January 7 2009 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    When Gary and Shirley Dohrman saw the success of their children who instituted the personal financial health planning promoted by Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University seminars, they became counselors themselves.

    Dohrman is a retired minister now specializing in financial peace issues to help those in need. And he sees plenty of need. Because money issues often are the wedge that drives couples apart, he knows helping husbands and wives solve those issues can keep them together.

    “One couple when they came weren’t really speaking to each other,” Dohrman said. “After a few weeks of counseling and training they started identifying their needs together as a couple and focusing on that rather than on their differences. As a result they were pretty soon holding hands and by the end of the course we saw a complete change. We were tickled to death to see that.”

    Financial Peace University is an offering of nationally known Dave Ramsey, a once bankrupt financial counselor who says, “Debt is dumb.”

    Dohrman is an enthusiast, especially after leading three classes simultaneously at Hermon Baptist Church in Waxhaw, from where he retired recently. The Ramsey program encourages churches to send their staff members to be trained on stewardship principles and return home to teach congregations about biblical perspectives on finance.

    In places where the principles have been widely implemented, changes in the church have been “unbelievable” said Dohrman. He said offerings “skyrocket” and the church has money for both its budget and support of missions.

    Nationally, people who “stick with you” for the course’s 13 weeks, will save $2,700 and pay off $5,300 worth of debt, Dohrman said.

    “It’s a wonderful ministry as people learn that you live so you’re able to give,” Dohrman said.

    With personal debt reaching catastrophic proportions, offering seminars such as that by Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial Ministries can be a great outreach tool for a church’s community.

    Dohrman, who lives in Monroe, can be contacted at (704) 225-1006 or pastor gary@hermonbaptist.org.

    He told of one client who called herself a “credit card Barbie.” She had never seen her parents buy anything without a credit card. She carried that habit into her own marriage, which prompted problems. Now she and her husband successfully are working together through the debt maze.

    “They tie into it and it changes their live and they really can reach financial peace,” Dohrman said of participants.

    Donnie Gamble, pastor for seven years at Hermon Baptist Church, says the Ramsey seminar is a “great way of doing stewardship education to our members.”

    He’s noted a slight increase in giving overall since the church sponsored the seminars, including a 20 percent boost on “Celebrate the Tithe” Sunday.

    Significantly, he is seeing a “lot less stress” in his congregation because “now they have a plan.”

    In his pastoral counseling, Gamble has seen the financial seminar help couples in their ability to communicate with each other.
     

    Financial health package

    Across three issues of the Biblical Recorder and numerous postings online, the BR staff compiled stories dealing with financial health, budgeting, teaching children about money, stewardship issues, etc. For a complete list, click here.

    1/7/2009 2:59:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace, stewardship




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