Thursday, April 20, 2017

Finance as Ministry


A few times this spring, I have been asked to teach a church finance class. I've served on both the Finance Committee and the Lay Leadership Committee in a church, so I know the conversation that happens when it is time to appoint Finance Committee members. "He's a banker - he should serve." "She's an accountant - let's ask her." There is nothing wrong with this - except that it can create a committee that is rather one sided; it can create a committee that believes it lacks creativity - and might believe that the idea of using creativity in Finance is not necessary.

Have you ever heard a Finance person talk about stewardship to a congregation? I can recognize that the person is a banker or a CPA - there is a way of speaking about money that they have been taught. And, again, there is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't always communicate well with people who are not financially minded.

I talk to the church treasurers, the chairs of finance and stewardship, and the financial secretaries about the need to be creative in their ministries. How we communicate about money can require some creativity, but they feel unable to do it.

Here are my two suggestions:
  1. Appoint people to the Finance Committee who are creative. Round out the membership. Or appoint a Stewardship Chairperson who is creative.
  2. We (all of us) need to stop thinking we are not creative. We were created to create. Don't be afraid to step out of the box in which you are comfortable. 

I think it all can be summed up with the sentence: "Finance administration in a church is a ministry." Live into it.

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