In the first six months of founding Jacob’s Well in Minneapolis, Greg Meyer, pastor, launched a sermon series on money. But it’s grown — the community’s focus on faith and finances continues with their financial coaching program.

“Our coaches tend not to work as financial advisers in their day jobs,” Meyer said, “but they know how finances work. They’re people experts, not financial experts.”

The congregation provides a connection to anyone in the faith community seeking a free financial coach. The program features prominently on the congregation’s website where biographies of different coaches are profiled. As opposed to some professional financial advisers, coaches for Jacob’s Well promise not to sell any services.

The coaches do receive training, and as one explains, “The ideas might come from both of us, but the solutions will be yours to own. … I’m here to support and encourage you and act as a sounding board as you pursue your own alignment goals.”

Meyer said the coaches are meant to be “persistent in a friendly way.”

In one of the sermon series on money, Meyer encouraged everyone in the congregation who didn’t tithe (give 10 percent of one’s income to the church) to try it for three months. But there was a catch: “Don’t give your money to us,” Meyer said, “tithe someplace else that matches with your values.”

Meyer wanted to be clear that tithing isn’t about getting the congregation money, but “it’s about you and your relationship with money. So try it and see what you think.”

He believes tithing has a positive effect on people’s lives. “If we help people experience that,” Meyer said, “then the support comes.”

Adam J. Copeland
Adam Copeland teaches at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., where he is director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.

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