Churches face a myriad of challenges and difficulties. I know. I’ve been there. Growing a church is not easy work. Whenever I’m talking to a church staff member or leader, in addition to sharing their challenges with me, they also almost always tell me about their God-sized dreams. I love hearing about these exciting visions. I love hearing the passion and excitement that accompanies the sharing of these dreams.
The next thing I ask is usually something like, “What’s preventing you from getting started on this?” Then, I get those same five words almost every time, “We don’t have the money.” Most churches are underfunded and, as a result, most church visions are undersized, not God-sized. I know church leaders have lots of exciting ideas and dreams and I know most of these have come from God, so they should be acted on. If churches, and other Christian organizations, are going to realize their true God-given potential they are going to have to adequately fund their vision.
What can churches do to address this issue? Here are a couple of things.
- They must normalize the “money conversation.” Churches are too often fearful of talking about money. This only makes it worse. The less it’s talked about the less normal it is. The more it’s discussed however, the more normal the subject of money becomes. Why do church leaders shy away from these conversations? The Bible speaks of money as gold and silver. Gold is mentioned in the Scriptures 417 times and silver 320 times. The topic of financial matters appears more often in scripture than prayer, but no one is afraid to talk about prayer.
- Churches must be intentional about developing a true culture of generosity in their churches. Data provided by Empty Tomb, a Christian research organization, uncovered the following statistics. In 1916 church attenders were giving 2.9% of their income to the church. In 1933, during the depth of the Great Depression, that number was 3.2%. In 2007 however, when Americans were 582% more wealthy, they were giving only 2.5% of their income to churches. That is less than the percentages given in both 1916 and 1933 (click here for more info). Why? The church has failed to make generosity a part of their DNA.
There are lots of ways churches can begin the process of intentionally creating a generous culture. Here are three:
- They must first analyze and diagnose their current situation. Before you can get to your destination, you need to be aware of your starting point.
- Then, they teach about generous giving.
- Finally, they must implement systems designed to intentionally create a more generous culture.
If you’d like to know more of if you’d like a free diagnosis of your church or organization’s generosity culture, shoot me an email by clicking here or, to schedule a 30-minute phone call with me, click here.
Question: In your church or organization, what God-given dreams are still unrealized because of a a lack of funding?