Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Churches host more classes to give people money skills


Financial Peace University offered at 100+ locations

By Kristin Van Nort

  • They didn’t seem to be having trouble financially. All the bills got paid, but they didn’t really know where their money went and, by month’s end, they would anxiously await the next paycheck.
  • She heard about a budgeting class from her aunt and a cousin, but was not motivated to take it … until the day she found out she was going to be a mother. She wanted a better life for her baby and knew a class on budgeting would help pave the way.
  • Their budget was stretched thin, barely enough money for groceries and bills, let alone anything for the offering plate at church. There was never enough at the end of the month and, if anything unexpected came up, they didn’t know where to turn for the money for that.

Each of these stories is real and told by Financial Peace University (FPU) graduates.

They found these classes on personal financial management offered at United Methodist churches, and enrolled to learn more about managing their money.

In 2010, more than 100 FPU classes were offered in UM churches across Oklahoma.

"Each class is full of families and individuals finding hope that financial freedom is really possible," said Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation President Bill Junk.

"I received a card this week from a recent graduate of Financial Peace University. She said she now feels empowered with her new financial education and was able to give up a couple of her side jobs since she now has her finances under control."

He continued, "I’ve also seen this as one of the best things married couples can do to strengthen their relationships. FPU is certainly making an impact in the lives of our church members. There is no doubt this is helping build the Kingdom of God and the future of our Church."

The Foundation began encouraging churches to offer the classes on personal money matters several years ago, at the request of laity leaders and pastors who saw the need in their congregations.

And last year, the Foundation went a step further. The EQUIP program was developed, to enhance and emphasize FPU’s value for churches’ members and communities. This program combines the 13 weeks of FPU classes with a five-week sermon series, Sunday school curriculum, and prayer and promotion teams.

About 10 churches participated in EQUIP last year. And among the numerous other churches offering FPU, several did so for the first time.

Financial Peace University teaches basic principles of spending, saving, and giving, as well as how to make major purchases, buy different types of insurance, make investments, and give generously. Participants in the classes must purchase a kit, which includes a workbook for the weekly lessons, audio CDs of the lessons, plus other resources that help reinforce the key ideas.

For more information, contact the Foundation, 800-259-6363, www.okumf.org.


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