Back Brentwood Baptist members shout, "We're debt free!" on Dave Ramsey Show
June 28th, 2012
"We're debt free!"
As of Thursday, June 28 at 1:35 p.m., more than four million people know—thanks to the Dave Ramsey Show. Broadcast just a few miles down the road, the Show recently found out about Brentwood Baptist's debt-free status and asked Senior Pastor Mike Glenn to join the famed financial radio host on air for an official shout-out.
Last year, Brentwood Baptist still owed some $14.5 million nearing the end of an aggressive plan to pay it off by 2015. Through the faithful giving of members and the generosity of a combined total of $10 million in gifts given last fall, the debt was demolished.
Over the air, Dave asked Mike what churches could do to obtain the same financial freedom as Brentwood Baptist. According to Mike, it was: the debt wedge, making payments toward future debt; the diligence and integrity of our administrative team; and keeping the vision of what's on the other side of that debt in front of the church.
"The point is to get rid of the debt so you can do all of the ministries that God is opening up for you without any kind of hindrance. … We wanted to get out of debt as fast as we could. … So when our members had particular moments of windfall, and they would call and say, 'I've got this amount of money. What do you want me to do with it?' It was always, 'Let's hammer the debt, and on the other side, we'll be free.'"
Looking back, Mike says that paying off the debt in that kind of economy last fall was evidence of God's hand on this church and the work He wanted to do. Now, one-fifth of the money is going to people instead of payments.
And the biggest thing Brentwood Baptist will now be able to do with the freed-up funds? Train up-and-coming pastors and start 15 new church starts in the next five years.
"We've always understood that 7777 Concord Road, Brentwood Baptist Church, is…like a military base," Mike said. "It's where you come to get trained, it's where you come to get your orders, and it's where you're assigned from. That's why God put us next to an exit ramp. He expects you to go somewhere from here. And we want to be the church that, not only celebrates the number of people who come in, but we celebrate the number of people we run off to do real ministry in the real world."
Dave Ramsey replayed the audio for listeners, taken from a recent worship service on Sunday, June 10 in which members yelled out, "We're debt free!"
"The most beautiful thing of the whole deal is that the bride of Christ is no longer a slave here," Dave said. "I mean, the picture of the bride being in chains is tough for me cause she's just limited. …And so this whole ministry…is now freed up to do kingdom work, not only in our own backyard, but worldwide. Our congratulations to you guys… I'm proud to be standing here next to something that works as well and runs as well, with as much integrity, as Brentwood Baptist does."
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO MIKE'S INTERVIEW ON THE DAVE RAMSEY SHOW.