Great Commission Survey Part 3: Finances

If you have been following the last couple newsletters you know that earlier this year I surveyed more than three dozen of my pastor friends and ministry partners and asked one simple question:

 

        What are the top three challenges pastors are facing as they seek to fulfill the

                                                    Great Commission?

We addressed leadership in our July newsletter, the people in the pews (the congregation) in the August newsletter.  Now we are to the third part of the survey results and that is finances.

Once again we have merely listed the words straight from the ministry leaders on the “front lines” and have left you to ponder and pray over them.  Do you see your situation in any of the responses?

 

I have broken finances into three parts, the effect on:

 

Facilities                       Effectiveness                       Staff

 

Facilities
Today economic conditions cause people not to pay tithes. This causes a hold back on building

Do not have a realistic understanding of cost.  They are being given false costs from deacons and members who have not been involved in current construction, as well as having only residential experience

Currently as a self-supported church plant, we aren’t able to get beyond fulfilling current needs. Not able to save towards future.

We cannot afford to purchase a permanent place of residence that would open up multiple ministry opportunities for us.

A pastor needs to make sure that a project is not just his baby.  He may see the need to build to accommodate growth or to spark growth, but his vision needs to be systematically shared with everyone so that it becomes their vision, too.

 

Effectiveness
Soliciting the support of the members for spending the money.  Many smaller churches have a tougher time with this than the larger ones, but it’s always a large hurdle to clear for any church.  This means cultivating a pro-growth mindset within the existing membership if one does not already exist.

 I have surmised that the large churches are large because they already have a pro-growth mindset.  For many smaller churches, changing the prevailing mindset is difficult, but it’s a barrier they have to break through to begin growing.  The best way to do this is by sharing the vision. 

Resources- Due to the pitiful giving of most churches, the cash flow has been reduced to a dribble.  You have heard it said that the love of money is the root of all evil. Well . . . you and I both know that the lack of money can be the great prohibitor.  Jerry Falwell once said “little money equals little ministry and big money equals big ministry”. 

All of the following has led to funding struggles for many churches.  – Deterioration of family unit, modern entertainment culture, loss of traditional Christian values.

Fiscal health…giving is not well-stressed nor appreciated for it’s relationship to spiritual health. 

Churches lack potency because they are not rich toward God.

And last, but surely not least, the lack of finances greatly hinders our ministry efforts. It would be amazing what we could accomplish if we have money to dedicate to ministry causes.

Staff

Finances (or should I say lack thereof?) – the lack of adequate funding hurts us in most every way.

We cannot pay staff who could, if compensated generously, dedicate their time to full-time ministry. As it stands, we are all divided with our time.

I would also like to add that the lack of human resources also plays a big roll as well.  In most churches 10-20% do all the work . . . well, where are the other 80-90% of the people.

Maintaining consistent support and financial backing/ tithing.

 

Well, there you have it.  I pray that seeing written in black and white what other ministry leaders are struggling with will cause you to stop and take an honest look at where you are as well.  If we don’t discover what is keeping us from being faithful to the command God has given us souls are going to be lost for all eternity and we are going to be held accountable.   The cause is too great to ignore the problems!  Please join me in praying .

If you would like the complete compilation of all the responses email me at [email protected]  I would also like to hear what you see as your top challenges. We are coaching leaders from many varied locations and situations and could use your input.

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