Momentum: Building the Kingdom of God, Debt-Free

Last week, Paula and I attended a Momentum conference in Nashville.  If you don’t know what that is, I’ll be glad to explain and tell you why you ought to go too.

First of all, I love the word momentum.  It just creates a lot of good energy and feelings.  It’s that thing that once you have it, you look better than you really are.  And when you lose it, you can actually die as a group, an organization, and even as a person before you get it back.  So, enough said.

Momentum is a crusade that comes from Dave Ramsey and his amazing army of gifted and creative men and women who have bought into the mission that winning with money is critical and essential to winning at life.

Momentum is a 3-day conference for church leaders to come in and rally around a process by which we can fully-fund all of our ministry and vision needs with cash.  That includes our buildings.

Now before you read that and think, “now isn’t that sweet,” remember what a radical idea this is.  This is flying in the face of convention.  If I didn’t know better, I would think these people are renegades.  Oh, yeah, I do know better and they are.  They are trying to change a dangerous trend.  And that is, American churches in bondage to financial institutions.

We have all heard the verse that the borrower is a slave to the lender.  But in American church leadership, those verses have been used more to encourage people to tithe and give more to the Sunday offering, than a bigger vision of leading the church forward with more than enough resources to accomplish all of our dreams, visions, and hopes.

Here is my take on the conference.

  • Everything is done with excellence. The printing, the material, the settings were not over-the-top lavish, but done in a very professional way that made me feel like Ramsey and his army are taking this very seriously.
  • There weren’t just one or two people leading this group. There was an army of people leading, talking, and facilitating that made the experience far less intimidating.
  • The content of the material isn’t anything particularly new, but it’s brilliance is that it has been put in a process. I hate to say “program.”  I’m certainly not going to call it a “system.”  But it is a process that allows for us to put up structure and the effort to teach people to win at all of life with money.
  • Included in the conference fee were accommodations. They were first-class and really lifted the experience.
  • Since we had to leave the Financial Peace Conference Center to go eat, we were taken in nice buses with friendly people.
  • The food was great.
  • There were snacks and breaks which facilitated talking and sharing and meeting new people.
  • I walked away with a better understanding of how to put all the pieces together into a bigger picture.
  • Most of all, my big take-away, finally someone has noticed what those of us in leadership for a long time have seen: we can no longer afford “business as usual.”

On my hand I can count five growing churches within the Nashville area that together have a cumulative debt of over $36,000,000. Think of that. That’s crippling debt. That means that everything these ministries do must always go up and to the right.  No hiccup, no scandal, no one leaving the church over hurt feelings, no young, up-and-coming associate taking five or six hundred people and moving down the road and building a cooler, hipper version of what they have now.

What conclusions do I come to?  One, I sure am glad I am not one of those churches.  Though I respect them and love them and thank God for them, I fear for what is just ahead.  Two, I beg you.  You’ve read this far. Come and be a part of the momentum conference. I’m not getting paid for this. I get no kick-backs. I’m just a believer in someone who’s finally decided to stand up and put a tool in our hands that will allow us not only to build a building for bragging rights, but help us truly help good people grow great lives and win at life with money.

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