I am turning in an annual report this week, and one of the questions is:
“What have been those ‘Aha!’ moments that suggest potential strategies that will have the greatest impact going forward?”
Here is what I wrote:
A real “Aha!” moment for us has been learning that often students don’t need more information. What they need is hope. We live in a world in which education and even resources are often readily available. What isn’t as readily available is someone providing students real hope that they can navigate theological education in a way that won’t leave them with a financial burden. There is real truth to the biblical admonition “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
I believe one of the reasons Dave Ramsey has become such a well-known financial teacher is that he is a very aggressive vision caster. He does “debt free screams” and develops catch phrases (Live like no one else…) to create a culture where people believe they CAN win with money. Of course he combines this with very practical instruction, but if that was the valuable part, he wouldn’t give it away online for free. The real value he offers is inspiration. Hope.
Real hope (as opposed to a wish or impossible dream) gives life. Crushed hope makes the heart sick (Proverbs 12:12). I’m realizing that while we need a collection of really practical resources and directions to give to our students, perhaps more importantly we need to give them a “hope and a future”. We need to learn the language of inspiration and motivation. We need to encourage and empower students who really want to address the issue of debt. We can plant a seed of desire in students toward a debt free future.
I hope this blog has/will offer real hope that you can win with money. That financially your time in graduate school will be a blessing and not a burden.
You can do this. We’re here to walk through it with you.