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Cover 41


January 2012

Dare to Disciple


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Free Will Baptist


Financial Discipleship

Don’t neglect your training.


Financial Discipleship

By John Brummitt


“I am debt free!”

It is shocking to hear, isn’t it? This joyful exclamation arouses feelings of guilt and anger in those of us who still find ourselves in debt. We automatically begin to make excuses why we are not debt free ourselves. Funny how those excuses sound better in our heads than they do when we share them aloud.

The world tells us we should grow up to be CEOs, movie stars, professional musicians or athletes, but the truth is most of us will never reach top-tier status in our professions. While it is not wrong—even admirable—to try to reach “the big time,” many young adults live a high dollar lifestyle before they earn the income. When they finally realize they will never make “big bucks,” the financial damage has already been done, and they spend a lifetime paying for the mistakes of the first few years on their own. Consider a solution to this problem so it doesn’t continue to the next generation.

“Financial Discipleship” is an odd pairing of words. The two seem to be from different worlds. The term finance has two meanings: (1) the control of money, the business or art of managing the monetary resources of an organization, country, or person; and (2) money required, the money necessary to do something (fund a project).

The term disciple describes a follower, someone who believes and follows the teachings of a leader, philosophy, or religion. Most often, discipleship is a religious term, far removed from the financial arena. This should not be the case. The Bible itself speaks often of finances and how to interact in financial situations. Teaching these biblical financial principles should be a priority, both at home and at church. A quick search through the Bible reveals more than 60 passages dealing with debt and money management.

Consider two examples: Proverbs 30:25 describes ants preparing their food in the summer to survive the winter months when resources are light or non-existent. It is a great analogy to retirement years when we can no longer work a full-time job. Romans 13:8 commands readers to owe nothing, but to love one another instead. We should be sharing these principles, and others like them, to the next generation. Consider what a difference financial discipleship could make. Perhaps we could reduce divorce rates in our churches since money problems continue to be the second leading cause of divorce in the United States. Financial discipleship could reduce the financial tension in our churches, leading to greater unity and teamwork.

God has laid out a simple plan for managing monetary assets. We are to (1) tithe the first fruits, Proverbs 3:9; (2) be content with what we have, 1 Timothy 6:6-8; (3) budget our income, Luke 14:28, Proverbs 27:23; and (4) prepare for the future, Proverbs 30:25. Imagine how it would change the lives of the next generation if they could grasp these simple financial concepts!

Consider this a simple call to financial discipleship in our homes and churches. Remember that God has given us tools for every facet of our lives, and we should seek to follow the biblical model, from spiritual health to physical wellbeing, family life, and especially, our finances. If we are good stewards over everything God has put into our care, there is no limit to what Christians can do for this world.


About the Writer: A 2004 graduate of Free Will Baptist Bible College, John Brummitt is business manager for the FWB Board of Retirement.


©2012 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists