I am excited that the church where I am serving as Transitional Pastor will soon offer Financial Peace University (FPU). FPU was developed by Dave Ramsey as a way to teach personal finance from a biblical perspective. This program has been taught in tens of thousands of churches since its inception resulting in thousands of families getting control of their finances for the first time in their lives.
Since arriving at the church last summer I've occasionally mentioned that I would like someone to coordinate this class. Recently, one individual came to me saying she was willing to do so. We are currently accepting registrations and hoping for at least 10 families in our first class.
One reason often given for the poor giving in many churches is that the people are overwhelmed with personal debt. I've been there myself, and it can make it hard to give to the church as one would like. Proverbs 22:7 is certainly true when it says that "the borrower is slave to the lender." FPU teaches a method for getting out of debt and staying out of debt. There is great freedom when one has no debt.
Not only is FPU a way to teach the people in our church about personal finance, it is a way to reach out to the community. We saw how the recession of 2008 destroyed many people financially. Many lost their homes, their cars, their retirements, and their careers. Many have still not recovered and continue to struggle financially. FPU seems to me to be a great way to reach out to those in the community who might have little interest in God but great interest in learning how to better control their finances. As they see how the Bible speaks to their financial questions, they may become open to what it says about other matters including their need for God.
Over the past few years I've followed the principles Ramsey teaches in my own personal finance. It's made a huge difference, and I can only wish I had learned them much earlier in my life. I don't claim that I do everything exactly like he teaches, but I certainly try to do so most of the time.
If you live in the Madison, Indiana area and would like to attend this nine-week program, contact me. If you live elsewhere you will find an FPU class near you. You can go to Ramsey's website to find the closest class to where you live.
I am not being paid anything for promoting FPU. I just think it is a positive way to teach our church members about personal finance and a way to reach out to the non-churched in our communities to help them see how relevant the Bible really is to their daily lives.