The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Teaching teens about money

Iowa pastor believes it's the church's job

We often hear that Jesus talked more about money than anything else. Yet Lutherans tend not to discuss money in polite conversation, and our nation's teenagers are graduating from high school without knowing how to balance a checkbook. In this electronic age, they may not even know what a checkbook is.

Craig E. Brown, a pastor of First Lutheran, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, thinks the church is responsible for teaching money management. In fact, when First set out to teach teenagers how to manage their money, its publicity pointed out that:

• New data shows that 1 out of 5 bankruptcies in America this year were college students.

• Debt load has now replaced academic failure as the No. 1 reason students drop out of college.

designpicsBrown, a former TV news reporter, recently offered a five-week class called Generation Change to teach church and community teens to save money, avoid credit card debt and stay in school.

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Embracing diversity