My wife and I made sure we made it back into the convention hall Tuesday afternoon to hear Dave Ramsey speak. When we came in, he had already begun speaking. I was excited to hear him. I’m always excited to hear Dave speak; I’ll admit I see him as a bit of a hero. My wife and I are Dave Ramsey fans and as soon as we get our house paid off, we’re going to Nashville to do our debt-free scream. My kids even have the introduction to his radio show memorized.
I was disappointed to hear grumbling in my section, and then murmurings afterward about his appearance. There were those who thought his speech was a waste of time. I’d like to give a few reasons as to why his speech was not a waste of time and some benefits to partnering with Ramsey Solutions.
- He spoke God’s Word: As far as I know, Dave confines his thoughts on scripture to those passages having to do with money and stewardship. He does not try to be an evangelist or a preacher. Any time we hear God’s Word, we are not wasting our time.
- He speaks on a difficult subject: He’s not afraid to speak on one of the most difficult topics in scripture. He’s not afraid to kick our behinds in the right direction when we need it, and let’s face it, with so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, many of us need our behinds kicked in the right direction. I know I did. I suspect that some of those who think hearing from him was a waste of time think so because he spoke uncomfortable truths. He makes us squirm, and we need to squirm.
- His program benefits our churches: When pastors and members learn to handle God’s money God’s way, then they have more money to give. Dave teaches the tithe, and he also teaches generous giving. How much money would we have for missions if we taught our people to tithe, get out of debt, and give generously?
What are the possible benefits of partnering with Ramsey Solutions?
- Financial health: A pastor once told me when I was negotiating salary with a search committee to tell them, “You don’t want me sitting at my desk every Monday morning wondering about how the bills are going to get paid.” That statement could not be more true. How many pastors out there go to the office on Monday morning wondering how they’re going to pay their bills? Financial health allows a pastor to focus on his job.
- Fewer funds needed for Mission Dignity: I love Mission Dignity. I think it’s a great program. Some of you are going to think that I’m accusing all recipients of Mission Dignity funds of bad financial management. I am not doing that. Some of the Mission Dignity participants are victims of churches that did not steward God’s money God’s way and thus could not provide adequately for their pastor and his family. Mission Dignity is a great safety net, but what if we could move that safety net up 20 or 30 years? What if we could save pastors and their wives from having to use Mission Dignity funds? There would be more money for missions.
The Ramsey Solutions group is very open to working with churches. I hope more leaders use their programs because we have an opportunity to intentionally move the safety net forward for our brothers and sisters in Christ — our pastors and our members. If more members of the SBC had financial peace, how much more could we do with the Cooperative Program? How many more missionaries could we support? How many pastors could devote their time and mental energy completely to prayer and ministry of the word?