It Begins with Starting

by | Nov 8, 2020 | Stewardship

It Begins with Starting – November 8

Take a long walk at White Rock Lake and you’ll see multiple “Start” signs chalked on the sidewalk. Each one represents the place where a group of people set out together on a competitive race or a charitable walk. We don’t know how many of those people got to the finish line or how long it took them. We just know they got started, and starting is everything.

In this first week of our Start to Finish emphasis, in which we’re highlighting our journey together as the people of Wilshire, we look at what it takes to make a good start in our giving. Which, as it turns out, is not unlike what it takes to get started saving.

Jon-Erik Schoellhorn, Wilshire member and financial advisor with Edward Jones, said many people have trouble getting started on a plan of giving for much the same reasons they have trouble getting started on saving.

“Starting really needs to be not so much focused on the money aspect first but on the why and the intent,” he said. “The critical step that’s skipped is planning — understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. Yet most of society is just doing things. They read a report, they see a TV show, and they start doing things without any real contemplation of ‘what’s the intent?’ I think a giving plan would be the same way, where you need to spend some time with that. What drives you to want to do that in your teachings from the Bible and in just your personal moral ethics?”

Schoellhorn said givers, like savers, can be intimidated by the “norms” that often are attached to those efforts, whether it’s a 10% tithe to the church or a 10% contribution to a retirement plan.

“People feel they can’t do that, and instead of saying they can commit to one or two percent now and increasing that over time, they make a binary decision of yes or no versus a progression,” he said.

Another hurdle is the prospect of failure, but you can’t base your decisions on past performance.

“That’s looking backward; that’s already happened,” said Schoellhorn. “But if you’re setting goals, that’s forward looking. And you can see, even if it’s in small increments, that you’re making progress and eventually you’ll get to that finish line.”