It’s not a course most pastors take in seminary or Bible college. But it’s often a topic that takes up a lot of their time, effort and intellectual power once they are in the pulpit. No, amidst the Theology I course, the Introduction to the Gospels and Old Testament I and II, most pastors-in-training don’t have options for a class on church finances.
It’s understandable to a degree. We want our pastors to have a deep, grounded and well thought out theological foundation. In our ever-changing world, this fundamental aspect is more important than ever. On the other hand, the day-to-day life of a pastor presents numerous challenges that often fall outside this theological framework.
And the subject of church finances is just one of those challenges.
Here are a six financial challenges many churches face and how CIF can help your congregation address them:
1. Developing a ministry culture that embraces biblical, financial generosity. A lot of fundraising today focuses on giving as transactional: I make money and then I give a portion of it away. But biblical generosity focuses on the transformational component of it. Henri Nouwen said, “Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.” Helping people see that they are giving to a mission and vision and not as a budget item enhances their heart-infused biblical focus on generosity.
2. Recommending the financial capacity of your project. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine what your church’s giving capacity is in relation to your project. The project estimates might come in at $1 million, but can your church realistically reach that goal based on several assessments? Or maybe your giving projections aren’t aggressive enough. CIF can help you discover your financial capacity through several time-tested and effective assessments.
3. Discovering essential resources to manage church finances. With nearly 60 years of experience, CIF has utilized numerous tools over the years that can help churches with every facet of congregational life. We can give you the necessary tips and direct you to the resources that can help you manage your financial picture.
4. Evaluating lenders when considering a new mortgage on a facility. Taking out a new mortgage usually isn’t one of those highly anticipated events, unless you are comfortable with the details and understand fully the contours of the arrangement. CIF’s experience, expertise and church-focused attitude can help your congregation navigate the potentially rough waters of new mortgages.
5. Providing budgeting advice when taking on a campaign or mortgage for the first time. A new mortgage means several things. Mainly, it means that your normal spending patterns must change to accommodate the new mortgage requirements. How do you accomplish this in a way that leaves your church still agile enough for ministry expenses? CIF can provide you with advice and ideas on how to make the numbers work.
6. Creating solutions to financial ministry struggles. Every church is faced with unique financial challenges … as unique as each individual church. Trusted advice and useful resources are two ways to confront these challenges and emerge on the other side healthier and ready to focus exclusively on your mission of reaching more people for Christ.
Wherever your church is at on its ministry journey, CIF can help with your financial challenges—and opportunities. Don’t let confusion or lack of knowledge prevent your congregation from expanding its Kingdom potential and reaching more people for Christ!
Contact CIF today to learn more about our Campaigns and Consulting services!