goal, we’ll ask: What is wrong with this goal? How would you change it?


Save $200,000 over the next two years


Get more money for emergencies


Open a secret savings fund apart from my spouse or partner


Own a brand-new car within six months


Buy high-end clothes so people know I have money 63

Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide

4D: Now, examine the Long-term Goals worksheet in your workbook. Let’s read through the example listed. Let’s say that your long-term goal is to save $4,000 for your son’s two-year technical college tuition. He’s in eighth grade now, so you’ve got five years to save. How many months is five years? (60) How much will you have to save every month for 60 months to reach your goal? ($4,000 / 60 = $66.67) Let’s do the math together.

Now, in the example, what are the two short-term action steps listed to reach this long-term goal? 4E: Take five minutes to list your top two long-term goals on the Long-term Goals worksheet. I am available if you need help. 4F: Examine the long-term goals you have listed. Identify the one that really excites you or is most important. Make this your primary long-term goal. Commit yourself to accomplishing it! Think: How does this goal align with God’s plan to heal my relationships? How does it relate to what I value most? LONG-TERM GOALS3 (1 TO 5 YEARS)




Example: We want our son who is in 8th grade to eventually enroll in the 2-year technical college

$4,000 including tuition, books, and fees

TIMEFRAME (YEARS AND MONTHS) 5 years/ 60 months

Derived from Nederveld and Chung, Faith & Finances, Session VI, page 7.



SHORT-TERM PLAN TO REACH MY GOAL I will talk to my wife and open a special savings account. We will completely pay off an old medical debt of $300 so we can start saving.

Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals

4G: In the large group, share the long-term goal you have selected—why your goal is important, the time frame, the cost, and how you will reach it. We’ll hear from two or three of you.

Excellent! Now, let’s brainstorm how you will reach that goal by setting short-term goals. These shortterm goals should help you toward your long-term goal. For example, as written in your notes, once you pay off your old medical debt of $300 as a short-term goal, you can use that money to start working toward your long-term goal of starting a savings fund for your son’s college. Let’s do the math together: If you want to complete this in six months, how many weeks is that? (About 24 weeks) How much will you have to save each week? ($300 / 24 = $12.50) 4H: On the Short-Term Goals chart in your notes, list three short-term goals that will help you reach your long-term goal. Calculate how much you will need to save each week and describe how you will do it. Let me know how I can help you.



5A: Examine your short-term goals and add them up to see how much you’ve committed to save every week. Is this a realistic amount you’ve set for yourself? You may have to begin by choosing from several good goals.

Since there are about four weeks in a month, multiply this amount by four. How much should you commit to save per month? Which goals should you prioritize?

Weekly savings of _________( x 4 ) = ____________ Monthly Savings

5B: Look back at your short-term goals and consider:

Ø What are the pros and cons of my goals? Are they realistic amounts? Ø Who will hold me accountable when obstacles get in the way? Ø How do my goals contribute to God’s plan to restore my relationships? 5C: Adjust your goals if needed. Each person is welcome to share one short-term goal, including the cost and strategy, in the large group—but only if you’d like to. We’ll evaluate the goals we’ve heard and offer feedback to each other.


Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide


SHORT-TERM GOAL: I OR WE WILL… Example: We need to pay off an old medical debt.


TIMEFRAME (MONTHS AND WEEKS) 6 months/ 24 weeks



$12.50 per week

For the next six months, our family will only buy snacks at the gas station once a month. I will bring my lunch to work in a brown bag 4 days a week instead of eating at the cafeteria.

5D: Evaluate the short-term savings goals you have heard from others. Give a comment, suggestion, or praise by handing one of these four symbols to someone.

Then, we’ll offer feedback to each other for 10 minutes.


Derived from Nederveld and Chung, Faith & Finances, Session VI, page 8.


Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals

ü Check Mark – for a goal or idea that you affirm as realistic to experience I’ll pass you a check mark, Peter, because I like your goal of________... +

Plus Sign – for a goal or idea that you would add to... I want to offer you a plus. I suggest adding ___________ to your goal…


Triangle – for a goal or idea that you would change or subtract from I want to offer you a triangle, because I suggest changing ___________...


Question Mark – for a goal or idea that you have further questions about I have a question about your goal, Mariela, so I pass you this question mark…



This week, let’s go out and practice two things. 6A: First, commit to share your long and short-term savings goals with at least one other person in your life who can support you. This should be a positive person who can help you reach them. Ask them to check in on your progress regularly. Take a few moments to write this person’s name in the box in your notes. I will share my savings goals with:

6B: Second, continue tracking all of your daily income and expenses on the sheets provided.

Next week, each person will examine their daily income and expenses and develop a monthly spending plan. In order to develop this monthly plan, you must bring all of the income and expense tracking information that you have recorded over the past several weeks. Also, bring in copies of your receipts, checks, or bills if you can—for example, phone, electric, water, and cable bills. We’ll keep all of this confidential; you won’t be asked to share it with the large group. Come to our next meeting with as much knowledge and documentation as you can about your own income and expenses. The more you know when you arrive, the better equipped you’ll be to prepare a spending plan that will help you to meet your savings goals. 6C: Before we close, would a volunteer please pray for God to give us courage and discipline in sharing our savings goals and tracking our daily expenses.


Faith & Finances Facilitator Guide







Unit 4: Setting Savings Goals







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