Three years ago, Jeff Reed dared me to try an experiment. We were on staff at the same church. He was the online guy and I was the Stewardship Pastor. His challenge was to run a virtual Financial Peace University class and see how well it worked.
I’ll admit, I took some convincing. But every ministry has a few people who can’t join classes in person and I’d found five who needed help with their finances. With nothing to lose, I gave it a shot.
The format was simple. Each family purchased a digital Financial Peace Membership, and before each virtual meeting, they watched the video content on their own. We met weekly on Zoom to hold each other accountable and discuss the lesson (using the FPU Coordinator Guide).
If you’ve seen the opening sequence for The Brady Bunch, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what our virtual class looked like—a flight attendant, martial arts instructor, mechanic, and church staff member lined up in a grid across my screen. We got together every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. for half an hour.
The class was a runaway success. Engagement and retention were high, and I helped people I couldn’t have reached any other way. The experiment turned me into a believer in the effectiveness of online groups.
Fast forward three years: Turns out Jeff was a prophet. The coronavirus has everyone talking about doing church online. Church leaders are looking for ways to make disciples in virtual environments. And economic uncertainty has people from all walks of life fearing for their financial futures.
Here at Ramsey Solutions, I’ve been telling churches about our virtual classes ever since I was hired. The FPU virtual format makes it just as easy to lead a virtual group as a physical one. As churches cancel their weekly gatherings, I’ve even had discussions about converting physical classes to online formats.
People are worried about their finances. This is true when times are good, and it’s especially true when negative news dominates the headlines. If you’re looking for a way to encourage and equip people when you can’t be with them personally, a virtual FPU class is one easy step you can take. You can read about it at www.daveramsey.com/virtual.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to set up a class, please give me a call at 615.645.6058 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to help!