Healthy pastors lead to healthy churches. This concept is the driving force behind STCH Ministries Pastor Care. The ministry was designed to strengthen and replenish the well-being of church leaders by providing confidential counseling for ministry families and pulpit supply when time away is needed. So when Texas Baptists approached STCH Ministries Faith & Finances to partner and provide training for pastors and churches within the convention, it was an easy decision.
STCH MINISTRIES originally taught financial courses within the Jobs for Life (now Faith & Work) curriculum, but they quickly realized that the program could reach a wider audience on its own. The team reached out to the Chalmers Center to create a partnership where STCH Ministries could teach the curriculum and train class facilitators. In 2016, STCH Ministries taught Faith & Finances as a twelve-week program for families, youth and church members to learn what the Bible says about managing money. In 2020, Faith & Finances served 524 individuals through classes primarily taught in the Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio areas. Texas Baptists recognized the need for pastors themselves and their congregations to receive financial training and reached out to STCH Ministries Faith & Finances to partner together.
The proposed partnership would “provide financial literacy education to Texas Baptists pastors and churches across the state that is affordable, faith-based, easily understood and proven to be effective.*” Texas Baptists agreed to pay for the cost of the certification and curriculum with grant funds from the Lilly Endowment through the Center for Ministerial Health, Financial Health area. The African American Ministry, Inter-Cultural Ministry, Church Starting Team and Texas Baptists en Espanol would approve pastors and designated church leaders for facilitator trainings. STCH Ministries would teach the classes as a ten-week condensed class for these pastors or their designated leaders and combine them with the facilitator training. This would allow pastors and church leaders to turn around and facilitate the classes for their own congregations.
At this point, the Chalmers Center had not created a Spanish Faith & Finances Facilitator Certification Course. STCH Ministries staff worked with the Chalmers Center to create a new Spanish
Certification Course and finalized the material in October 2021. Nick Holguin, a volunteer facilitator from San Antonio, launched the Spanish Facilitator Course for the pastors and church leaders from Texas Baptists. This will be the first class to complete the new Spanish Certification Course on the Chalmers website in November 2021. Thanks to this collaborative effort, the Spanish Certification Course will be available for all of the Chalmers Center partners worldwide.
The Faith & Finances directors all have pastoral backgrounds, so from the beginning they understood the impact the programs could have on churches and the kingdom of God. They knew from experiences with other Faith & Finances classes that when pastors and leaders stand behind the course, the congregation will also be more committed and involved. The widespread buy-in has helped in the teaching of the classes. “Pastors know the concepts, and it is a lot of the things they are teaching and have been teaching for years, and to hear another pastor expound on those areas and offer additional insights and frame it in the way the Chalmers Center has laid out the curriculum has been really helpful for a lot of them. It has been exciting,” shared Darrell Jackson, pastor and Faith & Finances director in Houston.
Even within the first few weeks of the classes, STCH Ministries received very positive feedback from individuals taking the class.
“I am really enjoying the class so far. The class will have great value on our church in which I will be ministering too. The benefits of the class will be for me to teach what I have learned in the class, such as learning to budget, which involves keeping a daily log on the money they spend daily. I plan to use the Faith & Finances material to help put more money into our church myself and to teach the church on how to budget more and to get more from the money they make.” – Alethea Russell co-founder of City of Hope Project in Dallas, Texas
“I believe every church should have a financial seminar at least once a year. The benefits to our memberships would be invaluable in learning the stewardship of God’s money and our responsibilities in its use. I plan to use the Faith & Finances materials in holding classes for our congregation, the faith community in my city and the community as a whole. I think that the materials can and will be used during stewardship month in our church.” – Pastor Billy R. Ashley, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church of Midland, Texas
“The Faith & Finances class provides good information for Christian families, and it helps to eliminate erroneous concepts about money and our relationship with money. The impact this class can provoke is to teach families to supply for their immediate needs, as a result, to learn to be better stewards of the goods that God provides them and reciprocally contribute in a better way to the kingdom of God.” – Pastor Eduardo Carrasquillo from Centro Cristiano Moreh in Killeen, Texas (Translated from Spanish)
“I am grateful for Texas Baptists work in Texas generally and with Hispanics specifically. I pray that the Faith & Finances resource is a blessing that reverberates through Texas Baptists in the coming years.” – Jesse Rincones, J.D., Executive Director, Convención Bautista Hispana de Texas (Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas)
“When my wife and I learned about STCH Ministries Faith & Finances, and especially the opportunity to be trained as facilitators, we wanted to help our church and the community get healthier in their finances as well. Many thanks for your efforts for us, and for our Master, and for investing your time in us.” – Pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista de Belton, Texas (Translated from Spanish)
“Brothers in Christ. I am very grateful for this Fe y Finanzas class that we are receiving. This class is helping me in managing my personal finances. This class has challenged me to strictly control my expenses. I told sister Yesenia that after finishing the Fe y Finanzas class, I will teach this class in my church. Many of my members have problems with their finances. They no longer see another option for getting out of debt. I believe that the Lord has shown us a way of how we can help the Church.” – Pastor Dario Bá Xuc from Bautista Emmanuel Guatemala (Translated from Spanish)
STCH Ministries is excited to see how this partnership with Texas Baptists will continue to grow. The initial agreement is to teach the facilitator course to pastors and church leaders of 100 Spanish speaking churches and 100 African American churches, but STCH Ministries directors do not want to stop there. They are looking forward to reaching other pastors and church leaders across Texas, the United States and internationally. With the ability to teach by Zoom, the possibilities are endless. On top of these classes, their goal is to teach individuals in all walks of life and are always looking for facilitators to join the team. If you are interested in serving or want to attend a class, visit www.STCHM.org/ff.