Recently there have been two topics which continually come up in my thoughts and in conversations with church leaders: on-line giving and struggling giving in the local church. I have begun writing about on-line giving to the point of trying to do some research on my own about it in the local church. You can read one post about on-line giving if you would like to see what that conversation is all about.
I plan to continue to write about on-line giving in the church but I also want to begin writing about the topic of struggling giving in the local church. I spent the first 8-10 years of my career as a Generosity Coach trying to hone my skills as a capital campaign consultant. I will continue to do that, but in the last 3-4 years the conversation at GENERIS has expanded to how can we guide and coach the local church with their focus on tithes and offerings; Everyday Generosity. After all, EVERY church has a budget and has to figure out how to set that budget each year and then operate with the giving received by its’ people.
So, what have I learned? Well, there is no way to list everything, but the overriding conversation I continue to have with church leaders is “How do we fix this?” Does this sound familiar? Is your church struggling to do more to make a difference in the world because you do not have the financial resources being given to do it? If so, I will repeat the question “How do we fix this?”
“How can we get our people to give more of their financial resources to the ministry of our church? We are doing great things within our walls and outside our walls, but it seems to be the same 20% of the people giving 80% of the money. We would like to do so much more in our community and the world, but we simply do not have the dollars to do it. Much of our budget is set; staff salaries and operating expenses are pretty much set. Those expenses do not change much month to month and we are meeting those monthly obligations. However, there is not much left to do the mission and ministry we really would like in order to have a positive impact on the people around us in our community and in the world. We know Jesus commanded us to go and spread the word, but we are struggling to do this due to a lack of finances. How do we fix this?”
The answer is simple and complicated at the same time. The answer is easy in concept, but can prove to be challenging to execute. The answer is obvious yet many (I almost chose to use the word ‘most’) pastors and church leaders choose not to see it. We use the answer to solve all the problems in our personal lives and within the church. We use the answer every day in our jobs to figure out complex issues.
So what is this great answer you might ask? Drum roll please……… TALK ABOUT IT. Yep, TALK ABOUT IT. That is the answer. It is that simple. TALK ABOUT IT.
To be continued……