This week's Ask the Matriarch is probably our shortest ever, mostly owing to everyone including myself being swamped for the holidays. But it's a fairly pointed question and one that needs addressing quickly, and Ann's advice is so spot-on helpful that we have to share:
We have an older woman who has bounced 4 or 5 offering cheques this year—two of them this month. What is the best way to approach her?
Directly—but with the attitude that you are concerned about the charges she is incurring by bouncing checks. Try to open the door to a conversation about the stewardship of her personal resources.
Perhaps she could use a non-profit service that helps people with budgeting (not one of those debt consolidation businesses who end up with the money + interest). Bouncing checks is a sign that she is in over her head—and may not know how to get out of it. Giving to the church as much as she is giving may be too much.
2008 is almost here!
We have a few loose-end questions that I hope to run in January, but in the meantime, we invite your questions about things you're experiencing in your ministry! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. All queries are kept confidential.