Suncrest Note

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Hey Suncrest,

I’m not sure where to start with this.  On Sunday, we began our “Monopoly Series”  with a message about gaining control over our debt.  As an interactive element, we had everyone anonymously write down how much debt (not including mortgage) they had and turn it in. 

I expected the numbers to be high because I know how big the issue is in our culture.  But, I’m not sure I could have expected what happened.

The Numbers

1st Service: $812,000 in non-mortgage debt.

2nd Service: $2,905,000 in non-mortgage debt.

3rd Service: $7,455,000 in non-mortgage debt. 

I almost got physically sick when that last number was handed to me.  I did learn later that the 3rd service number was influenced by one household that indicated they had $4,000,000 in debt.  Even when we take that out to get a good sense of the whole, the total non-mortgage debt of the crowd on Sunday is over $7 million dollars.   

That represents 302 households.  46 (15%) of those are enjoying their freedom with no non-mortgage debt.  Those households carrying debt have an average of over $28,000.  Think about how crazy this is…that means that every month our church family is likely paying over $50,000 in just interest.

Now What?

Someone was reflecting with me about the message and said “Greg, I could tell this really concerned you about our church’s welfare.”  That is exactly right.  And we need to do something about it to help people.  Now.

This will take us humbling ourselves and acknowledging we need some help – whether that is guidance or accountability.  But it will be so worth it when we experience the freedom from this debt.  One of the very reasons that we get in these struggles is that many of us make money a private issue and have a hard time taking the step to admit we need some help. 

You have to know this:  There is no shame in getting help.  The shame is in knowing you can use a little help but rejecting it out of a potential loss of pride or embarrassment.  Like I said on Sunday…if you really could tackle this issue on your own…wouldn’t you have already done so?

So, since Sunday we have put together the framework of a plan and we need your help.  After a number of conversations Sunday, I’m confident we have people motivated to pull this off.I’m looking for: 

1.       People who have figured out how to live with no debt.  We need some of you to help others.

2.      People who currently struggle with debt, but are willing to lead others through a process to financial health as you commit yourself to it.

3.       People who currently struggle with debt and would be interested in participating in a seminar or series of classes that offers practical help with this.

We are going to have a 30 minute informational gathering on Sunday, February 10 right  after each service for those interested in learning how to get out of debt.Look for more info on this soon.  If you fit one of the 1st two categories above (willing to help lead whether or not you struggle), please email me right back and we’ll start exploring how you can help.

Thanks, Suncrest.  I just prayed for you on this issue.

PS…maybe your community group would like to tackle this as a focus?

~ by Greg Lee on January 26, 2008.

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