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 planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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