GLEN BURNIE, Md.—True financial freedom is to be able to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit when He prompts you to do what He’s placed you on this earth to do, shared Dave Scobey of Crown Financial Ministries.
“That is freedom,” stressed Scobey, who will be the keynote speaker at a “It’s a New Day for Financial Freedom” seminar offered Friday, Oct. 29 by the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.
The seminar, held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Faith Church in Glen Burnie, Md., will present biblical principles about stewardship and offer lessons in money management, such as budget planning and how to handle credit cards, cars and housing expenses.
The sessions cost $20 per person to cover materials and lunch, and spouses are encouraged to attend for free.
Church leaders who attend the seminars will leave at the end of the day certified by Crown Financial Ministries to teach the 10-week Life Group Study at their churches.
In his testimony, Scobey shares about he and his wife’s decision to retire their mortgage debt in four years while on a reduced retirement income. In 45 months, three months earlier than expected, the couple had a debt-free home.
“Now, I don’t know how God did that because my calculator and His calculator work differently,” Scobey explained. “But He honored that commitment.”
Shortly afterward, Scobey heard God’s call to move to a new location. And because the couple was free from debt, they were able to obey quickly.
“I can’t tell you the freedom—the lightening—that it has given us to be able to respond,” he said. “That is true financial freedom.”
At the 2006 SBC meeting in Greensboro, N.C., a decision was passed to move the overall teaching of stewardship from LifeWay Christian Resources to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee.
As a result, the Executive Committee selected Crown Financial Ministries to be the program of choice in teaching and delivering a comprehensive program of stewardship to the many Southern Baptist churches across the nation.
This alliance has a multi-purposed approach that will include Crown teaching solutions, high impact pastor’s conferences, ongoing stewardship teaching for churches, online budgeting resources and much more.
“Because of the climate that we live in, there has never been a better time to have a conversation in church about money than right now,” Ashley Clayton, associate vice president for stewardship at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, told Baptist Press.
“Why wouldn’t a pastor address that? It could be that the people in our churches wonder why their pastor never talks about money when it’s clearly in the news all the time,” said Clayton, adding that many people in the pews are preoccupied with job security and how to pay their bills.
Church leaders must begin to see stewardship in a different light, he said, because Jesus spoke frequently about money, a tool that enables ministry.
“Even as a denomination, we spend way too much time trying to divide the Cooperative Program dollars when what we should be doing is trying to grow the Cooperative Program dollars, and you do that through stewardship,” Clayton said.
Clayton noted that most churches lack a consistent plan for helping people deal with money, and that one of the main benefits of such a plan is that it changes lives on an individual level.
“The person who is worried about their future, who is failing to invest in their future, who is struggling to pay their bills, who is struggling to give often can’t see beyond that,” Clayton said. “It colors their whole world. So a consistent stewardship plan in a church changes lives.”
Also, a consistent plan for helping people deal with money is a cultural bridge from churches to their local communities.
“If you want your church to get a toe hold in your community, if you want people in your community to see your church as being relevant and a place of hope and a place of help, hang out a sign that says, ‘Get out of debt here.’ It’s a strong cultural bridge,” Clayton said.
It’s a new day. How will you spend it? Start by attending the “It’s a New Day for Financial Freedom” seminar on Oct. 29.
With reporting from Erin Roach, Baptist Press.