It feels like it was just yesterday when I sat down in the studio with Dave Ramsey to record the first episode of Chris Brown’s True Stewardship. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a whole year.
At some point, stewardship became a sort of "dirty word" in our culture. People associated it with fundraising campaigns or just assumed it was some old, historic church word. But stewardship actually means managing God’s blessings God’s way for God’s glory. It affects our money, sure, but there’s so much more to it than that. We get to steward our marriages, children, careers, leadership . . . all for God’s glory.
"Stewardship actually means managing God’s blessings God’s way for God’s glory."
A year ago, we launched a show with one goal in mind—to reclaim stewardship for what it really is. And we’ve been running hard at this goal for 12 months, folks. Check out some of these stats from the last year:
We’ve produced 260 episodes, talked to 22 guests, and taken more than 1,200 calls and emails from listeners. We’ve also had 3.4 million podcast downloads and 4.5 million visits to Stewardship.com.
Look at all those numbers. That’s insane!
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Our listeners have dived right into this with us. They’re wrestling with tough questions and sending great words of encouragement—for us and for other listeners. The way they’ve surrounded this show and created a true stewardship community has been one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s obvious that stewardship matters.
But my favorite part of hosting this show is hearing from people who want to share their progress since they began listening—the before and after of their lives. Sometimes they’re talking about money, but not always. Sometimes they’ve changed their marriage for the better. Other times they share how the show is impacting how they raise their kids.
In celebration of our one-year anniversary, I wanted to share two testimonies that stand out to me.
"My favorite part of hosting this show is hearing from people who want to share their progress since they began listening—the before and after of their lives."
A Testimony of a Changed Legacy
The first is from Sam. He emailed to say that he and his 9-year-old son listen to Chris Brown’s True Stewardship every day on the way to school. How cool is that? But one of the greatest lines from Sam’s email said: "I often hear you cannot go to college without taking out loans. It is a lie! My wife earned her bachelor’s and I earned my bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees (at 35) with zero student loan debt. It can be done."
You hear that, folks? It can be done. And Sam and his wife are proof! That’s awesome!
Sam said they were introduced to The Total Money Makeover when they were 26 years old. They were $200,000 in debt with a mortgage they couldn’t afford, a car loan, timeshare loans, and a new baby. They made $50,000 a year. They were stressed, but committed to living for the future, not the present. They cut their expenses, delayed pleasure, and climbed their way out of debt. Now they’re debt-free, investing for retirement, and saving to send their kids to college.
A Testimony of Financial—and Spiritual—Stewardship
The second story comes from Lindsey in Dallas. She emailed to say she’s been blessed by listening to every single episode of the show. Talk about commitment! She said, "God has been using your advice to callers and the constant quoting of Scripture to encourage my discipline with money. When I paid off my car loan last week, I realized God has given me a desire for financial stewardship. This show has been a great encouragement in spending money wisely, and I am starting to memorize some of the verses in Proverbs you share weekly."
Why We Do What We Do: Bringing Hope to the Hopeless
These stories really drive home what our show is all about and who it’s really for. It’s for people like Sam, who dig in their heels, get out of debt, and save for their kids’ college—and tell people you can go to school without school loans. That’s totally changing his life! And think about how that will affect his kids and how they view debt, hard work, and education. He’s paving the way to a great family legacy.
"It’s amazing to watch how God is using this show to impact people in so many ways, from their management of money to their memorization of Scripture."
And it’s for people like Lindsey, who are learning how to handle money, which is obviously huge, but who are also growing in their faith along the way. We all have a calling to steward our finances, but God didn’t stop there. Psalm 24:1 (KJV) says, "The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof." He didn’t stop at money. He meant everything.
It’s amazing to watch how God is using this show to impact people in so many ways, from their management of money to their memorization of Scripture. I’m so honored to be a part of this true stewardship community. And if this is what a year of hope looks like, can you imagine what the next 2, 5, and 10 years will look like?
I can’t wait to find out!
Chris Brown is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, pastor, and dynamic speaker carrying the message of stewardship and intentional living nationwide as a Ramsey Personality. Available on radio stations nationwide, Chris Brown’s True Stewardship provides biblical solutions and sound advice for questions on life and money. You can follow Chris online at www.stewardship.com, on Twitter at @ChrisBrownOnAir, or at www.facebook.com/ChrisBrownOnAir.