When was the last time your church presented a sermon about money?
Money can be a difficult topic for many Pastors to speak about with their congregations. So often I hear a pastor saying he avoids talking about money because he doesn’t want to have a reputation with his congregation that says, “Our pastor is always talking about or asking for money! There are a lot more subjects in the Bible than money!”
This statement is often made by those who are not giving at all. This is the Pareto rule at play: 20% of the congregation provides 80% of the funds available to do ministry. Sad but true!
Money is the fuel for ministry! Without it ministry cannot happen. Think about your church budget. How much money is needed for salaries (and benefits), facilities, ministries and mission? The amount of dollars spent in each area of the church budget varies depending on the size of the church, but all of these buckets of spending are represented in each church budget.
To do more ministry requires more “fuel” in many cases.
We are getting close to the season in which churches are developing their budgets for their next year, which may be on a calendar year basis or other timing. This is the time that the finance committees are beginning their work to create a budget for congregational approval. Input comes from many sources, but usually it is a comparison to what we have done the year before. Often there is no strategy involved. The mindset is “this is the way we have always done it.”
Very often in the budgeting process, we realize that we may end up coming up short of accomplishing everything we’d dream of doing.
Apart from “compelling” people to give more, how can we be intentional about growing the finances of the church?
If we want to see increased giving in our churches, we cannot keep doing the same old things the same old way. We need to think differently.
Here are several ways you can increase giving in your church:
Develop a clear Vision
The question must to be asked – What is the Vision God has given to our church?Hopefully, your leadership team has developed a clear Vision for the next 2-5 years. I cannot over emphasize the need for development of a Vision. If you do not have Vision, your congregation will not get fully engaged in giving. People give to Vision!
Host a Vision night at your church
If you have developed a Vision, be sure you are communicating it formally and informally. When is the last time you shared your Vision from the pulpit? Do most in your congregation know where the church is headed?
Teach biblical truths on money and giving
Do not shy away from teaching about money and giving on Sunday mornings and throughout the week. The Bible speaks about finances more than many other topics. If Jesus was unafraid to talk about it, we shouldn’t be afraid either.
Teach couples, singles and families about budgeting. One great tool is to have a lay person in the church lead a class, such as Financial Peace University or Crown Financial.
People often do not give because they are feeling a personal financial burden. Offer classes as a service to your congregation. When people have a biblical understanding of how to manage their own household budget, they tend to be a more cheerful givers.
Let people tell their story
Vision drives giving, but stories are the best vehicle for sharing the impact of vision. Celebrate what God has done within your church because of the generosity of the congregation.
Have people share stories, within the congregation, of what impact developing a habit of giving has made in their lives
Share the impact giving has made on neighbors, ministries, Gospel opportunities, mission trips, and the lives of those that participated (sharing stories of individuals and groups that demonstrate your Mission being lived out)
Don’t just share stories of what’s happening inside the church, share stories of what’s happening beyond your four walls because of your congregation’s sacrificial giving.
Help givers explore planned giving
Look for credentialed financial planners in the church, that specialize in Planned Giving, who can hold classes to explain the concepts and opportunities that can impact the church in the future.
As Baby Boomers begin to retire, encourage your congregation to consider “tithing” on their estates. It is important that no one in your church feel duped or manipulated into giving to the church. However, many people have simply never considered this possibility. This is why we recommend outsourcing this training to a trained professional rather than take the topic on yourself.
Cultivate giving champions
Do you know the giving capacity of your church? What if every person increased their giving by 1%? What kind of impact would that make on the finances of your church? Be intentional, when necessary, about cultivating champions in your church. It is very common for the giving of a few to inspire the giving of the many, when this cultivation is intentional.
Read the book, Money Matters in the Church
This book has additional tips, suggestions, and methods for helping your church become financially healthy.
There are many ways that giving can be developed within your church body. Many of which have been shared here. At times it is helpful retain some outside help in the area of finances and giving. This can be particularly true if you want to change how you develop your budget and the processes you use. TMG is a resource you might consider retaining.
God bless your church and the development of your budgets! May God give you Vision for your church and may you see it fulfilled in the coming years.
Interested in Building a Better Budget?
Download this free completely free training.
In this webinar, you will learn:
- The fatal flaw in most church budgeting processes
- How to reduce “waste” in ministry spending you didn’t even know you had
- How to maximize your budget to gain disciple-making momentum
- Fundamentals of “Zero-Based” budgeting techniques
This training is free. There’s no sales pitch. The sole intention is to help you become a better leader and help your church get healthier!
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