I’ve know Mark Scandrette for a long time. In fact, in 2008, he and Doug Pagitt and Dave Laird and I spent an entire summer together in Michael Toy’s RV. I got to know him even better that summer.
Mark is an uncommonly honest person. In fact, chances are that within 5 minutes of a conversation, Mark will ask you something rather intimate about one of two little-discussed topics: sex or money. And he won’t break eye contact until you answer him.
Mark is unafraid of these topics, and he’s unafraid, in turn, to tell you intimate details about his own sex and financial life. His honesty is a gift to his friends and to the church, writ large.
Which is why I’m so pleased that he and his wife, Lisa, have written a book about money matters. It’s called, Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most.
Mark and Lisa have a lot of experience at thinking about money. They are missionaries in San Francisco, one of the world’s most expensive cities, and they raise their own support. They own a house in San Francisco, one of the world’s most expensive cities. They travel, they have three kids — a couple of whom are college age — and they enjoy food, wine, and coffee. They’re not monks, and they’re not puritans. In my estimation, they practice abundant simplicity, and they do so better than just about anyone I know.
The book is full of wisdom. It’s also full of surveys and questionnaires and group discussion guides.
I’ve had a lot of friends go through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and they all speak very highly of it. People have whittled away at tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt using the discipline that Ramsey preaches.
The Scandrettes preach a similar discipline, but it’s combine with something that’s sure to appeal to many of us: they want your money to align with what you value. That is, they encourage you to figure out what you love most about living in this world, and then figure out to use your resources toward that end. That’s why I mentioned above that they like great food, wine, and coffee.
So do I. Which is why I’m heeding the Scandrettes’ advice. I recommend that you do, too.