Founder and Senior Pastor of Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, AZ with a congregation of over 8,000 (126 have become millionaires by following biblical principles)
B.A., Univ. of Wisconsin
MBA, Garden Pacific University
PhD & Doctor of Ministry, Friends
International Christian University
Dr. C. Thomas Anderson: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire... God's Way?
The 700 Club
Five years ago, Dr. Anderson had a congregation of 2,000. They paid their bills on time and things were steady. Flying to do a TV show with Jesse Duplantis, he read Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad. During the flight, he felt God was saying, "Many people are teaching prosperity, but no one is showing them how to prosper." He realized most Christians are not financially literate and the Church has not taught the people the process of becoming wealthy.
Dr. Anderson says we need to change our mindset about prosperity being a negative thing. God wants us to prosper. We have the misconception that Jesus was poor. If we look at the scriptures, we will see that from the beginning Joseph and Mary did have money for the inn, there was just no room. When Jesus was crucified, the Romans cast lots for his clothing, which indicates it was valuable, not the rags we think. Jesus was prosperous. People in his day would not listen to a homeless pauper. We need to understand the creativity God has given us. In Genesis, He tells Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. This is a concept we tend to forget. We take our money and forget to give back into God's Kingdom and reinvest. The biblical passage Malachi 3:7-14 talks about bringing our tithes to the storehouse and God will open the windows of heaven. Dr. Anderson says if we want to prosper, we need to follow what is outlined in the Bible. We need to invest in the earth. Then we will see fruit 30, 60, and 100 fold. Biblical examples, like the story of Joseph, show us examples of God's wisdom. The ultimate goal for financial prosperity should be to let your money work for you so you can work for God. God wants to give money through us. Money should work for us. He wants us to prosper for the sake of building His house. Dr. Anderson says anybody can become a good business person. We can learn to be creative, solve problems, and educate ourselves. People can start where they are and think of ways to multiply their money.
Dr. Anderson says the Body of Christ has learned to tithe and give offerings and to expect God to meet our every need, yet we only have enough for the day. We must learn how to make money enough for the future as well as today. God is not going to drop abundance out of heaven, and we can’t pray for someone to just give us money. We need to learn the attributes, qualities and skills to become wealthy. Every wealthy person has a grasp of: basic accounting, understands how investments work, has an understanding that the market is emotionally driven and a basic understanding of US tax laws. It is a lot of work; there is no such thing as gaining wealth without some effort.
Luke 19:11-27 tells the parable of the minas. The owner gave each servant one mina and to “do business” until he returned. One traded and invested and turned his one mina into ten. Another multiplied his mina five times and a third hid his mina. When the owner returned, he rewarded the two investors, but called the one who did nothing with his money a wicked and evil servant. The only time Jesus calls us a good and faithful servant is when we are in the multiplying stage for the sake of the kingdom and we are making money work for us. Dr. Anderson says the money to accomplish our destiny is always available because the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the just, and it is just about time we get to it.
When Dr. Anderson started teaching these principles, there was an increase in 40% of the attendance at his church and the offerings doubled in the first month. He also felt as a pastor shepherding his flock he needed to practice what he was preaching and show the people how to do the principles God gave. He didn't want to use the church's money. Following the principle of buying low and selling high, he borrowed $16,000 and bought a small house in a neighborhood he knew would do well in a few years. He sold the house and bought another property. He continued to buy and sell property. After four years he sold his last property for $2.1 million dollars and continued to invest.
Dr. Anderson knew what it was like to live in poverty from an early age. He grew up in a line shack in Loretta, Wisconsin with no electricity or indoor plumbing. His father was a lumberjack and bought the line shack from a railroad company for $50. When Dr. Anderson was eight-years-old, he got another view of the world when he got a glimpse of television. He decided he did not want to be poor. When he was nine-years old he read a comic book about Scrooge McDuck that would influence him later in life. Uncle Scrooge was very wealthy, but he had a financial setback and lost everything. As he was walking one day, he found a nickel. He saw some kids fishing and bought the fish for a nickel. He turned around and sold the fish for seven dollars. He used this money to buy a scooter. He sold the scooter to someone whose car had broken down. The story went on this way until Uncle Scrooge had all his money back. This story of Uncle Scrooge taught Dr. Anderson some of the characteristics that the wealthy have: look for an opportunity to invest in something; don't be afraid of failure; and buy low, sell high. It wasn't until Dr. Anderson was in high school that his family had plumbing in their home – he knew there was something better out there.
THE BLESSED LIFE
After high school, Dr. Anderson joined the navy for four years then went to college. After graduation he taught art in high school and at the University of Wisconsin. He married his high school sweetheart, Maureen. Five years after they were married, they accepted Jesus into their lives. About seven months later, they were in full-time ministry. Around this time, Dr. Anderson heard an audible word from God, "Meditate on my Word day and night and I'll make you rich." Later, he heard another audible Word from Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not to you own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
Dr. Anderson and Maureen have been in active ministry for more than 30 years and 20 years ago founded Living Word Bible Church. They continue to fulfill their calling to build strong Word and faith families and to equip God’s people to fulfill their own destinies. This vision has enabled them to pastor one of the largest churches in the entire state.
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