Recently, I was asked what five things I would tell small church pastors about church giving. I was a small church pastor for a couple of years. It’s tough being the primary one responsible for just about everything. Since most of the churches in America are small, it’s important that this group not be overlooked or left out of the church funding conversation. So here are five things (in no particular order):
1. Examine your own habits related to money–both personally and professionally. There are no generous churches led by pastors who are not generous themselves.
2. Commit to learning more about financial development and management. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the pastor to ensure the financial vitality and sustainability of the church. Read books, blogs, meet with other money professionals in your community, etc. Don’t use a lack of training as an excuse for not knowing and leading in this area.
3. Surround yourself with people in your church who are key influencers, faithful givers, and gifted in the area of finances. These could be entrepreneurs, accountants, investors, etc. Allow these people to leverage their God-given gifts to support you in an area where you’re most likely weak. Treat them as your pastoral financial advisors.
4. Adhere to a 90 day budget. It’s OK to have a 12 month budget plan. That’s a good habit. But leading a small church can be volatile when it comes to giving and finances. Commit to reviewing your financial condition (revenue, expenses, and operations on a 90 day basis). Adjust as needed.
5. Outsource your financial administration. You need to focus on doing the things only you can do as pastor. Plus, you avoid the awkwardness of a long-time member taking care of the books.
What would you tell small church pastors about church giving?