One thing we know about churches is they barely have enough money. If they are declining churches they barely have enough money. If they are strong thriving churches they barely have enough money.  In both cases the needs are larger than the budgets. I have pastored both kinds of churches.

The difference is that some churches handle this truth by worrying, conserving, hoarding, and protecting themselves against a foreboding future. Other churches handle this truth by celebrating their victories, remaining confident that if they can raise a good amount they can raise a great amount, and by remembering that growing the giver’s heart is the key to generosity.

Having barely enough makes some of us concentrate on the budget. For others it reminds us to concentrate on growing disciples. Having barely enough focuses some on management of costs. For others it is bringing Christians into the truth and joy of Christian stewardship. While it is true that churches function best by having budgets and managing costs, these are tools, not fruits. They are things we do to express faithful ministry but are not the goal of faithful ministry.

An important first question for every Finance Committee is: How are we growing the stewardship and giving in our church family? Try putting that on your agenda for the next meeting.

Want help?  Let us come to your church and share our presentation: Motivations for Christian Giving. Contact us at ghowell@umfi.org or 317-788-7879.

Glenn Howell
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana

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