As financial coaches, we often have our own opinions about all kinds of budget items, like tithing, travel, housing, you name it. But here’s the thing: when we’re coaching, our personal views on these matters don’t really hold much weight.

It’s kind of like how whether or not I love lattes (and I do!) doesn’t matter when I’m helping you figure out your coffee budget.

Let’s dive into why this is super important, especially when it comes to something as personal as tithing.

This is the final episode in a series about expanding your coaching skills. Be sure to check out episode 17, where I share the framework, episode 18 where I share the model, and episode 19 where we talk about the key traits of great coaching.

 

Tithing: More Than Just a Budget Line

Tithing is a big deal for a lot of folks. For some, it’s an absolute must, a part of their identity. For others, it might feel like a burden or just not something they’re into. And all of that is okay! As financial coaches, we’re not here to judge. We’re here to guide.

We’re not here to tell clients if they should or shouldn’t tithe, just like we wouldn’t tell them to stop buying those cute shoes they love so much. It’s all about what matters to your clients.

Navigating the Tithing Conversation

Let’s say a client comes to you with big financial dreams and you start looking at where their money’s going. You hit the tithing part and the client gives you a shrug. That’s your cue to get curious, not critical. Here’s how you might tackle it:

Understanding Their View on Tithing:

  • Ask them what tithing means to them personally. Is it something they’re passionate about, or is it more of a habit?
  • Then look at how much they’re tithing and check if it still makes sense with their current financial picture.

Exploring Your Tithing Choices:

  • How do they decide what amount to tithe? Is it a set percentage, or do they have another method?
  • What value does tithing bring to their life? Does it make them feel connected, generous, fulfilled?

Action Steps in Tithing

After chatting about it, your client might need some time to think things over. That’s totally fine. You can recalibrate their tithe amount or even explore non-monetary ways of tithing if that feels more aligned with their current situation. The key here is that they are making these choices, not you, the coach.

Why Your Coach’s Opinion is on the Back Burner

As coaches, our main gig is to empower the client, not to push our personal agendas or beliefs. Sure, we all have opinions, but when we’re in coach mode, it’s all about what works best for the client. We’re like their financial GPS – we help you find the route, but they’re the one driving the car.

The Coaching Model in Action

Remember the Circumstances-Thoughts-Feelings-Actions-Results model from our past chats? Let’s apply that to tithing:

  • The circumstance is their current tithing situation.
  • Their thoughts might be something like, “I’m not sure this amount feels right anymore.”
  • That thought leads to feelings, maybe uncertainty or a desire to change.
  • Their action could be adjusting their tithe, talking to a spiritual advisor, or something else.
  • The result? They feel more in tune with their financial and spiritual goals.

Keeping Our Biases in Check

We all have our hang-ups and preferences, right? Like, I might think spending a bunch on clothes is wild, but that’s just me. As a coach, your job is to help clients see if that spending is bringing them joy or just filling up their closet. We’re peeling back the layers to find out what truly makes them tick and what matters to them…not what matters to us.