I have a nerdy dream to write, sing and produce a hit song about the heart of the matter when it comes to stewardship. Once it goes platinum, everyone will know what stewardship is really about. Sing it with me!
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Budget shortfalls are like death and taxes… you can count on them. Okay, maybe they’re not exactly the same level of doom, but for many churches, deficits feel tragically inevitable!
If your church has a plan to close its budget gap, I’d love to hear about it! Even more, I’d love to help share it with other churches – so let me know!
But sans any plans, here are a few potential strategies off the top of my head…
“When it comes to discipleship we say, “Pray, fast, read and worship to grow in faith, obedience and fellowship with God.” My question is, “Why not include giving?”
A young pastor recently said to me, “Two-thirds of our church’s members are 65 years and older. What I want to know is this… Once they’re gone, where is all their wealth going?”
Whoa! Now there’s a question that doesn’t get asked every day!
“Come again, Jesus? You’re pushing swag? To influence people? A bit unseemly, wouldn’t you say?”
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9, NIV)
Who doesn’t like a little swag? “Ooh, a foam can cooler,” you squeal — except you don’t actually use them.
We call giving “a privilege” or “a responsibility” or “an aspiration.”
But the not-so-subtle message we send to our members says it’s a duty. That’s right, the same rationale we use for getting a root canal gets applied to giving.
What if we could change the narrative from “gotta” to “get to” give?
I never wanted to know how much church members were giving. I didn’t think it was any of my business.
That was a mistake.
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said.” (Mark 10:21, NIV)
Jesus loved the rich young ruler. This man was literally so close to the Kingdom of God. He chased it down. Finding Jesus and falling to his knees, he begged Him to share the secret of the Kingdom.
I’ve been binging on budget apps lately. In my nerdy opinion, they’re cool and help me feel in control of my money. What’s not to like?
But my wife’s reaction was less than enthusiastic.
On Ash Wednesday, I decided to give up my afternoon cup of coffee. There began the longest Lenten season of my life.