I have been asked at least 100 times in the past month “How’s business?” My standard response is “Ok. I have meaningful conversations with pastors and lay leaders almost daily about their churches.” The conversation goes from struggling operating budgets to postponed building projects to debt reduction. Without fail, the people I talk to know they are going to have to act on the growing needs of their church sooner rather than later; whether the needs are financial, space, or vision.
I will typically ask pastors “So, what’s holding you back?” Here are some recurring themes in response to my question:
- I’m not sure if it is the right time to talk about money.
- I don’t want to be perceived as insensitive and ask people to consider giving more during these economic times.
- I know we need more space, but how do we present this need to the congregation without being perceived the wrong way?
- I know we need help, but we are struggling financially. How do we pay for it?
I will expand on each of these responses in future posts, but my general conclusion from them all is I feel pastors are most concerned about how to talk about money when many in their congregation are hurting financially. There is a tension between what they know needs to be done intellectually on the financial side and how their hearts feel compassion for those hurting financially. Pastors are a bit paralyzed right now.
What do you think?