My wife and I regularly attend Pathways Church, and heard about the weekly Thrivent workshops that were being offered. One Sunday we talked with the Church Groups representative from Thrivent about what topics would be covered each week. There were three that particularly pertained to our situation, but they also had tailored sessions for young couples and families, young children, and teenagers. The Thrivent folks were there to minister to the Church. There were no services or products being sold.
Being part of the "Boomer generation" I expected a presentation of financial facts that would help us in our decisions regarding retirement planning, social security, and passing on a legacy. Indeed, it was all of that. But the workshop turned out to be more than just rules and options. The Thrivent workshop leaders presented a godly and biblical view of money and our role in being good stewards. Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about money? Our personal money mindset determines a great deal about how we use our wealth (whatever that happens to be).
Consumerism is a temptation that is intentionally directed at all of us. It tells us that we deserve a break today. It pushes us to spend our money on material things, and is how most modern advertising works. I really liked that these workshops presented the cure for consumerism. And that cure is generosity.
We enjoyed meaningful interaction with the workshop participants and the Thrivent team. It was helpful, fun, and thought provoking. I even found myself touched at times as people shared their personal stories. In addition, I made some new friends. The content not only stimulated me to get my own house in order, but also to ensure that our daily walk with Jesus is a generous one. Once we've put our trust in the Lord for our salvation, there are few things that are more important than striving to live generously. I think that many Christians would find significant value in these workshops.