Regardless of denominational differences or where a church is located, across the board they have one thing in common…they are almost always concerned about finances. Money is a necessary part of running a successful church.
Whenever a recession hits the nation and jobs become more difficult to find and less production means less income, eventually a church congregation is going to feel the pinch. And, like many things in life it actually provides us with an opportunity to see and do some worthwhile, even wonderful things. In these times, what can a church do to encourage giving so that the monetary needs of the church are met? Well, there are several….
- Have a fun event! Some churches will have a special dinner before embarking on a building campaign as a way to energize the church and open wallets. Instead of a private restaurant or having something catered, meet on your own grounds with a covered dish dinner, some fun games and singing and rally the people to rise to the occasion and give graciously during this tough time.
- Learn from the best! There are several good, Christian financial seminars, books and conferences to be taken advantage of. They will give you the tools and the know-how of setting up a working budget, giving to God the tithe of our income, wise spending and good saving habits. If a congregation is well trained on how to handle their income in their homes then the church shall lack no good thing. Think of it! Ministries are well supplied, food pantry and clothing racks filled to the brim, benevolence funds available and all because God’s people learned the simple ways of handling God’s money!
- Make sure you are using your existing resources effectively, or find out how you can streamline existing processes. For example, using our site specifically as an example (ABCFastDirectory), you could use this software to create a photo membership directory automatically, instead of doing it by hand (in a program such as Microsoft Word, etc). While of course you could do that in Microsoft Word, to edit it, keep it current, move pictures around, move text around, try and alphabetize it, etc would literally take 100′s of hours over the course of several months. Using ABCFastDirectory, you could accomplish the same thing in a matter of hours, and then use the 98 other hours (more than two full work weeks!) for other important tasks. So sit down and evaluate which of your existing processes can be streamlined.
- Understand what ministries your money supports! For most churches the bulk of the budget goes to pay the minister’s salary and the mortgage payment on the building if it is not paid for. The rest goes to support the various ministries in the church whether it is for children or seniors adults. Therefore, one Sunday a month or two or three, take a moment just before the worship service and have the leadership explain a particular ministry, introduce someone who is benefited by that ministry so the congregation makes a personal connection with where their money is going and who it truly benefits. When people see the good cause that is being supported, they are more likely to support it, both financially and in terms of volunteering.
- Don’t merely ask for money, get support for a vision! A trusted axiom is this: money follows vision. Where is the church going? What frontiers in the community are you going to blaze into? Where is all this headed? Ask your leadership to clarify the vision of the church. Dollars follow the asking, but checks follow vision!
If you apply these steps, not only will you see almost immediate results to the bottom line of your Church’s finances, but you will find that you have the funds and resources to accomplish what is important to you.