Q&A With Art Rainer on his book The Money Challenge
Working in financial institutions and ministry situations, Art Rainer noticed many people were struggling with how their spiritual life connected to their fiscal life. He saw people achieve sound financial health and still be unhappy with their resources.
In his new book, The Money Challenge, Rainer helps people see financial health not as an end, but a means to a greater, more satisfying end. The book desires to align the reader with God’s design for them and their money.
Facts & Trends spoke with Rainer about the book and what he hopes church leaders and pastors can draw from it.
What prompted you to write The Money Challenge?
Like many Americans, those in the church are experiencing significant financial stress. It is impacting their career, ministry, family, and their generosity. God designed us not to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows.
The Money Challenge helps readers discover and realize this design. My hope is that readers will begin living the fulfilling, adventurous, and generous life on which too many of us are missing out.
Why did you start writing about financial issues? How have some of these principles affected your life personally?
I am a story of one that chose, starting in his teenage years, to use sound, basic financial wisdom and the results that can come from it. The advice found in The Money Challenge really works. I’ve experienced it firsthand.
Unfortunately, there are many out there who have or are making harmful financial choices. From working in a bank to working in a church, I have heard many of these stories. And I just want to help.
I want to help people right their financial picture and steward their money the way God intended them to steward it. I want to see pain, frustration, and stress replaced with contentment, joy, and open-handedness.
What is the biggest misunderstanding you’ve seen among Christians when it comes to understanding God’s design for our money?
Generosity is about the leftovers. For many Christians, generosity is what happens once all of their needs and wants are met. But this is not what the Bible teaches us. Generosity is a priority. Our giving is meant to be the sun around which our budget revolves.
Why is it so important that believers manage their money well?
God has allowed us to be a part of His Kingdom-advancing mission. He has given each of us resources to use for His glory and His mission. When we mismanage our money, we erect barriers to leveraging our resources for His mission.
We get frustrated. We feel stressed. We feel like we are missing out on something—because we are. We are missing out on the open-handed life God designed us to live.
What is the purpose of the challenges at the end of each chapter?
There are thirty different challenges throughout the book. Some challenges involve money, while others do not. The challenges are meant to help readers consider, and even, experience the generous life whether they have much or little.
How do you hope that individuals use the book? How can pastors use this book to lead their congregation toward greater biblical stewardship?
I hope individuals use this book to restore health to their finances, but not just for the sake of being financially healthy. My concern is not that they become rich but enriched, to be in a place where they can live more open-handed and generous.
The Money Challenge teaches that the local church is the priority for one’s giving. Pastors can use this book to initiate a 30-day Money Challenge for church members or make it a part of a sermon series.
What do you hope readers do after reading this book?
I hope they continue on their journey to financial health and generous living. I hope that they continue to pursue the contentment and adventure God has for us when we align our money with His design. And, of course, I hope they invite their friend to try The Money Challenge.
ART RAINER is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and an MBA from the University of Kentucky.