Nothing makes me feel quite as vulnerable as talking about money. It is taboo, it is embarrassing, and yet it is also necessary.
Over the last week I have been trying to build up my support team for my new job with GOHOP. I’m in the process of sending out emails asking friends, family, and strangers to consider being part of my monthly support team. As you push “send” you feel so exposed, raw and open to criticism. As responses come in you realize you still have a lot of work to do but you also feel reassured as people (regardless of whether they can give) send encouraging words.
This isn’t the first time I have had to do this. When I was the pastor of The Commons (a little Mennonite Church plant) this was a yearly rhythm. I remember the first time I stood up and asked my church friends to consider tithing (a spiritual practice of giving a percentage). After I explained the budget and asked everyone to consider what they could give, the first person who ran up to me to talk was one of the people I felt bad about asking (I knew they didn’t have a lot of money). This person was so excited to be asked but then confessed “I have felt so bad about never being able to give. I have been stuck in a cycle of PayDay loans and I’m in so much debt.” Being open about talking about my own financial needs broke the money taboo and my friend could now talk about their debt. On multiple occasions as a pastor these fundraising conversations led to conversations about debt. Each time I was able to refer people to debt counseling and watch them become unburdened by their money secret and work to be free from their debt.
As I am once again awkwardly asking for money I’m leaning into my past learnings about being willing to talk openly and honestly about money. If you have your own experiences about talking about money I would love to hear them.
If you are curious about my own financial support goals check out: randellneudorf.com/gohop