Are you the biggest roadblock to increasing generosity at your church?
Often the biggest roadblock that I have to overcome when working with a church is a pastor or the staff. They simply don’t see the need for all the fuss about giving and generosity. That is until June rolls around and there is no money to send the kids to camp. THEN, suddenly everyone wants action.
For your church to ever be fully funded you need to get over any hang ups you have about talking about money and finances.
If generosity is so important why is it that pastors and staff seldom if ever talk about money and finances? Here are a few of my reasons why…
- It’s unpopular and we like to be liked.No preacher wants to hear, “All you ever talk about at church is money.” The result is we swing the pendulum the other way and NEVER talk about what Jesus talked more about than any other subject.
- We don’t want to drive guests or seekers away. We assume that people don’t come to church because of talk about money. Yet studies show that churches rarely talk about money. I believe the issue is HOW we talk about money not THAT we talk about it. I believe with good messaging even your guests will willingly give!
- We have heard “some” of our members grumble. Often one of your members will pull the pastor aside and say, “They” were offended by your giving letter. ”They” did not like your sermon on tithing. It has been my experience that “they” don’t give much if anything to your church. Why do you think “they” don’t like it when you preach on giving or hold a generosity campaign?
- It often makes the leader uncomfortable.Closely akin to my first bullet point I find that many don’t like to talk about stewardship because it makes them feel uncomfortable. My observation is that most ministers come from humble backgrounds and have never been around money. Thus any discussion of money is uncomfortable and what we are uncomfortable with we ignore.
- Some are not convinced it is biblically their role.I find that we have been so conditioned by lay people, the “theys,” that we ministers are not supposed to know anything about the churches finances that we incorrectly assume that is biblical.
- Many do not feel adequately trained.Our Christian institutions of learning have done a disservice to our leaders in not training them in this crucial field. So a lot of ministers just don’t know what to do and thus do nothing! Relax your Stewardship Coach has you covered!
- Some do not see the necessity.Despite numerous studies that show the importance of the leader being involved in stewardship many do not think it is necessary. EVERY client church of mine that sees giving success has a Senior Pastor fully engaged in the process.
- The tyranny of the urgent. On top of everything else you have to do where do you find the time for planning to increase generosity? Yet if you don’t put in the time you could find yourself with a lot more time when the church has to lay you off when they can’t pay you.
If you think I am being harsh then ask yourself the following questions…
How much time do you spend on stewardship planning? Think about it, how much time do you spend planning out a stewardship strategy compared to all the other things you do? We spend time on what we value and feel is important.
How much time should a pastor spend on stewardship? My personal opinion is that pastors ought to spend 5% to 10% of their time on stewardship! How much time are you spending?
How often do you preach on stewardship? Again, all the church ever talks about is money, right? Wrong, the fact is most churches and pastors never talk about money.
Start planning now a positive series on stewardship and make that a regular part of your preaching schedule.
When you do talk about stewardship how do you do it? I find that we in the church world use guilt all the time. When it comes to stewardship guilt is the wrong method to use to increase your offerings. Guilt puts burdens on people’s backs. Love puts a passion in people’s hearts.
The key to getting people to give is to make them WANT to give! People will give when they know their gift matters. Show people what their gifts do. That is the best way to motivate people to give.
Tell your story of what your church is accomplishing for the Kingdom and you will be surprised at how much people will give to see lives continue to be changed. In short, give them a reason to give that they can’t refuse!
We have the greatest story ever told and it is worth giving to! Bill Easum and Bil Cornelius in their book, Go Big, wrote the following, “Never shy away from asking for money because you are asking for the greatest mission in the world – God’s mission to save creation. You should never be embarrassed. The one who should be embarrassed is the one who refuses to give! As a leader, if you allow finances to hold your church back from reaching your community, then you just allowed finances to become your God.”
That’s good advice. Don’t be your churches number one barrier to giving growth!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach