Includes workbook and audio lessons
Welcome to No Strings, a study for Christians seeking true financial freedom in their lives, no matter the size of their bank accounts.
Whether you are an individual, couple, small group or leadership team, this twelve lesson experience leads you on an interactive journey to explore money questions with God and your Christian community.
No Strings is not about the mechanics of budgeting, saving, or getting out of debt. It looks instead at what Scripture teaches about possessions, finances and our hearts. The exercises and reflections invite honest and real conversations with yourself and God about what really matters to you regarding money.
Money may be an uncommon dinner table topic, but Jesus didn’t shy away from it, especially when addressing the condition of people’s hearts and their relationship with each other and with Him.
It is the rare person among us, though, that can enter into a discussion about money with any measure of the freedom that Jesus possessed. Often a conversation about money, even in church settings, is filled with emotional minefields like guilt, shame, resentment, defensiveness, and even manipulation. We rarely feel safe exploring the topic of our finances because of these reactions.
Yet, underneath our fears, we also suspect that we have personal issues with money, ones that can’t be fixed by merely learning new ways to control our behaviors. We can seek to change our actions by setting up financial structures that put boundaries around the way that we spend, save and give; or request the help of financial advisers to make wise money decisions. But as good as these external options are, unless we are willing to look internally at the way our resources affect our emotions, at what motivates our spending decisions, and at the underlying meaning that we attach to the assets that we possess or desire, then we have not explored all that Jesus wants us to evaluate.
If we desire lasting change and true freedom regarding money, we need to look at the deeper issues of our hearts.
Topics We Examine
So, how can we untangle the strings of our hearts that may be attached to our money or possessions? How can we overcome the awkwardness and interact with God and others as we explore the meaning of money in our lives?
No Strings provides a structure for processing important questions that are relevant to your life.
- What is true financial freedom?
- How does money compete with our relationship with God?
- What does our financial history and reputation tell us about our hearts?
- How does our money/possessions affect our sense of identity?
- What or who do we turn to for security?
- How can we learn contentment?
- What practices help us navigate the financial freedom God offers us?
- How can we partner with God in all of our financial dealings?
How the Study Works
No Strings works because it gets you involved. The study guides you to interact with God through the Word, prayer and reflection. It encourages you to think deeply about what the Bible teaches about money and possessions, and to explore your emotional responses throughout the learning process. Each of these components prepare you to contribute to the group discussion at the end of each lesson.
No Strings includes personal activities and a group discussion guide which in total take between 2-3 hours to complete each week.
There is an audio podcast which begins the activities for each of the 12 sessions. The lesson podcast focuses on the Scripture for the week, offering opportunities to listen to the verses and to consider application of the biblical concepts in your relationship with money, God and others. Each recording is 15 minutes long and can be accessed on the Grafted Life website.
The Real Life Practice
After you have listened to the Lesson, you are invited to practice the scriptural concepts in your life. These activities are designed to help you engage with and process your current financial realities.
Participating in these practices allows you to experience how your heart is potentially attached to money or possessions rather than to God. They help you to see where growth is needed and where small changes can make a big difference in the way you relate to your resources.
After completing the Real Life Practice, you are led through a short series of questions that help you observe what happened in the practice. These opportunities for evaluation are designed to bring your full attention to what happened, and to increase your ability to see the whole picture, evaluate your emotional responses, and expand your perspective. This also gives you an opportunity to include God in the process, asking that His perspective be added to your own insight about the experience.
To complete the personal exercises for the session, you will answer a series of reflective questions designed to integrate the components of the study. These questions give you an opportunity to revisit the Scripture verses and the Lesson and to consider your own thoughts and feeling about the material. This ending evaluation allows you to prayerfully consider what has been beneficial and what you would like to apply going forward.
Note: There are additional reflections for each lesson written specifically for Christians in leadership positions. These supplemental questions guide you to consider how you relate with money in your place of employment whether you work in a nonprofit or corporate environment.
The Group Discussion
At the end of each session, you will find questions for group discussion. These conversation starters are designed to help those who are participating in the study to share their experiences with others. During this time, you will never be asked to reveal personal financial information to others in your group.
The group dialogue provides opportunity to verbally process what happened in your personal reflection, to synthesize the activities, and to bring clarity around what God is doing in your heart and life. Participating in this community experience also gives you an opportunity to learn from other people’s stories and perspectives.
Ready to Get Started?
If you have any questions about the content of No Strings or about how this study could be used in your church or ministry we would love to talk with you. Don’t hesitate to give us a call!