Should A Pastor Own A Porsche?

I don’t know how you would answer that question, but I am a pastor, and I own a Porsche.

To live curiously and collect curious things does not always make sense to everyone.

Twenty years ago when I was a youth pastor in Indianapolis, I wrote three books for youth pastors:  Things They Didn’t Teach You At Bible College But You Really Need To Know and Creative to the Max – Volumes One and Two.  I started receiving royalty checks each month. These checks were small,  just a few hundred dollars a month, but I was wise enough at 23 years old to know that if I didn’t do something proactive with these resources, I would spend them on CD’s, soccer shoes and steaks at Outback, and have nothing to show for it.

So I decided to make an investment.
I decided to route these resources toward something that would appreciate in value and be fun to own at the same time.


I found this 1973 911 Targa Porsche with a for sale sign in the window one day coming home from work. It lived in a neighborhood near me. It had only had two previous owners, and the current owner was ready to sell. I got a loan at the bank and purchased this car for $9,100, and every single royalty check that I received went to pay off that loan.

The same week I bought the car, I put a BOSTON boston boston tape in the green glowing Alpine deck, and that has been the car’s only soundtrack for the past 20 years!

The car, since being purchased in Indiana, has also lived in Kentucky, California and Arizona.  I can tell you that driving the 911 in California was more acceptable than driving it in Kentucky. There is a big perception difference between owning a Porsche in the Midwest and owning a Porsche on the West Coast. Which leads me to believe that whether or not a pastor should own a Porsche has as much to do with geography as it does theology.

I purchased the car with 51,000 miles, and over the course of two decades, I only nudged the odometer a bit past 65,000 miles.  Driving this car sparingly down old country roads in Kentucky, up the coast in California and around the cactus in Arizona has obviously helped the value of the car.  It is not worth $9,100 anymore. It is now worth north of $40,000.

I can remember the week I bought this car, I was 23 years old, thinking that it could one day pay for my kids’ college tuition if I would take care of it. It has been a blast to drive and care for this car.

So, here is my advice to those who want to own curious things whether you are a pastor or not.

1. Own things that you appreciate and that appreciate in value.

And own as few things as possible that depreciate in value. But if it appreciates, whether it is a classic Porsche, a mustang, VW bus, Gibson guitar or a first issue of a Spider Man comic book … if it appreciates, it may be a good thing to own.

2. If you won’t loan it, don’t own it.

If you own something that you won’t loan to a friend, you don’t really own that thing – it owns you! Whether it is a Porsche, nice DSLR camera, pair of boots or golf clubs … if you won’t loan it, don’t own it!

3. Collect experiences not things.

Ultimately, things will let you down. No matter how nice the clothes, car, computer or television … it will soon be old, out of fashion or unfulfilling. It is better to collect experiences with people than to collect things. Experiences will be cherished long after things have left your garage.

By the way, today is a BITTER / SWEET day.
June 4th, 2015.
I just sold the Porsche this afternoon.


PS – Don’t worry, I remembered to take out the Boston tape.


Live friends.


31 thoughts on “Should A Pastor Own A Porsche?

  1. This is not a big deal. People own things. They always have and they always will. It’s how you view the things that you have that matters. As long as you own them and they don’t own you, it’s all good.

    1. Very well said. Don’t let things own you. Things make good gifts but bad gods! Have a great week.

  2. Ummm…I’ve been a passenger in that beauty and I’ll never forget you left it running while you got gas…I thought for sure I was a dead woman! Oh the memories of a young TC. Love you for those memories forever!

    1. Ha – some great times! I don’t remember leaving it running sorry to have endangered ya! Have great weekend! Tell J hey.

  3. OMG. I can’t believe I didn’t know this story….OR THAT CAR! And I’m pissed I didn’t get to meet her. Anyway….I have much to learn from you TC. Well done!!!

    1. Sorry for not disclosing that Monty! It’s like a little bit faster and older mini:) Appreciate you my friend. #LC

  4. The only person who should own a porsche is the person who knows how to pronounce porsche. Great story! Loved your point #2.

  5. Love the insight on this Todd. Looks like your investment and long term planning paid off. As in any profession there are rewards for those with some ingenuity and some hustle. Not too many 23 year olds would have the drive to write 3 books or the wisdom to know what to do with the money. Once again nice work!

    1. Thanks Adam. I give credit for that wisdom to my parents who raised me to invest well and the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. Have a great weekend. And live curious.

  6. As a youth pastor who’s daily driver is a bright red 1996 Pontiac Firebird, I wholeheartedly agree with you! I disagree with the “don’t own things that you won’t loan to a friend” idea though. Some things that we could own are just too valuable to loan to a friend. Would you let your friend borrow a Babe Ruth rookie card for a week? Would you let somebody in your church drive your Ferrari around for a few days? Heck no! All those are too valuable to just let anybody use them. It all comes down to common sense.

    1. In that case I guess it depends on the dependability of your friends your loaning it to Caleb. True! But we want to own things we dont want things to own us.
      PS – well done on the bright red firebird.
      My first car was a baby blue 1978 Pontiac Firebird!

  7. “If you won’t loan it don’t own it” I remember you shared this in a message at Discovery way back, and I never forgot it. As always you inspire, thanks Todd.

    1. That’s right Paula – love those DC years. Some of the greatest years of our life. Tell everyone hello – and own well!

  8. Appreciate your wisdom as always.
    Investments come in different shapes and sizes.
    Wise pastors invest. Children of God should feel comfortable to invest as well.
    Miss you brother!

    1. Miss you too Richard. Well spoken words – children of God should make the wisest investments. Tell your family hello!

  9. Alot of people (especially Christians unfortunately) will develop their own perceptions regardless of the facts. (Btw I grew up in KY and you’re right, that probably didn’t go over well).

    As long as we don’t foster pride in our possessions (1 Jn 2:16) then I think it’s all good. The people forming opinions about what someone drives are the ones putting the focus on the importance of possessions, not the owner!

    1. Well said Dan – a fellow KY brother! Yes the owner is the one who will one day be responsible not the thing (s) owned! Bam.

  10. Todd, I did not know this. I was 22 yrs old when I bought my “investment”, a ’69 911T. I had it 10 yrs and I made some money too. It was a beauty! Miss you, your family and your stories. Continued blessings!

    1. Ahhhh what! Had no idea we had that in common. We miss you as well – pray you are doing well. Have a great weekend Sue!

  11. I think my only issue is the Boston tape. :-/

    Of course that might say more about me than anyone else. As a matter of fact my wife was sitting next to me saying she likes Boston.

    In regards to the car, it cost less than my car and my car only goes down in value. I see no issues at all.

  12. Your article title caught my eye, as it was designed to. My gut reaction is NO because I don’t tend to be inspired by people who want to own products that are designed/marketed to make people feel significant. However, you purchased it as an investment for your kids. The article title should actually read….”Should a pastor own investments”….of course he should ….and be a good steward of his money too.

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