Live Debt Free – Pastor’s Financial Life: Part 2 of 5

Yesterday, I talked about four financial commitments I’ve made and that I’m challenging you to make. Today, let’s examine Commitment #1:

1. The commitment to be DEBT FREE for the rest of my life.

In 2002, just after Kelley and I had started The Journey Church, we were surprised to discover that we had over $16,000 in credit card and graduate school debt. (For the sake of this post, I will not focus on mortgage debt. Mortgage debt, if incurred through a conservative loan, could be considered secured debt – but now I’m splitting hairs!). Back to the story…about four months into our new church we felt like God was saying to us, “Get out of debt!”

We put together a 3-year plan and through God’s power we were debt free in 2.5 years!

I learned a great number of stewardship principles through this process of becoming debt free. The most important one is that a pastor’s personal stewardship will impact the stewardship life of the church.

In other word, how I manage my money will promote or limit God’s blessing on our church’s finances. I believe that one of the reasons our new church was able to become financially self-sufficient in less than three years is because I honored God by getting and staying out of debt.

I would like to give you a resource where I describe the exact process I used to become debt free. It’s called:

Debt Free Pastor: Free Yourself to Lead Your Church (FREE Download)

It’s my gift to you as an encouragement for you to become debt free. To receive the free download, send an email to with “Debt Free Pastor” in the subject line.

If you are in debt, I hope you’ll make the bold decision to become debt free. If you are debt free, I hope you’ll determine today to remain debt free. The future stewardship vitality of your church just might depend on the financial decisions you make.


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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