Defense does not Win Championships
Add Offense to your Financial Strategy
By Brett Birschbach
Many of us make the mistake of banking on the principal of “defense wins championships” in our personal finances. We fixate on defense, being good stewards of our money, relegating quick or significant progress in our financial situation to mere hope. A lot of churches are acting similarly in regards to membership. Instead of discussing “How do we go out and bring more new people to Christ?” church leadership is often mired in discussions on “How do we keep our existing members and get them to attend more regularly?” Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). That sure sounds a lot different than “Stay therefore and be great disciples” (Nobody 0:0), but how many churches have you noticed are nonetheless playing “prevent defense”? The football pundits tell us that “Defense wins championships!” but does it really? How well is defense doing in growing our churches? And how well is it doing in growing our personal financial portfolio?
But wait, defense does win championships in football, right? The 1985 Bears tromped their way through the playoffs on the back of their defense, winning 21-0, 24-0, and 46-10. Arguably the best NFL defense of all time, it can’t be denied that Chicago’s defense was a big part of their success in Super Bowl XX. But did the Bears win those games by allowing their opponents a total of only 10 points? Nope, they didn’t. They won because they scored more points (offense) than they gave up (defense), just like every other NFL victory the league has ever seen.
There are many fantastic financial programs out there to help us with defense. Of course I recommend Life Leadership’s Financial Fitness program, but certainly the Dave Ramsey program is another good one. In talking with folks who have used the Dave Ramsey program, the only negative thing I’ve really ever heard is “It’s drudgery, I can’t spend money on anything.” But that’s not the fault of the program. Rather, the individual was employing a great defensive program, leaving their offensive strategy to hope. That is why at Life Leadership we teach people not just defense, but also financial offense. In many cases, the key to success is an increased income through significant raises at work, smart investments, or starting a new business.
By no means am I saying to throw defense out, it’s just not the only thing we need to do to succeed. Our churches need to practice good defense by keeping and pleasing members, but also exercise offense by pursuing more members. The same applies to our finances. To make significant progress, you want to make more money (offense) and keep more money (defense). Continue to play good defense by being good a steward, but also go out and pursue more dollars by going on offense!