Prepare for ministry by living within your means, advises campus minister
Students who believe God can call them to ministry should be especially mindful of establishing sound financial habits, advises campus minister Bill Morrison, because modeling behavior after biblical admonitions can free up resources to help move the Kingdom forward. .
“You have to choose who or what you are going to serve,” said Morrison, who ministers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Jesus touched on the subject of money more than any other subject in his teachings because it has such appeal to us. It gives us a false sense of security.
Students need to think about the direction they want their life to go in, Morrison said — whether it’s to serve God or serve money, which is temporary.
“Be rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share,” he quoted 1 Timothy 6:18.
He also advised students to consider college as their job, even if they also work part-time.
“You’re in college to work, to prepare for opening doors later in life, and you should do that as an offering of worship to God,” Morrison said.
A job, he added, “is not something that allows them to enjoy their weekends or afford a nice holiday. He does, but that’s not the only purpose of having a vocation. It is God’s will for us as believers to work hard and offer that work to God.
Something people should remember today is to leave some leeway in their lives, Morrison noted, advising against rushing from one obligation to another, always eating out and wasting money on the fast food.
“Leave some leeway and cook some of your meals at home if you live in an apartment,” he urged.
“Take advantage of meals on campus if you need them. Be disciplined in how you manage your time because so much money is wasted on students eating out two or three times a day.
Morrison also advises students to work while in college so they don’t have to take out more student loans than necessary.
As soon as they graduate, he suggests students use the first six months to pay off as much of their loans as possible before interest starts piling up.
“Pay it back as soon as you can,” he advises.
If students are wise about how they structure long-term debt, it can free up monetary resources for ministry work, Morrison added.
“For most of us, money is a finite resource, so it’s important not to live in debt and to account for every dollar.”
He urged graduates to immediately get into the habit of paying 10% of tithe to their local church, contributing 10% to retirement and setting aside 3-5% for “benevolence”.
“If you hear about a mission opportunity in your church or someone is fundraising, you have a built-in budget so you can give to it spontaneously,” Morrison said, adding, “You don’t want to live where every dollar just goes to the necessities of life.You want to live within your means, but also build so that you can be a blessing with what God blesses you with.
Financial guidance has been needed by every generation Morrison has led in his nearly 35 years of campus ministry.
“When you get out of college and get your first real job, it’s so tempting to try to show people that you’re successful and you have it together by what you acquire,” he said.
He saw many students graduating, buying a new car, and signing up for years of payments when driving a car that could be relied on for years to come. As soon as the last payment is made, they often swap it and start another six-year note, Morrison observed.
“It’s just amazing the drain on financial resources to live this way.” Live differently Instead, if graduates resist the desire to impress their friends and establish good financial habits, they’ll be in a better position for the future, Morrison said.
“When you get a house, don’t demand that you start in the same kind of house you grew up in,” he noted. “Be content with what you can afford. Most Americans are not satisfied and are in this race to impress people and acquire things.
The message to seek contentment and manage resources wisely is particularly important in this generation, Morrison noted, because “there is so much status attached to what we own.”
Christians, however, find their identity in a different place, he said. “It’s important for Christians to live differently and have a different purpose with the resources God gives us.”