That’s a pretty substantial number, wouldn’t you say? That number represents the total non-mortgage debt accumulated among the 300 plus people participating in this season’s Financial Peace University (FPU) class at Kensington Church. At this point in the game, we’re still missing the numbers from one of our campuses, so it wouldn’t be inaccurate to expect that number to peak well above $8 million. If that number doesn’t get you sweating a little bit, consider this: the six classes have a total of 919 credit cards, many with revolving balances. Across all classes we measured an 8 to 1 debt to cash on-hand ratio.
It’s one of those situations that makes you want to shake your head in disappointment and discouragement. How does that happen?
Well, think of our society. A society that tells us to consume, consume, consume and pushes an infinite value in material, earthly things that the Bible says will be destroyed. Debt is a product of aggressively marketed credit cards that will bury its victim in a deep, dark hole that is number one reason that breaks up marriages and causes crippling anxiety and fear. Proverbs 22:7 tells us the borrower is the slave of the lender.
As Kensington participants journey through the FPU course, they’re being exposed to Biblical truths about money and are given the tools to walk right out of debt with a simple, clear and effective snowball technique.
Already, lives are being transformed as people surrender their finances to God and pray diligently and earnestly about breaking the heavy chains of debt.
A woman, that we’re calling Sara for privacy reasons, shared how FPU has impacted and empowered her in financial life and beyond. Sara now realizes money to be the poison that broke up her marriage, and the toxic element that continued to penetrate into her relationship with her ex-husband.
She says, “The FPU tools, as presented and taught by the intelligent, humble, friendly, encouraging, and God-fearing [people], made sense and were not scary. The knowledge I gained actually gave me hope for my future and my daughters’ future. It has helped me heal some wounds from my past.”
Our hope and prayer is that these types of stories continue to pour in, and we can’t wait to share the narrative of transformation along the way.
For the first time, Sara feels empowered to be the CFO of her family and provide opportunities for her daughters to attend college. She is cheerfully tithing 10 percent of her income and has a sense of peace over her that is unexplainable.
This is what Financial Peace University is all about. After hearing this, $7.7 doesn’t seem like such a big number considering the big God that we serve, does it?
Stay tuned as we share more incredible stories as a result from God moving in FPU at Kensington!
God continues to move powerfully in and through KCC families in the area of personal finance. This fall thanks to our volunteer coordinators we offered FPU at Troy, Orion, Clinton, Birmingham, and Orlando. The life change we had the privilege of witnessing in 9 short weeks is nothing short of a miracle. One couple told our coordinators that FPU has prevented World War III from breaking out in their home. We got to unpack the difference between standard of living and quality of life and what it means to leave a legacy of generosity. We learned how the application of Biblical truths to personal finances creates clarity and a posture of response and availability to the call of God. We saw this happen right before our eyes. Our Vertical Marriage series was a great backdrop to prompt discussion and prayer about living in relationship with Jesus and how that translated to our finances. We really found people thinking vertically. At KCC our campuses are designed to be a Hub, a Home, and a place for Help. This was readily apparent as we watched married couples, singles, newly marrieds, and recently divorced individuals learn Biblical truths in the area of personal finances. One of my favorite parts of the FPU class is graduation night when we talk about living a life on mission for the Kingdom. People powerfully shared, often through tears, how these 9 weeks gave them hope, faith, and love they didn't feel before being apart of FPU. Friendships were formed and lives transformed. We had one KCC family get on Dave Ramsey’s radio show live to scream “We’re Debt Free” and gave a shout out to KCC in the process. I'm grateful to be in this with all of you and so grateful for all our volunteer coordinators that serve to reach the One that is far from God and invite them into this discussion about God's truth. We had a ton of fun, laughed and cried and learned from each other. Enjoy the pictures below including some of the debt statistics and a few class snapshots. On these snap shots we saw a number of participants indicating they were giving and trusting God with their money for the very first time. Powerful stuff.
Winter classes are starting in early January, for class schedules click here. Please help us spread the word and invite your friends, family, and neighbors to join us this January for 9 weeks that could change their life.
I'm excited to be kicking off the 2015 FPU classes this week. Me and our other FPU Facilitators are exited to meet you all and dive into this exciting material. Finances, exciting? really? Yes really, we will have a lot of fun and be challenged at the same time.
There is a lot of FPU related info on our site dedicated to all things FPU @ Kensington. Visit it at www.kensingtonfpu.org or www.kensingtonchurch.org/fpu
We are looking forward to seeing you soon!
Some things to know:
I want to send this out to you to answer a question that came up in yesterday’s class regarding those Credit Counseling programs. The one’s where you give a company authorization to handle communication and re-payment arrangements with your debtors.
With the growing issue of people getting in to large amounts of debt this has become a thriving industry. There are good stories and there are bad stories from people using these company’s services. Mostly bad. I found a report by Fox Business, from February of 2013, that used a statistic from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling that stated only 21% of plans succeeded while another 21% of participants pulled out in order to finish paying on their own and 51% simply dropped out and filed bankruptcy. You make your own decision from those industry statistics.
The bottom line is getting to the root of handling the household finances. The root is ‘behavior’. Tthe major problem is that the use of these companies doesn’t address the change of behavior. Delegating the ‘clean up’ to someone else is like an ostrich putting their head in the ground. You are ignoring the #1 issue…knowledge to change behavior. By having someone else take care of it you are not addressing the knowledge and skillset to fix it and know what not to do to move forward in the right direction. By doing this people, most times, end up in the same spot they were before ‘credit counseling’.
FPU teaches us to take responsibility for our actions and teaches us to learn how to ‘not do it’ again. FPU is showing us what we need to do to dig ourselves out of hole and give us the strategy to put ourselves in a position to move forward towards financial security and financial freedom. A side note; by doing this we are setting ourselves up to use the blessings God has given us the way He has planned for us AND to establish a legacy for the rest of our family.
This is not easy. BUT, it is very VERY possible. And once you get to a point of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel you will be so excited about where you are going and the possibility of that ‘feeling of freedom’ that you will never go back to where you were.
I am so passionate about this that I felt the need to dig in to this and get back with you right away.
I hope this helps.
Jim Henkel - Clinton Twp Campus FPU Coordinator
Powerful things are happening at Financial Peace University. Our Birmingham, Orion, and Troy Campuses recently graduated their Winter 2015 Classes. KCC also had a partnership with Evangel Church in Detroit and will be graduating their first FPU class this week. I wanted to share a few of the victory stories with you. They are stories of life change, marriages restored, learnings for the first time, re-learning and breaking of bad habits. Many of these stories were told through tears. These classes get real and it's amazing to see people restored and transformed right before your eyes through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Biblical truths about how to handle money.
This story is about a newly married couple who wanted a house and a baby and were living in an apartment and excited to step into homeownership. The number one reason young couples I meet with are struggling is student loan debt and not paying them off and buying a house, having kids, and not following the Baby Steps. This couple shared at graduation that they were committed to paying of their mid 6 figure student loans before buying a house. They calculated they would be totally debt free in 18 months including the loans. They were bright eyed and excited to be on mission together as a young married couple. They are building a solid foundation for their young family and will be in a responsive position not constrained by debt to respond the Lords call.
There is another story of a participant who attended most of the classes, came early and stayed late and asked great questions. At graduation, through tears, he shared that things had been tough recently at home and his marriage was in trouble. Being a part of FPU for the last 9 weeks had given them new Hope and things were looking brighter at home. #wowsocool
A family came to our Clinton Twp classes and brought their twin 19 year old boys. The boys I understand weren't thrilled to be coming to church or a finance class. The boys now are serving on the audio/video teams and Clinton Twp Campus and connected to the Full Throttle Ministry. WOW.
I could go on but the point is this stuff matters and it's so needed in this upside down world we live in. It debunks the lie our society propagates that stuff = happiness and contentment. Lie, Lie, Lie. Living with a plan in community, externally focused with margin is the way to a life well lived financially. I'm so grateful to all the men and women who make this ministry possible. From the facility team that helps get our rooms ready, to the tech staff who make sure we have the AV equipment we need, to our amazing reception team that fields calls and posts signage around our buildings. Sharon for scheduling the rooms for us and juggling all the changes, she is amazing, yup. Our volunteers and FPU champions all through the KCC community are amazing folks. Thank you for all you do to make this happen.
We have a few spring FPU classes starting as well as a few YNAB workshops. More info here
Need help getting your YNAB budget setup? Have process flow / reconciling questions? We love YNAB and want it to be a tool for you to take control of your money. We are happy to help you and sometimes another set of eyes is helpful. Use the contact us form and we will be in touch. Using the Dropbox technology we can easily review your YNAB budget and offer suggestions.
We are excited to be offering 2 FPU classes this Spring.
Clinton Township starts Sunday March 15th 10:15am. Stop in to check it out this Sunday. You can register here or after the first class if your not sure now. Come check it out, you will be glad you did.
Orion Campus starts Tuesday April 14th at 6:30pm register here
Christy & I just watched this webinar live and it was really helpful. Its a great place to start to get to know how the software and zero based budget are combined.
Link to getting started with YNAB recorded webinar
Link to live training classes
PS - They offer a free license to high school and college students. Pretty cool
Dave Smith is part of the KCC finance staff and a Dave Ramsey Certified Coach.