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Personal Stewardship

Dave Ramsey asks a great question, "What could the people of God do for the Kingdom of God if they were debt free?" A lot of churches are doing great things with Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and of course the Crown Ministry courses are well known and widely used. These are great tools for the congregation, but they are also great tools for community outreache to reach a hurting world.

Personal Stewardship Resources

Church Stewardship

What is good idea for our members is good for the church. Today, more than ever, churches need to look at the expense side of their ledger. It is amazing, the vast majority of churches which did not purposefully reduce their budgets for 2009, even though giving (for many) was off in 2008, and over half reported being behind budget in Q1 of 2009.  (See Pastors Between a Rock and Hard Place" for details and link to survey data.)

Most churches operate  on a zero sum budget, $600,000 in the door, $600,000 out the door.  Like a goldfish growing to the size of its bowl, churches continue to grow their expenses on par with predicted incomes from tithes and offerings.  Over the years, things creep into the budget that never seem to creep back out again, causing expense bloat.  It is a hard thing to cut back, but in tough times, a little preemptive action can help avoid major, and sudden cuts, at a later time.

If church leaders are uncertain about how to trim and what to trim, an outside church consultant can not only provide impartial input, but can also become the lightening rod for unpopular decisions that need to be made. 

Church Financial Stewardship Resources

Biblical Stewardship

Recent Lilly Endowment Studies reports 85% of pastors feel uncomfortable and/or unequipped to preach on giving. Being unwilling to preach and teach on money is not a new problem. Malachi begins in chapter 1 by rebuking the priests for failing to properly oversee worship (particularly the offerings), and failing to properly instruct the nation in God's Law.

The typical church receives an average of only $20 per person per week. There is not enough teaching on stewardship and much of the teaching consists of tossing it out there and hoping something sticks. Its not enough to teach the principles, church leaders have to give people practical application and challenge them to apply it in their lives.

The solution is to clearly and unashamedly preach and teach on biblical stewardship and not be afraid to challenge the people to respond. In 1 Chronicles 29:5, King David, after proclaiming his financial support for the building of the temple then clearly challenges the people to give by boldly asking, "Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?" David clearly threw the gauntlet down and the people responded.

Church leaders need to  become equipped to lead and challenge their churches in biblical giving. Pastor testimonials indicate that when they do this, their churches see 10-30% increases in regular giving, in as few as 5 weeks, and continuing increases every year thereafter when they go through this process.

"What would your church do with 10-30% more money?"  Pastors and church leaders who wish to become equipped to lead their church in biblical stewardship, should consider these tools:

Capital Stewardship Campaign

Separate from general, annual stewardship, a capital stewardship campaign raises money for large capital projects, such as building program. A capital stewardship campaign will typically raise between 1 and 3 times the church's current income in tithes and offerings. Properly done, it will not have a negative impact on regular giving, in fact, it often causes an increase to the general fund giving as well.

There are a number of larger and well known capital campaign firms, large and small. However, while arguably giving a good ROI, larger capital campaign firms with their larger overheads have always been on the more expensive side, and several are struggling in this economy. Shop around and compare programs, costs, and results.  At the end of the day, the capital campaign consultant you select needs to be a good spiritual and cultural fit with your church. A new offering by an experienced campaign consulting firm is the Abundant Giving campaign.  This program offers options and pricing that fit churches from 70 to 700.

Capital Stewardship Campaign Resources


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