Those words profoundly changed my understanding of what affluent church members consider before allocating their dollars to the church, charities and non-profit organizations.
It was a response to a question I posed many years ago to a good friend who happened to also be one of our church’s largest donors as well as key leaders.
I had noticed in the newspaper where he had recently made a multi-million dollar donation to a local college and had pledged even more in the future. He and I were close enough friends that we had lunch together from time to time.
The Lunch Meeting
So, the next time we met for lunch I got up the nerve to ask him why though he supported our church generously had he never given even close to that amount to our church, the church where he was raised and served as a deacon.
I didn’t have an answer for his reply, “Jim, our church can’t handle the kind of money I can afford to give it.” I only had the presence of mind to ask why.
He went on to share with me how the college president had invited him to dinner and shared a compelling vision and strategy for an entrepreneurial initiative that he was passionate about.
Candidly he shared how our church had no such compelling vision and strategy and he feared if he gave the church that size of a gift we would spend months arguing about how to allocate it.
Application: What This Taught Me About Church Money Management
The church must have a unique and compelling vision, preferably one that speaks to a variety of passions and has a supporting strategy.
The church should create forums where vision and strategy can be shared with the financial leaders of the church just as it does with ministry leaders.
Action: Questions to Consider
Do you have a thirty second “elevator speech” that you can share when asked that a paints a compelling vision for something God has placed upon your heart for the church to pursue?
Do you have in your pocket ready to pull out on a moment’s notice an initiative for a potential gift of $10,000, $100,000 and $1,000,000 or more?
Does your church create one-on-one and small group forums for financial leaders where vision and strategy can be shared, discussed and validated?
Posted on June 10, 2014