This post is the second of a series posts of my reflections on the Small Town, Big Church Roundtable event I attended at The Rescue Church. I encourage you to read the first one:
It Takes ALL Kinds of Churches…
“If you have a God-sized vision your back will always be up against the wall.”
One of the pastors at the roundtable shared this quote and it hit home for many of the leaders there. It seems as if the kingdom of darkness has no problem funding its programs and organizations while the church is continually in need. Whether it is the need for another staff member or a permanent facility, finances play a vital role in the life of a church – especially a small church.
Jon Sanders, the lead pastor of The Rescue Church, shared multiple reasons your church may be struggling financially. Below are three that resonated with me:
1. You don’t preach about giving.
No one wants to be the pastor who seems obsessed with money. Due to the prevalence of television preachers who urge you to sow a seed into their ministry for a miracle, many pastors simply do not talk about money.
This is cowardly.
Money is the god that many people in your congregation worship. The people you pastor are in the process of sacrificing their families to this false god. The “American Dream” has become a cancer bringing a slow and painful death to those who have placed their trust in wealth.
You need to expose this false god by preaching about money. If Jesus is Lord, it should be reflected in the bank accounts of Christians. Don’t be ashamed to call this god out and expose its hideous effects in order to shepherd the souls of your people.
2. You don’t have a compelling vision.
No one wants to give their money to a church whose primary goal is to keep the lights on and fill a building. Far too many small churches have absolutely no vision for the ministry God has called them to do in the community. If you are looking at your church as a stepping stone to a larger ministry and are only there to pay your dues, you will not invest in the long-term health of the people God has entrusted to you.
Our vision at The Rescue Church is to impact our communities by helping people know Jesus, grow in faith, and go serve others. We summarize this as KNOW, GROW, GO. This is more than a cute catchphrase we can hang on our wall, we structure EVERYTHING around this vision. This encourages people to become part of something bigger than themselves – the church of Jesus Christ!
3. You don’t spend money wisely.
Why are casinos able to manage their finances better than a church? The church should have the most discernment and wisdom when it comes to structuring healthy budgets that ensure long-term success.
You don’t have the gift of faith simply because you are too ignorant to create a workable budget and expect God to come through last minute on your behalf every single time you do an event.
The money that God has entrusted to you must be stewarded with care. If you are faithful in the little that God has given your church, He will provide an abundance to be faithful with (Luke 16:10). On the other hand, if you cannot even manage the limited budget you are working with, why would God provide you with more of HIS finances to squander?
Jon Sanders did a whole podcast on this issue. If this is something that resonates with you, I would highly encourage you to check it out – 12 Reasons Your Church might be Struggling Financially.
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