Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley??

Church leaders have been commended for not only focusing on preaching the gospel, but using it as an avenue to address some of the issues that confront the society.

This praise came today from Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who has responsibility for Ecclesiastical Affairs, as he addressed the Financial Freedom Seminar for church leaders of major Christian denominations at Hilton Barbados.

Mr. Lashley pointed out that the seminar, which was designed to empower church leaders to be champions for inculcating within their congregations the vision of being financially free, was timely in these challenging economic times.

?? Acknowledging that the term ???Financial Freedom’ might seem an impossible occurrence for some, he continued: "However, history is replete with examples of many successful persons who have earned their wealth through various leverage strategies that allow them to make money, while being occupied in other worthwhile activities."

He alluded to the notion that financial freedom encompassed true wealth, – the ability to do what a person wants, whenever he wants it, Mr. Lashley stated: "This is what many people yearn for, but it largely depends on being disciplined, adopting the right attitudes and making correct decisions.

??"Financial freedom also suggests having the ability … to be self supportive, particularly when others around us do not have or have limited means to help… It is all about finding a quality balance in your financial life which includes your income, investments, lifestyles and your pursuits," he explained.

The Minister told the gathering that they must, in the final analysis, be able to?????? confront true financial empowerment within the context of Barbados. "Are we just satisfied to be consumers of high tech gadgets and other forms of technology or will we get serious about seeking to hone the skills of our young people, who, within minutes can disassemble any cell phone or computer and reassemble it.

"I believe we cannot be financially free until we recognise that we cannot just be comfortable with how many iPads, iPods, or vehicles we can sell, but how many we as a country can actually make," Mr. Lashley said.

Some of the topics the church leaders looked at included: The Stock Exchange and Its Advantages, Real Estate, A Liberating Experience and Estate Planning and The Need to be Debt Free.


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