Church replanting is not for the faint of heart. There are a host of potential problems, difficulties, and challenges to deal with. One of the most difficult things to deal with are the finances. Successfully navigating the finances in a replant can be the difference between a rebirth and slow, painful death. It is crucial to have a plan in dealing with a church’s budget if you are to faithfully lead a church in replanting.
Set the Calendar
One of the things that I have found to be most helpful in budgeting in a replant is to have an effective ministry calendar. However your church is organized, plan for the year which will allow you to have a plan and stick to it. When you know what it is that you want to do it is far easier to ensure that you have the funds to do it. Calendar in a way that gives a priority to the most important ministries of your church. Additionally, having a solid plan can allow you to be more frugal in the implementation of your ministry plan.
While it may seem rather simple to set your budget by the calendar you may run in to trouble if you do not use pastoral awareness. You can tell a lot about a church by the way they spend their money. Be willing to lead the church to embrace proper priorities that honor Christ. For example, does the church spend more money on flowers than they do for children’s ministry? What about outreach or community service? If your church is financially-strapped, you might have to cut some things out to be effective in reaching your community.
Many “no-brainers” can make a replanting journey an excruciating process for a pastor because, sometimes, a church has embraced bad stewardship that has been inward focused. There is nothing wrong with spending money on flowers for the church; but when that keeps you from reaching the community you need to make a change. However, just because these are “no-brainer” decisions does not mean that it will be easy to change. Be realistic. How you lead in these financial changes can be crucial for your ministry and your church’s effectiveness. Do not make your members feel ashamed, guilty, or sinful because they have not been ministry minded. Use these moments as a way to teach your people to be good stewards of your resources and focused on their community. Be wise in what you seek to change; be firm in your decisions; but do not be willing to die on every hill.
Healthy churches often have adequate finances needed to be effective in reaching the community. However, many replants are unhealthy financially. Often, replants let their lack of funds become a reason that they develop a maintenance mentality demonstrated by proposing and approving the same budget year after year. Do not let this happen! As a replanter dream big because you serve a God who truly wants His Church to be a part of seeking and saving what is lost. If you can develop a good and God honoring plan to steward the money that God has given you, set the right priorities of what is actually important to your church, be realistic in how you lead in changing the stewardship structure of your church you will, by God’s grace, lead your church to be much more equipped to replant from the inside out. We serve a big God with unlimited resources. Be faithful and walk patiently with your people and see what God will do.
Published May 23, 2017