As a young and naïve pastor, Dan Willis maxed out twenty-three credit cards and ruined his credit to support his ministry. It wasn’t until massive debt caused the cards to stop working that he realized that God never asked him to do this. Through his candor and honesty, Dan reveals the five steps God showed him to get out of debt: stop spending, create a budget, develop a debt payoff plan, begin saving, and repair bad credit. This led him to becoming a thriving and financially-free ministry. Now, Dan is on a mission to teach this to the world. Using biblical principles, but not relying on miracles or “name-it-and-claim-it” theology, Dan provides easy-to-follow, practical steps that can be used by anyone to escape financial bondage. Finally, he encourages readers to use their financial freedom to help others and advance God’s kingdom, and to use their newfound fiscal wisdom to store up wealth. Without shaming those who struggle financially, 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is the perfect combination of spiritual wisdom and practical advice for those who desperately need it.
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About the Author
As a young boy, Dan Willis’s dreams involved entering the medical field until that fateful day when, at age sixteen, he was called to “temporarily” take over the pastor position of a local church. More than thirty years later, Dan is still there, serving as the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Illinois. He took the small ministry of sixteen people and nurtured it into a thriving multicultural body of more than 1,500 people. Dan’s previous books with Whitaker House were Freedom to Forget: Releasing the Pain from the Past, Embracing Hope for the Future and Praise Is My Weapon.
Table of Contents
1 Step 1: Stop the Spending 5
2 Step 2: Budgeting Is Cool 27
3 Step 3: The Payoff Plan 41
4 Step 4: How to Save 53
5 Step 5: Repairers of the Breach 63
6 Using Gifts and Wisdom to Gain Wealth 75
Epilogue: Receive the Increase 87
Sample: Paying off $6,000 of Debt on 3 Credit Cards in 13 Months 91
About the Author 95
Alsip, IL 60803
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 Steps to Financial Freedom by Dan Willis performs the task of illustrating through his own experience of how to get out of debt and why we should stay out of doubt. This book definitely reflects a Christian viewpoint, but the 5 principles apply to everyone. I love how he connects his ideas and experiences to Scripture. The passages provide a wealth of information and support for what he is saying. I feel like this book would be especially beneficial to those just starting their financial journey as well as those who realize they need to change their financial habits. I also respected the way Dan Willis connects our financial decisions to our relationship with God. When our choices honor God, He will bring blessings down upon us. On the other hand, if our choices do not honor God, our lives will reflect that as well. The book is easy to read and is written in language that is easy to understand. I definitely recommend this book. So check it out for yourself.
I definitely agreed with what he tells people on how to get out of debt. Yes you need to get rid of credit cards if possible. Yes, set up a budget. This is great advice. I personally did not care for the emphasis that the author puts on giving 10% of what little most people make to the church. This almost made me think of a con man out to get money. I loved all the other advice. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I'm sure most of us can relate to the author's story of watching our credit cards bounce from store to store. Before we have realized it, it stops bouncing and you hear the horrible beep of denial across the loud speaker in the store. Well, maybe not the loud speaker, but it might as well be. I can remember how I was excited to get my first credit card. My husband and I said we will use it for emergencies only. How long did that great plan last? Not very long as more "we are pleased to inform you that you have been pre- approved for a new credit card from ...." I loved the visual of shredding your credit cards. The author is right. If they are maxed out, you can't use them anyway. Better to get rid of them and pay them off, then keeping them and paying on them just enough to use again. It must have been so hard for his congregation to take that first step toward the shredder that morning. But what freedom they must have experienced as they knew they would never be using the card again. The enemy's hold was lessening as their freedom from credit became closer for them. The scripture, " The love of money is the root of all evil," has been misquoted so often. I have heard people say "money is the root of all evil, " but the scripture specifically says "the love of money." It sure makes a big difference when you know the correct way to follow the word of God. I get the premise of the book, that we should be debt free, but I don't like to feel guilty because the only way I could afford a medical procedure was to charge it. We all have choices and sometimes those choices are not agreeable by others. I do pray about our finances and I know what we need to do. There are times that emergencies come up and a credit card or borrowing money is your only choice. Does it mean I lack faith because I used a credit card? I don't think I should beat myself up when I have to act quickly during an emergency. There are so many teachings on tithing and I always want to make sure that the words I'm hearing are lining up with the Bible. I liked when the author said the prayer to lead people to Christ until he put in about tithing during the prayer of salvation. I can't recommend this book because I found it to be more about tithing and how to have lots of money which seemed important to the author. The author does have a few good points, but I found it difficult to follow his train of thought and the use of some of his examples. The best thing I can say is use your judgement when reading a book such as this and seek God for wisdom in what you should do about finances. I received a copy of this book from celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
WHAT DID I LIKE? There were some really great “zinger” statements in this book, and it was an easy, inspiring read. I also really like that he calls out using debt for ministry. He describes racking up credit cards for church expenses, and this was totally me. Hello? If God is going to provide, he’ll provide actual resources, not bondage to plastic :). One other thing I loved: the connection that Willis made between living debt free and being used by God to do miraculous things. WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE : The chapters themselves provide a good organizational framework, but within each chapter, the author jumps around a bit. It was easy to read (like listening to someone talk), but occasionally hard to follow. There were a few places where Willis used some “churchese” that even I didn’t fully understand. Also, Willis uses the King James Version for all the Scripture references. This works against the “easy to read” factor. It’s not my preference. And there were a few Bible nerd interpretation things that I had an issue with. WOULD I RECOMMEND 5 SIMPLE STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM? Probably not, for the reasons above, but mostly just because there are better resources that cover the same territory. It’s not a bad book, it’s just not my first choice to recommend for this topic. My first recommendation for this topic is still Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover.