Recently I was selected to receive a grant, a grant which will help with my financial burden of debt, a grant that is a blessing. Part of receiving this grant means I have to take financial classes. Some are good, some eh, some interesting if I have higher brain power working with me at the time.
Last Tuesday, the class was all about Resourcing Church Mission. I was excited at first. I thought we’d be talking about funding church mission, like hands-on mission projects. I was wrong. But also right.
We talked about funding the mission and ministry of the church, specifically budget, money, endowments, memorial, annual and capital campaigns. You know, all that stuff a minister NEVER wants to talk about. It’s awkward to talk about it yadda yadda. You all know what I mean.
I realized about 18 months ago that both my congregations NEEDED to talk about money. They were both struggling (one still is), but neither had done anything for Stewardship Month (September) in at least 10-15 years if not longer. No one had spent the time to share with each other what was going on with the finances of the church.
This class only reiterated to me the importance of this. Our mission and ministry in the church cannot be done without financial backing. We need to talk about this in the church, in sermons, in devotionals, in meetings, in conversation. This is not a topic to avoid. It needs to happen more than just one month of the year, but if you’re starting at 0 don’t go to 100 right away. Ease into it.
Early Tuesday morning, when I was in my office, I had actually started planning for Stewardship Month, but I think I’ll be changing my plans. We need to talk about this year round. I’ll definitely still spend all of September on finances, but I’ll start to include it more often throughout the year, intentionally reminding everyone that the church finances are what keep this place going, keep the things we’re doing happening, and allow us to make an impact within our community.