Maintaining Momentum – November 15
Runners and cyclists know that when you’re out in the middle of a long-distance jaunt and the going gets tough, it doesn’t help to micro-manage your progress. It’s easier to maintain your momentum by keeping your head up, engaging with your surroundings and trusting your body to click through the miles in an auto-pilot sort of way. The same can be true when giving to a cause over months and even years.
In this second week of our Start to Finish stewardship emphasis, in which we’re highlighting our journey together as the people of Wilshire, we look at what it takes to stay engaged and committed to a plan of giving.
Wilshire makes it easy to give by accepting gifts in every form imaginable. Today, 52 percent of us are using some form of “eGiving” for our gifts to the church, and as it turns out, automation can be a key to staying on course once you’ve committed to give regularly.
“I always suggest to my clients that they set it up on an automatic bank draft, or if a church accepts it, a debit card or credit card,” said Judy Ward, Wilshire member and financial advisor with New York Life.
“If a person has to write a check or generate a payment, it often comes out of the end of their personal finance process. But if you set it up where it is automatic, and you have to make an effort to opt out, then it takes on a whole different connotation.”
Ward said it’s understandable that life brings challenges that can change giving plans. She’s had clients that have pulled back from their regular giving or saving to do things like help adult children with financial needs.
“It was important enough that they felt like that was what they were called to do, and I can’t disagree with people who feel strongly about that,” she said. “But then again, there are those who by hook and by crook are going to continue what they are doing, no matter what, and they certainly don’t regret it.”
Rationalization can also come into play sometimes, and there again, automated giving can help us stay on track as we lean into our faith.
“God sticks with us through the good times as well as the bad,” said Ward. “Isn’t it incumbent upon us as Jesus followers to show him the same respect in both faith and actions?”