Monday, August 26, 2013

Ideas for spending money

One of the unfortunate duties of a church pastor is fielding the many requests for how the church might spend it's money. It's unfortunate, not because people don't have some really great ideas, but because most of the time you have to say "no" to funding those ideas. I would say that I get an average of 10-12 requests a month for support from the church budget for funding. Here are three reasons I say "no" 1. Money in the church in not unlimited. I know some people have an impression that churches have lots of money - especially big churches. But the truth is that most churches have definitive budgets for the ministry they believe God has called them to. This not only includes outreach, but important things like paying the staff fairly and supporting the ministries within the church. Yearly, we make decisions on staff, ministries, programming, etc... based solely on the ministry God has entrusted to us here. There is no such thing as "extra" money. Churches usually plan beyond what they intend to take in (this is called vision) and either invest more fully in their ministry when resources are abundant, or cut back when resources are less than expected. 2. Saying "no" means saying "yes". There is also an impression (I assume from all of the requests) that some churches are waiting around for someone to tell them what they should be doing with their resources. However, a church that is moving forward with the gospel and the calling God has for them, will be very strategic in the ministries and missions they support. When I say "no" to a request to plant a church or fund a new bus for an outreach ministry, I'm actually saying "yes" to the ministries that God has laid on the hearts of the leaders here. I'm excited about what the Spirit is leading us to do and I want to pour all available resources into those things! 3. God is leading us too. The opening line in the brochure, phone call, or email for many is "God is leading me to..." I often want to respond by saying, "Well, God is leading us too". The point is that if we are paying attention to the Holy Spirit - He is leading all of us who are in Christ. However, as in the case of Paul and Barnabus concerning John Mark - he is often leading us in different directions. I'm not missing God's call just because mine doesn't line up with yours. Often, I can affirm God's calling for your passion - but sometimes, I wonder if the phrase "God's leading me.." is just a spiritual line to add weight to the what someone is getting ready to do. Once again, you must do what God is leading you to do, but I equally must do the same and if yours doesn't line up with mine, you have to respect that. Well, those are just some ramblings of a pastor on Monday morning, but at least consider these things before you suggest a spending idea to your pastor.

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