Last night I met with a local church’s Finance Committee. They spent a few minutes going over the financials, discussing the pluses and the minuses. They they got to me to talk stewardship.
Here’s the problem. It was the Finance Committee. They had just looked at financial statements. And they wanted to talk about money. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to talk about generosity. I wanted to talk about their members (donors’) relationship with Christ and with the church. I wanted to talk about the vision for the church.
A good stewardship campaign isn’t about money. It’s about those other things.
But how can we get the Money Committee to think in terms of warm fuzzies instead of money?
One quick aside, last week respected church growth expert Bill Easum told a group at Garfield Memorial UMC in Pepper Pike that your Finance Committee should be full of ministry people, not CPAs, doctors and lawyers. I agree with him.
When you think a congregation’s relationship with Christ, that’s the job of the Intentional Faith Development group in your church. You know, the folks who build small groups and serve as the “Christian Ed” committee for adults.
Because truly generous churches didn’t get that way because of an effective campaign or a whiz-bang sermon on Consecration Sunday. They got that way because someone in that church took the time and the effort and showed them the love and the example for them to be in a deep, passionate love affair with God. I mean really, when is the last time “deep passionate love affair” and “Finance Committee” were ever used in the same sentence?
Building these relationships is not what the Finance Committee does. It’s what your Faith Development folks do.
So let’s have the Finance Committee manage the money once it comes in, but maybe we should rethink who talks stewardship.