5 Ways the Current Financial Tension Can HELP Your Church

POINT OF THE POST...

Are you feeling the financial pressure at your church? Several things are culminating at once: 2023 Budget planning. The stock market reduction. And the fear of a recession, to name a few. Most churches I know are looking ahead cautiously. And I get it. Plenty of churches have already seen giving reduced. And they are simultaneously watching expenses rise. This is happening in our church and in the homes of our congregation. Here's what I'm wondering: What if you leveraged this financial tension to grab their attention? In this NEW POST, I give you five ways to use the financial tensions to help your congregation pay attention... P.S.: I'm launching a new MASTERCLASS COHORT GROUP soon -- "The Giving Funnel that Funds Your Church." If you want more information, just shoot me a note! And check out more resources here: https://gavinadams.com/growing-generosity/

YOU GOT THE POSITION...
YOU'RE THE LEADER...
NOW WHAT?

QUICK NOTE: If you’re working through your 2023 church budget or just worried about funding ministry in this current economic climate, check out this page and the FREE RESOURCES.

 


 

Are you feeling the financial pressure at your church?

Several things are culminating at once: 2023 Budget planning. The stock market reduction. And the fear of a recession, to name a few.

Most churches I know are looking ahead cautiously. And I get it.

Plenty of churches have already seen giving reduced. And they are simultaneously watching expenses rise. This is happening in our church and in the homes of our congregation.

Here’s what I’m wondering:

What if you leveraged this financial tension to grab their attention?

Here’s what I mean. Most of the time, finances are of some concern for most people. By nature, people think about money often. This is true when they have money, when their investments are growing, and even when they have some financial margin.

Consider what’s happening today. Investments are retirement accounts have plummeted. I know plenty of people taking a pay cut instead of their usual pay bump. People are worried about how a recession will make it all worse.

These financial unknowns raise tensions, and this is where we can engage their attention.

Five ways to use the financial tensions to help your congregation pay attention:

1. Create at least one (or two) sermon series next year on financial stewardship.

Notice I did not say to preach about “giving.” Generosity is the result of obedience. And I don’t mean only giving obedience. The vast majority of people in your church have spent themselves into a position where they can’t be generous. Yes, they can give something, but they can’t live generously. Not even close.

As a church leader, you need to help people understand how to plan their spending, budget their income, and follow the Bible’s advice on money. Learning to handle money is the first step to eventually giving it away.

2. Offer financial mentoring.

You probably have people in your church who are financial planners, accountants, or learned fiscal responsibility early in their life. These individuals would most likely love to meet and mentor others trying to discover financial health. Not only does this give people an opportunity to serve, but it also helps people in need of financial support.

3. Fund things outside your church.

Every church should fund things beyond their church. There are plenty of reasons to do this, but within this context, investing in the community beyond your congregation creates the most accessible pathway for non-givers to become tippers. If you’re unfamiliar with those terms, get the FREE VIDEO RESOURCE available from this page.

Growing generosity at your church is about moving people from where they are to their best next giving step. Movement is the secret to funding.

4. Leverage non-preaching moments in your church service to encourage and inspire.

People want to play on winning teams. This is important: people give to winning visions, not vision statements. You can cast all the vision you wish to, but if you can’t bring the vision to fruition, you’ll never get people’s funding.

This is where your church service welcome and vision moments can help. Every time you celebrate mission and vision success, you present a win. These celebrations create the perfect conduit for thanking people for being generous when giving might be more challenging. We need to reward what we want to be repeated.

NOTE: In my MASTERCLASS COHORT (The Funding Funnel that Fully Funds Your Church), we discuss this in great detail, AND I give you scripts for these moments that you can make your own and use immediately.

5. Be honest about the church budget.

So few churches do this, but I believe every church would benefit from it. Why don’t we treat our annual budget like a capital campaign? I don’t mean we go as far as giving out pledge cards (or maybe we should), but what if we shared some important details about our budget to help people connect the dots between their giving and their church’s ministry?

There is never a time when people want their generosity wasted. This tension grows even stronger during less secure financial seasons. ROI matters. What if you used this tension to talk about next year’s budget?

This is a little more abstract, so let me give you an example. During a vision moment in your church service, you could say (and I’m making up these numbers):

“It’s amazing to look back at 2022 thus far and see everything that has happened in our church. Take our student ministry. Two years ago, we couldn’t take our students on retreats, we canceled summer camp, and even our Sunday student ministry services were constantly interrupted by variants and fears. I’m so grateful that most of the things we value in our student ministry are back, because they matter. We’ve been planning for next year, which means working on our ministry budgets for each church area. We have some significant hopes, dreams, and plans for our students — but they require some funding. And that’s where you come in. You don’t need to raise your hand or fill out a card or anything like that, but I do want you to consider — especially if you call this church your church but don’t yet have a plan to support your church — helping fund our students next year. We want to dedicate $50,000 to this ministry next year. That may sound like a lot, but honestly, together, we can easily make this happen. If you want to set up a giving plan, go online to our site or use our app. It’s so easy. Just select that ‘recurring gift’ option. Thanks in advance. They may not know you, but when they tell stories about how God changed their life as a student, you’ll be part of their story.”

Here’s the point: When tensions arise, it’s not time to run away but rather lean in. Use this tension to help people better pay attention. Not only might you better fund your church, but you’ll also do a better job creating disciples.

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