Financial education for young adults called to ministry

A project by Joseph Ritter

call, Ministry, Missions, youth, Education, debt, faith, preparation, student

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The video is a clip of Eric Kuhns' message delivered at the Missions Convention on October 10, 2014 at Hobe Sound Bible Church in Hobe Sound, Florida. Eric and his family are active missionaries to Honduras under Hope International Missions.

"Debt is killing our missionary candidates." "Debt is a trap."

You are supporting the cost of printing and distributing a pocket-size book (approximately 4"x6"). The title of the book is You're Called to the Ministry. Now What? This book will be placed into the hands of pastors, church leaders, mission boards, ministry leaders, educators and other influencers who are commonly the first to listen to a young adult's call to ministry. The book will be distributed at no cost. The purpose of the book is to guide and inform candidates for the ministry and missions and help them avoid the trap of debt and avoid being prevented from fulfilling their call.

In February 2014, I attended a church conference representing Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. A young man approached the booth and engaged me in conversation on the topic of trusting God to provide financial support. He relayed to me stories of family members and friends who were called to the ministry, enrolled in Bible college, accrued student loan and credit card debt to pay for tuition and living expenses, and ended up working in secular jobs to pay off their debt.

At that moment, God laid on my heart the burden of ministering to young adults and help them avoid this trap. A ministry leader told me when young adults become trapped in debt, they wind up never fulfilling their call. Once debt is paid off, they remain in the more comfortable secular job.

How many people have to continue suffering because ministers and missionaries never made it to the pulpit or field due to heavy debt loads? How many people have to feel badly because they cannot fulfill their call? How many people have to sit on the sidelines only being able to watch and not being able to participate in bringing people into God's kingdom?

If only there was someone who could help turn this tide. And now there is! Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. is doing something to address these issues.

"If God is holy and we are to be a holy people, can we use the world's ways to finance God's work?" "Should we apply holiness to the way we handle money?"

"What difference would it make in our churches and on our mission fields if young adults and individuals called to go trusted God by faith to provide what they needed to complete their education and preparation?" Faith will be required once they go anyway, so why not start before enrolling in college?

The chapter titles of the book are as follows:

  • God Called – Now What?

  • Holy Pauses – Mind the Checks

  • What Does God Want to Do in Your Situation – Is God Moving?

  • What Are Your Gaps

  • Prayer – Wear Grooves in the Floor

  • Give Your Faith a Workout

  • Give God the Glory

  • Be Ye Holy As I Am Holy

  • Once You Go

  • Our Example in Christ

  • Counting the Cost

  • Closing Challenge

Included in the book are examples of missionaries who relied on prayer, faith and trust in God to overcome challenges and obstacles in providing for their needs. The reader is also challenged to develop his or her own life of prayer, faith and trust in God. We cannot see God working unless we give Him space to work, and this book outlines how to give God the space He needs. Once we see God working, then we can praise Him and give Him glory, which adds to our witness and testimony.

As of October 31, 2014, the manuscript is out for editing, and the cover is complete. The book has been assigned ISBN 978-1502951335, and Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. will hold the copyright. We expect this book to be fully available in print by the end of 2014. We are eager to begin distributing the book just as soon as it is printed, and we are asking your help to cover the cost of printing and distribution. $1,500 is our initial goal. As the book becomes known, we anticipate the need for additional funds in the future.

Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving low-income households, households in crisis, and full-time ministers and missionaries with financial planning, coaching and counseling services. Our primary service area is the state of Florida and the Appalachian regions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. Services are provided on demonstration of need without regard for the ability to pay. Learn more at

R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. CFP® is the founder and president of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, Joe has dedicated his career to working with the underserved and overlooked. Joe holds a Masters degree in world mission and evangelism from Asbury Theological Seminary. Joe and his family stepped out in faith to launch and operate the organization and are relying on God to provide their financial support. Joe is also a self-published author of three books - 25 Days of Christmas Devotional, Sacrifice and Submission in Marriage: Unlocking the Promises of Christ Through Obedience, and Jacob's Testimony: A Catechism Teaching the Praises, Strength and Wondrous Works of the Lord. Joe's books are being read throughout North America, Europe, Australia and India.

Post your prayer for this project

  • Joseph Ritter     almost 4 years ago
    • Pray that God will open the hearts of the young adults who will read this book.

    • Pray that God will strengthen young adults called to the ministry that they can be strong in their faith, endure the world's peer pressure, and endure the tests and trials that come with living by faith.

    • Pray that God will continue opening doors for Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. as we integrate the gospel message and faith with our financial planning and financial counseling work.

  • Falling gas prices an opportunity to increase giving

    more than 3 years ago

    Falling gas prices present a unique opportunity to increase giving. Consider allocating some of that giving to helping people pursue their call to missions.

  • Client testimonial

    more than 3 years ago

    Ken and Kathy of Danville, Virginia are living examples of a delayed response to a call to ministry. Zacchaeus Financial Counseling first encountered Kathy at a free financial clinic held at their church. They are now both disabled, living on a fixed income, and became trapped under $21,000 of credit card debt. We offered them a pro bono engagement and were able to obtain an outstanding result by advocating for them with a leading credit card company. Their monthly payment was reduced by 30%, the balance was reduced by more than 20%, and their interest rate was cut from 19% to 1%. Shortly after this result, Kathy informed us that God had called her to write a Bible study for youth, but she set it aside under the mounting pressure of their disabilities and mounting credit card debt. The staff of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling prayed for them and with them throughout the engagement, and her faith was renewed. Kathy has now vowed to complete the manuscript and pursue self-publishing of her book. The half of their story has not been told since we do not know how many young lives will be touched through her book. Ken and Kathy are an example of what can happen when the world's ways of handling money become overwhelming and what can happen when God is re-established into a place of priority. Zacchaeus Financial Counseling is thankful to have been part of this client engagement, and we hope to one day see in heaven some of the youth touched by her book.

  • Paperback edition now live!

    more than 3 years ago

    The paperback edition of the book is now live and ready for distribution. The first round of distribution will occur in early January.

  • Offline Campaign Goal Exceeded

    more than 3 years ago

    Our offline campaign of $1,000 is now 110% funded! Please join us in taking this effort forward.

  • Reserve your free copy

    more than 3 years ago
    Request a free paperback copy of You're Called to the Ministry. Now What? The book will be sent as soon as it becomes available. Sign up at online.
  • E-Book Now Available

    almost 4 years ago
    The digital edition of You're Called to the Ministry. Now What? is now available in e-book platforms through Smashwords. Download your own copy today, and then come back and support this project.

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