As we see another round of federal stimulus hitting our checking accounts, may I encourage you to be highly intentional in how you steward the unexpected infusion of cash that may truly help those in crisis mode (I think of especially those who lost their jobs or are struggling small business owners) but also feels “way too free” and just a bonus for many.
I saw this the other day that captures humorously how many are carelessly processing the unexpected infusion of cash, “Direct deposit: $1400; Me at Target: Give me the large kickballs outside”:
I know debt-reduction is less engaging and often under-appreciated in our day of such low interest rates, but it must be done for the foundations being laid in each of our families and ministries FOR THE FUTURE. (In reality, even with low interest rates, paying off debt early compounds your sacrificial pay down of debt significantly through avoided interest that really adds up over the years!)
Here are some details to a stewardship project we just launched at North Life that the Lord may use to help guide you, whether you are a committed member of our assembly or another, as well:
In just four years of ownership and multiple renovation projects, our current debt is now under 50% of the value of our campus.
Thank you, Lord and faithful givers, for having a vision for the future! Tim Rosen, a financial consultant, recently shared with me, “People, by nature, do not get excited about eliminating debt on an asset they are already using/utilizing.” So true, yet we are determined, by God’s grace, to be the exception to that rule.
With the recent stimulus/increased deficit from the federal government, we sense a great need to pursue a debt-free future as assertively as possible.
The best way that I, as an concerned citizen and ministry influencer, know how to redeem the current lack of fiscal responsibility on many fronts in our nation is to use this moment to establish an unencumbered, more solvent foundation to build upon…no matter what the immediate future “allows” or affords. My former classmate and friend Josh Teis probably has it about right in his recent post, “A #stimulus reminder: Years of plenty often lead into years of drought. Yes, we ought feast, as well as prepare for famine.” Right on, Bro.
We are currently working to refinance our remaining debt at the lowest interest rate/shortest term possible for the future stability and liberty of the next generation of NLBC.
As one of our deacons recently shared with me, “Pastor we need to do this (assertive debt reduction) for the benefit of the next generation coming up through our ranks in this church.” Amen to that, Seth! May the Lord help us “burn the note for the next generation” long before they begin to assume responsibility with the building blocks that we give them. This is not for “me” or even “us”; it is for “them.”
We invite you to sacrificially partner with us in reducing debt as early and as often as possible in 2021 to ultimately free up over 25% of current budget for ministry and missions expansion, not just locally but around the world!
As a pastor, Josh Beutow, recently posted to me, ““People give to vision…if you’re not doing a new project, you have to cast a compelling vision as to why the debt needs to be retired and what will happen once it is.” That is so good! What could our church and every other mission-minded church accomplish with less debt to service let alone none?!
Most, if not all, reading this post are poised to receive or have already received a good chunk from the federal government—can I ask you to wisely consider investing approximately half into personal savings/debt reduction and a significant portion of the rest into your local church’s long term, financial viability and vision?
Don’t blow it on “kickball” kind of purchases; lay the foundation for a future filled with faith, yes, but wise savings and steps toward debt-reduction. That priority will “bounce” much higher and longer! Your family and your local church will not regret it in the days ahead come what may-famine or more plenty.
Here’s a link to give online as well as a video clip recently introducing the “Foundations Stewardship Project”: