Church and Money: promoting fear or faith?

Our church is in the middle of a stewardship campaign. Stewardship programs always test us, stretch us, exhaust us – even frustrate us, right? People in church groan “here we go again”; and pastors get uncomfortable. Yet it is part of our Christian life, in fact, part of our Christian duty. We are simply being faithful. So let’s have courage, not fear when we approach this subject. 

Last week I was moving quickly through my Twitter feed and found a link to a Tom Melzoni post. He is a senior strategist with GENESIS, a fund raising consortium commited to rediscovering generosity. You can find more through this link. I thought his words appropriate to our situation, so I bring them to you here, with just some minor revision. Perhaps they can be applied to your church or organization as well.

http://everydaygenerosity.com/2010/10/28/church-budgeting-fear-factor-or-faith-factor/ 

GENEROUS GIVING: Fear Factor or Faith Factor?

God gave a Christmas. It was a gift of life, generous beyond measure. It was an action of redemptive risk. It was generated by love. The bible tells us that “perfect love casts out all fear”.  It seems then, if we give out of love, not fear, we will be embracing the model our loving God has set before us.

Here are some thoughts as our church prepares for another century of praise!

Often we let our fears instead of our faith guide us in assembling the resources we need to accomplish our calling. This is not to mean we enter into a mindless disregard of practical fiscal responsibility, but it does mean the intentional placing of God in the center and at the focus of all we do. 

Churches should be willing to ask these questions:

1.  Do we see God’s riches as “abundant” or “scarce”?

2.  Are there items in our budget that DON’T point us toward our mission?

3.  Are we ready to respond in faithfulness rather than fear?

Efficient, effective churches make informed, smart financial decisions, and spend their time focused on God and their calling in this world.  They are joyful in giving generously, rejoicing in seeing those around them come to know the love of God. 

May you be filled with faith, not fear, as you serve Our Creator and give to his work.

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About dougjohns

Doug Johns retired from ministry in Canada to devote more time to international work. Right now he pastors part time at the International Baptist Church in Bielefeld, Germany. He is a graduate of York Univ. (B.A.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Doug is married to Yvonne and they have four grown children plus eight grandchildren. Doug has had significant experience as a Presbyterian Minister in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick. He has served as Associate Pastor at West Congregational in Haverhill, Massachusetts; Doug is committed to international ministry in Romania; and he has taken leadership in Christian Camping as Executive Director of Camp Fireside, NH; Glen Mhor Presbyterian Camp, Ontario; Timberline Ranch, BC. .... avid baseball fan of the Toronto Blue Jays ... Managed American Legion Baseball Team out of Creston BC in North Idaho League. Doug is a serious runner with many international half-marathons completed over the last 6 years.
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