Tag Archive - tithe

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Underfunded: 4 Reasons Why Church Vision Stalls

We believe in the power of a clear vision and a solid action plan to help churches move forward.

But too often, we see churches seek God for a vision, diligently plan for action and then hit a wall they don’t have to hit. We have seen passionate teams and inspiring visions stall out because one key aspect commonly receives too little focus…funding.

We often see church leaders sidestep this component of vision. No matter the effort and inspiration, an underfunded vision will result in a stagnant plan.

This is a conversation we’ve been having lately. We want to invite you into it. Join Tony Morgan, Joe Sangl and Marty Schmidt for a free webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 1pm EST.

Underfunded: 4 Reasons Church Vision Stalls

The conversation will center on the most common reasons we see church vision stall when it comes to funding.

You will learn to recognize and diagnose issues like:

  • The Un-Fundable Vision
  • Fundraising vs. Building a Generous Culture
  • The Campaign Trap
  • Not Knowing What You Don’t Know (and Proceeding Anyway)

Space is limited, so register asap. We hope to see you there!


Posted in Leadership

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7 Articles that will Help Your Church become More Generous

Building a generous culture in your church isn’t easy. In fact generosity goes against every natural bone in our bodies, because what comes natural to us is us. That’s why both Jesus and the Apostle Paul connect spiritual maturity with generosity and living an others oriented life. Money in particular is a tough topic for most pastors to talk about with their church. Over the years I’ve written a bit about building a generous culture in your church and below are some of the more popular posts. Enjoy and I hope they’re helpful!

20 Ways Church Leaders can Help their Churches become More Generous

I’ve been around very few church leaders that didn’t wish their people would become more generous. But very few church leaders have defined a strategy to help their people take steps to become more generous.

3 Reasons People don’t Give to your Church

Just like there are real actionable steps that churches can take to engage givers, there are also things that churches do to repel givers. More often than not they’re doing these things and they don’t even know it.

5 Characteristics of Generous Churches

Generosity stands in direct opposition to our sin nature. After all most of us don’t wake up thinking about someone else’s day…

Engaging the Givers in your Church

When it comes to engaging major givers in the church a majority pastors feel uncomfortable at best. Many pastors don’t know how to approach the subject and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. While churches have often built elaborate strategies to help people take steps in their spiritual journey and grow in their relationship with Jesus; they usually resort to a “just preach the Word and hope things work out” approach to giving. The problem is hope isn’t a strategy. It doesn’t have to be this way.

5 Indicators that your Church is Financially Overextended

Earlier this fall in a post entitled “Breaking Through your Capacity Lid,” I wrote that financial shortfalls at churches can limit opportunities. I suggested that there are two sides to finances in a church setting. One is building a culture of generosity in your church and then the other is managing that generosity so you position yourself organizationally to say yes to Jesus when He provides clear vision and opportunity. Immature organizations over extend themselves financially and self impose artificial lids as a result.

Why People don’t Financially Invest in your Church

I recently read Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate by Clif Christopher. It’s a quick read that you can get through in one sitting, but it’s full of principles that you’ll come back to over and over again. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t give to churches as much as they used to.

6 Simple Steps to Help your Church become More Generous

Generosity is not something that Jesus wants from you. It’s something He wants for you. Generous churches and church leaders who understand the generous nature of the God that we serve help the people in their churches become more generous.

 


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Why People don’t Financially Invest in your Church

I recently read Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate by Clif Christopher. It’s a quick read that you can get through in one sitting, but it’s full of principles that you’ll come back to over and over again. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t give to churches as much as they used to. This book does a great job of helping to identify those reasons but it also gives pastors and church leaders steps they can take to move things in the right direction. If you’re a church leader and you haven’t read this book…you should. Here are some of the key ideas that stood out to me from my reading:

1. There is more Competition than ever for Charitable Dollars in America

The number of non-profit organizations is increasing every year and as a result competition for charitable dollars is increasing. It’s not that people are less charitable; it’s just that they’re directing it to other places than the church. “Since 2001, giving to religion has shown a rate of growth of 3.6%, while disposable income has increased more than 8%. People have the money and they continue to give. Religion is just no longer their charity of choice.” Church leaders should be asking themselves, “Why?”

2. Nonprofits know Why people Give while Churches just think people should give out of Obedience to the Scriptures

Multiple research studies have shown that there are three key reasons that people give: (1) A belief in the mission of the institution, (2) A high regard for staff leadership, and (3) Fiscal responsibility of the institution.

3. Nonprofits communicate from a position of Strength while Churches communicate from a position of Weakness

Nonprofits rarely, if ever, communicate about finances. What they communicate is stories of life change, real results from the investments that others have made in the nonprofit. Then they ask for more money. Churches don’t talk about results (probably because truth be told not many are actually producing many life changing results) instead they talk about their needs and how they are behind budget or need more volunteers. People with the ability to significantly invest in the Gospel work at your church don’t want to throw good money after bad. They are looking for a return on their investment, and rightly so. The Scriptures teach us that Jesus is too.

4. The Pastor should know who gives what

I know this may sound off to some but listen…(1) It will help them raise more money to fund the work of the Gospel [different people have different gifts and roles to play in the body of Christ] (2) It helps determine if what the church is doing is actually working. [people give to and support what changes their lives] (3) It allows the pastor to say thank you to donors [the church is notorious for not saying thank you]. Most people whose hair stands up at this idea simply don’t want their pastor to know what they give because they’re not being generous and following the Bible’s teachings on finances.

5. Help people Give

Many people want to obey Jesus and be generous with what they have to advance the Kingdom of God through the local church. Unfortunately many of those same people have not used the money that God has given them very well up to this point and they’re not in a position to be generous. Does your church have a plan or resource to help people learn how to manage what God has given them in a God honoring way?

6. The best way to raise money for your church is to DO YOUR JOB!

Peter Drucker wrote, “A business has discharged its task when the customer buys the product, pays for it, and is satisfied with it. Government has discharged its function when its policies are effective. The nonprofit institution neither supplies goods, services, or controls. Its product is neither a pair of shoes nor an effective regulation. Its product is a changed human being. The nonprofit institutions are human change agents. Their ‘product’ is a cured patient, a child that learns, a young man or woman grown into a self-respecting adult; a changed human life altogether.” In other words when your church consistently shows how lives are being changed, when marriages are healed, addicts find freedom, people fall on their knees and follow Jesus – people will support your church.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Top Posts of 2013 #6: “Engaging the Givers in Your Church”

Money can be a touchy subject in churches, but it doesn’t have to be. This post includes the first 3 of 6 ideas that I’ve seen be effective in engaging with the givers in churches.

When it comes to engaging major givers in the church a majority pastors feel uncomfortable at best. Many pastors don’t know how to approach the subject and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. While churches have often built elaborate strategies to help people take steps in their spiritual journey and grow in their relationship with Jesus; they usually resort to a “just preach the Word and hope things work out” approach to giving. The problem is hope isn’t a strategy. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are first 3 of 6 ideas and principles to keep in mind when engaging the givers in your church.

1. Keep Track of Givers

I’ve heard it said in churches that the pastor shouldn’t know who is giving what. After all, didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 6:3, When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Well yes He did…but it had more to do with the motive of the giver than anything else. What we have a tendency to forget is Jesus also clearly observed (along with everyone else), and went so far as to point out the actual dollar amount that a widow gave in Mark chapter 12. Now I’m not saying we should parade givers in front of the church to let everyone know what everyone else is giving but someone should know. After all if you don’t know who is giving, then it’s going to be pretty difficult to engage them at any level.

2. Say Thank You

You’d be surprised how far a simple thank you will get you, and sadly how few churches ever say it. A simple way for pastors to engage the givers in their church is to have a list of givers generated each week and write a hand written thank you note. The list can be of the top 10 or 20 givers that week, the top 20% each week, or simply set a dollar amount and each person who gives over that amount gets a note.

3. Give them Inside Information

Another simple way to engage givers at your church is to occasionally do small, intimate, invite only gatherings. Moments like this give you the opportunity to share wins and success stories (stories like this build culture by the way), have personal face-to-face conversations, share vision, and share inside information about steps that are being taken in the near future to accomplish the vision.

Here’s the other 3 ideas from the second part of the post if you’re interested.


Posted in Leadership

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3 Reasons People don’t Give to your Church

A few months back I did a series of posts on 6 big ideas about “Engaging the Givers in your Church.” And just like there are real actionable steps that churches can take to engage givers, there are also things that churches do to repel givers. More often than not they’re doing these things and they don’t even know it. So below are three guaranteed generosity killers that are running rampant in churches today.

1. Ingratitude

You’d be surprised how infrequently churches take the time to say thank you to people who financially support the ministry. And you’d probably also be as equally surprised how far a simple thank you will go. Here are a few suggestions you can put into action this week to change that: 1) Make sure every time a person gives for the first time to the ministry of your church that they get a letter to acknowledge their gift and say thank you. 2) Each week send a handwritten personal note to each person who gives a generous gift to the ministry. 3) Say thank you from the stage and celebrate the generosity of your church when they’re generous. When you don’t say thank you what you’re saying is you don’t care.

2. Waste, or the Perception of Waste

When people feel that their financial gift and sacrifice is being used in a wasteful manner they will pull their funding in a heartbeat. What I’m not saying is that everything should be value engineered, that isn’t the highest goal. But when funds aren’t used in a strategic manner that clearly advances the mission, that’s wasteful. No doubt having the right tool for the job is important. But don’t confuse the fact that extravagance is not the same thing as excellence.

3. Duplicity

When you say you are going to use a particular offering for one need and then turn around and use it for something else you break trust. And trust is the foundation for leadership. Simply put, people don’t give to ministries that don’t have a high level of trust in.

What else have you seen churches do that discourage giving? What would you add to the list? Leave a comment!


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation