How to Talk About Time and Money Without Being Weird - Life.Church Leaders

How to Talk About Time and Money Without Being Weird

by Leaders.Life Team

We talk about a lot of personal things at LifeGroup. After all, that’s how friendships grow. But why do certain topics feel more off-limits than others? For example, how often do you talk about your weekly screen time report with your LifeGroup? Or when was the last time you talked about your budget or went line-by-line over your most recent bank statement?

Okay, these examples might be a little extreme. You probably don’t want to swap bank statements. But you get the point—talking about money and time can get weird and uncomfortable.

How we spend our time is ultimately how we spend our lives.

But here’s the thing: Time and money are essential parts of functioning as a human. After all, you can’t buy food if you don’t have money. And how we spend our time is ultimately how we spend our lives.

The gospel requires a whole-life response.

Other than the Kingdom of God, money is actually the topic Jesus talked about most, so how we use it matters. Sometimes we’re tempted to think that only certain parts of our lives are spiritual, like going to church, reading the Bible, etc. But the gospel requires a whole-life response. And that includes how we spend our time and money. So, it’s okay—and encouraged—for us to talk about it with others.

But we get it. Talking about these topics can be sensitive, so we want to approach them with as much grace as possible and as little awkwardness as possible. We got you. Check out some tips below as you approach the conversation.

Here are three ways to talk about time and money without being weird:

1. Address the tension. When you bring up a topic like managing time and money, it’s likely that people are going to feel tense. They might show up for LifeGroup with a racing heart and sweaty palms. And it’s difficult to have conversations if people feel on-edge about the topic before you even have a chance to start talking.

So take time for people to share what hesitations or tensions they’re feeling about this topic. This is especially valuable if you plan on spending multiple weeks talking about these things. By giving people a space to share what’s making them nervous, you’ll be able to navigate future conversations well.

If you’re not sure how to bring this topic up to your LifeGroup, start with Scripture. Jesus talks a lot about how we’re supposed to manage our resources. Here are just a few examples to get you started:

Those are just a few examples, but there’s plenty more. So consider picking a verse or parable to read together as a LifeGroup, then let the first conversation flow naturally from there. Here are some potential questions you can ask:

2. Embrace empathy. As people are talking about the different tension they might be navigating, keep empathy at the front of your mind. Everyone in your LifeGroup is going to be starting at different places with unique situations, so empathy is key. You don’t want to say anything that ends in people feeling guilty or ashamed of where they’re at.

We all have different next steps but a common purpose of growing closer to Jesus.

Also, beware of the comparison trap. It’s so easy to compare where you are with where others are. Instead, lead with compassion. This helps us recognize that we all have different next steps but a common purpose of growing closer to Jesus.

Ultimately, focus on having a teachable, humble spirit that is open God and His Word, and encourage your LifeGroup to do that too.

Bonus tip: As you embrace empathy, you might consider setting some ground rules as your LifeGroup talks about these topics. Perhaps you decide to talk about principles instead of specifics when it comes to finances. Maybe you come up with a word or phrase someone can say if they are uncomfortable. Just think through how you can create a gracious, safe space while also challenging one another to learn and grow, and empathy is a key part of this.

3. Practice accountability. Every person in your LifeGroup has experiences and perspectives unique to them, which means every person has something to offer. While they may have questions or want guidance in one area, they may be the perfect person to share wisdom in something else. Use this as an opportunity for your LifeGroup to practice accountability, especially if you haven’t before.

Accountability helps people make the changes they need to make in a healthy, safe space. Changes to our finances or calendars aren’t going to happen overnight, and for some people, that can be especially difficult. Accountability encourages people to keep pushing when they want to give up and ensure they aren’t alone in making hard changes.

This can be as simple as a short check-in each week about progress people have made. It could also include grabbing coffee with someone and looking over their budget or schedule together to identify what’s working and what’s not. And it also can include following up every couple of weeks to see how that person is doing.

It’s not easy or comfortable to talk about time and money with others. But as a LifeGroup leader, choosing to have these conversations can lead to positive change that honors God and serves others.

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