Congregational Mission Support Team

Financial Planning: If you don't know there you are going, chances are, you won't get there.

Planning is essential in transformation of congregations. As the dynamics of transformation unfold, a series of ministry plans will emerge. Components of the plan might include changes in worship, education, programs and structure. If these are to occur, an overall ministry plan should be developed.

An element of the transformation plan that is important, but not as crucial as many people seem to think is money. Money is a tool that can help transformation take place, but it cannot create energy, passion or a vision. If you think money is the issue, ask yourself what you would do differently if you had the money. Doing the same things over and over again will not produce different results.

Not all transforming congregations have affluent Christians, but for those who do, it is important to challenge, excite and encourage a committed lifestyle. Beyond the local congregation, partnerships with other congregations, community organizations and city, county and state agencies are options to explore for sharing financial costs. Foundations are also good sources of funding for outreach ministries. If your vision excites your membership, it will appeal to others in your community, as well. Do not be afraid to ask the community for financial assistance if your outreach includes them.

One caution about money: beware of thinking that new members will bring new monies. They may, but you cannot count on it. New members tend to give less than existing members, and if people think you want their money more than you want them, they won't be around for very long. Stewardship starts with the committed, then by example, others will follow. New vision, new dreams, new life bring new monies.

Finanical Planning Resources:

Growing Generosity While Practicing Stewardship