What's Your Story
Bill and Teresa
In 2002, we were invited to participate in a small group Bible study on finances. Finances had never been a challenge for us, even though we didn’t make a lot of money. We were faithful in paying extra on our mortgage and never had any credit card debt. Even so, we were intrigued by what God’s word had to say about the topic.
As we started the study, we learned that God owns it all and we were just managers. During the class we signed a “Deed” surrendering all our possessions to the Lord. This simple exercise had a dramatic impact on our lives. A few days after completing the deed, Bill was in an accident that totaled the car. In the past, we may have been angry about losing “our” car, but we now understood this was God’s car and He was simply testing our faith!
Four weeks into the study we were driving home from the class, we looked at each other and said, “this is the ministry God wants us to serve with.” That fall we facilitated our first class.
We faithfully continued applying what we had learned as we taught others. We focused on paying off over $105,000 in auto loans and mortgage debt. On December 7, 2005 we reached our goal and became debt free, three years after taking our first class. This is a special date for us in more ways than one- it is also the anniversary of the day we first met. On that day we could have never imagined the journey God would take us on; changing our hearts, our finances and providing the opportunity to serve Him through Compass. – Bill & Teresa Wade
Pastor Brad & Andrea
When we learned what the Bible said about money in the Compass Study (now the 9 week Navigating Your Finances God’s way) we began a journey of living on a spending plan and paid off all debts including our mortgage in only 7 years! Four years after becoming totally debt-free, the company where I (Brad) worked cut all salaries more than 25%. Many colleagues their sold homes or declared bankruptcy and some even divorced their spouses. Staying faithful to what we learned about through the Compass study, God carried us through those rough times. We serve in ministry today, having learned by experience that the most long-lasting fruit comes from those taking this study and not what I have taught them from the podium. -Pastor Brad & Andrea
Ken and Sharon
The most significant impact in taking the Compass study (now 9-week Navigating Your Finances God’s way) was it led me (Ken) to surrendering my life to Jesus Christ and having a personal relationship with Him! Every relationship, especially our marriage of 38 years was dramatically transformed as a result. Coming into it, we thought this would just be another tool to learn how to be better money managers, but God had so much more in mind! It was a Christ-center, bible-based, prayer-driven and discipleship-focused study where each week God’s word continued to reveal a new path for us. It was the catalyst to reveal our true purpose, changed the trajectory of our lives, and gave us sense of peace and contentment that only God could provide. – Ken and Sharon
Nick & Julie
Before the Compass study (now 9-week Navigating Your Finances God’s way) we had more than $500,000 in debt. Our lives were full of anxiety, discontentment and unfulfillment pursuing a lifestyle well above our income level. The Compass study and the Compass Money Map put us on a course to give generously, reduce spending and eliminate all debt in 15 years. We started the journey of being “faithful in little” and then we watched the Lord miraculously provide, helping us eliminate a half a million dollars of debt in less than 7 years! No telling where we’d be today if we not taken the Compass study. –Nick & Julie
Maverick and JuLee
As a Quality Engineer, I made a very good salary which allowed JuLee to be a stay-at-home Mom. With a small house, one car, and “manageable” debt we felt we were doing everything right. Then, through one of the Compass studies, we learned what the Bible said about finances and started applying the principles right away. We had some ups and downs but God was so faithful providing a way to be debt-free, including the home mortgage in only eight years! God has truly blessed us as we sought to obey His words; all of them, especially those dealing with finances. Over the years we’ve had the opportunity share with many others God’s financial principles, including our kids. Now as adults they have no other debt beyond their home mortgage. We’re so grateful for Compass and the impact it’s had on our family’s legacy. -Maverick & JuLee
Gary and Teresa
The greatest thing we learned from reading Howard Dayton’s Your Money Counts, came in a question that we now ask ourselves regularly: “Lord, what would you have us do?”
In 2012 we wrestled with the idea of selling a home that we really enjoyed, to further reduce our mortgage debt. So we asked the Lord “what would you have us do?” Our sense was not to put it up for sale, or tell anyone we were selling it. If the Lord wanted us to sell it- he would have to send a buyer to our “front door”.
So you can imagine our astonishment when we got a call from a realtor, asking if we would be interested in selling our house- she had a buyer! When our home officially sold, we felt incredible joy. We also realized that obediently following the Lord’s desires for us, and not relying on our own wants, glorified Him!
We were able to personally experience the wonderful quote from missionary Jim Elliot, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.” -Gary & Teresa
Frank and Yvonne
Frank and I grew up in Jamaica where it was customary to see our families make purchases with cash and not credit. The principle was to save and then buy, and we tried to maintain that same principle when we immigrated to the United States. However, that principle became a challenge when we decided to buy a house.
We justified getting a mortgage and convinced ourselves that it was “good” debt. Shortly after buying our home, we were invited to participate in a small group Bible study by Howard Dayton.
After several weeks of the study, we realized that we only understood the “what” about not getting into debt and not the “why”. The “why” became very clear to us when we memorized Proverbs 22:7, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” We immediately made the decision to pay off our mortgage, and with God’s provision, accomplished this goal in January 2006.
After paying off our mortgage, I (Yvonne) was able to answer God’s calling to serve full-time in ministry. The Compass study was a life-changing experience for our family, was the catalyst for my career change and has been a great testimony to our adult children who are continuing the family legacy of applying biblical principles in their lives. – Frank & Yvonne
Kyle & Danielle
We went through the financial small group study by Howard Dayton (now the 9 week Navigating Your Finances God’s way) in 2001 that significantly impacted our lives. First, it made us realize God’s ownership of everything and resulted in a more intimate relationship with Him. The freedom we experienced was amazing! Financially, we wanted to dramatically increase our giving and set a 5-year goal to pay off the house we had just purchased. With God’s help we did both…gave generously and saw the house paid off in 4 years and 3 months! The last 17 years, the Lord has allowed us to increase our giving every year, even when we transitioned to another ministry and did not receive a salary for 7 months. Although this was challenging, finances didn’t dictate God’s calling on our lives. We had the privilege to adopt two beautiful and amazing kids, purchased a new home for our growing family (with cash!) and been able to host others with need in our community for weeks or months at a time. Can’t imagine what life would look like if we had not learned Gods financial principles in the Compass study! –Kyle & Danielle
Dan and Lynn
We were introduced to Howard Dayton’s Bible study in our 30’s and his True Financial Freedom challenge really resonated with us- being free to go wherever the Lord directed us, without having to draw a salary! So, we began the steady plodding journey.
Our first goal was to pay off our mortgage- and with the Lord’s help we were able to accomplish this goal and be debt free! We resisted the desire to increase our lifestyle as raises and bonus’ came in, and instead focused on eliminating this monster-sized debt! As the Lord continued to provide for us during this goal, we continued to increase our giving and savings with the idea of one day experiencing true financial freedom.
We continued to be faithful towards this goal, and when we reached our mid- 50’s, the Lord had provided to the point where we could retire early. Through the Lord’s provision and our faithful steady plodding, we are now serving in full-time ministry without the need for a salary- answering the call the Lord put on our heart 25 years ago! – Dan & Lynn
Clayton and Jenny
Starting the Compass Study, we were excited to learn how to better manage our money, but it turned into much more than that.
We thought we were doing “okay” making ends meet, but this wasn’t the case- we were wasteful in our spending and missed a lot of opportunities to be generous. In fact, we realized we were actually stealing from God by not giving back what was His.
We started to see how our attitude towards money was making us hostile- and we didn’t like it! We decided to let go and surrender everything we “owned” to the Lord. This was a game changer!
We started managing our finances God’s way; seeking His will kept us accountable, forced us to see where we were falling short spiritually, and motivated us be faithful stewards. We even started faithfully using a budget!
We are grateful for this study and look forward to continuing to grow on this journey! – Clayton & Jenny