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5 Characteristics of a Debt-Free Church

When someone commits to developing the debt-free lifestyle, they work their way through Dave’s seven Baby Steps. But what does “living like no one else” look like for a church body? That’s one of the topics church leaders explore through Dave’s Financial Peace ChurchWide program.

If using God’s financial principles in our personal lives cause us to win with money, then using God’s financial principles in our church will cause the church to win too.

When churches catch the vision of becoming debt-free, they work through their own set of Baby Steps, and as they do, they develop some key characteristics.

A debt-free church:

Trusts God completely.

As the congregation learns to rely on God for what they need, the church as a whole does too. Leaders and members don’t look to debt to provide things they want. They trust that He will provide it, in His time. The borrower is slave to the lender, even in church!

Saves money consistently.

Proverbs 21:20 says, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” The debt-free church trains the congregation to save for the future and practices what they preach. Many churches take a “use it or lose it” approach to their cash flow, but debt-free churches have a spending plan in place that involves saving for future expenses. Having cash saved up is vital for the church to survive and prosper.

Recognizes God's ownership.

When we recognize that God owns it all, and that we are simply asset managers for Him, it impacts the decisions we make with money. Debt-free churches work to manage all of the resources God has entrusted to them in a way that honors Him. The debt-free church has a healthy budget that leaders agree on and communicate about often.

Embraces its God-given mission.

Ministry takes money! Churches on the debt-free path are freer to fund the vision and mission God has given them because they aren’t shackled to payments. A healthy budget ties into the mission and prioritizes the church’s vision by creating a workable spending plan.

Commits to lifelong generosity.

Debt-free people and debt-free churches are more generous—because they are free to be! Oftentimes the heart to give is there, but people or churches don’t feel like they can give the way they want to. When a church has a healthy spending and saving plan, they find that there is more money to give away. And the spirit of generous people and churches are winsome to the Father!

Dave’s team trains churches to develop healthy budgets through Financial Peace ChurchWide. But wherever your church is, you can start working to develop these characteristics now. It begins by financially discipling the congregation and modeling the lifestyle we want to help them develop.

Budget like it all depends on you, but pray like it all depends on God! Ask Him to bless your efforts to honor Him in how you and the church handle His money. When planning, prayer is the key that unlocks your ability to join God in what He is doing.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we asking anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him. —1 John 5:14–15

Learn to live in the freedom God created you for—freedom to grow, serve, and follow His call. Find out how Financial Peace ChurchWide can impact your life and the lives of everyone around you.

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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