Lack of money forcing change in the church


Lack of money forcing change in the church


In my corner of the church world there seems to be a lot of people seeing the need for change.  There is a downward trend in donations.  This seems to be impacting missions organizations, Colleges, Seminaries, and denominations the most.  I know of 3 evangelical denominations that have had to merge boards and cut back staff because of funding.  In many institutions survival is a strong instinct.  I work in one, and I like my job.  I don’t want to lose it.  Out of a desire to survive many organizations will change.

Even though there seems to be widespread agreement on the need for change, there are few that are sure of what needs to happen.  Money is one of the foundational pillars holding up our institutions.  Most church leaders and pastors have a difficult time envisioning church ministry with a lot less money. 

  1. #1 by Paul Johnston on November 28, 2004 - 12:43 pm

    Sure wouldn’t wish a job loss on you or anyone else for that matter Leighton. Still, I think less money in the church world in general would be a good thing for real “Kingdom” building.

    In my own life, having recently gone through a substantial income reduction, it has helped me appreciate spritual priorities and challenged me to use what income I do still have, with careful discretion. I have discovered that God provides me with enough, but not enough to waste on unimportant indulgences. Humility and wisdom are essential survival tools when the funds are scarce.

  2. #2 by Darcy on November 28, 2004 - 2:32 pm

    I have pondered this many, many times. I wonder if the church is not experiencing growth in finances because their priorities are not right. God promises to give more to the faithful, and takes away from those who are not wise with what they are given.

    Second

    We need to look at our own hearts when it comes to giving. Are we giving out of a legalistic view of “Tithe or be a sinner”, or are we giving because we understand that God blesses us when we are faithful. Also a christian beleiver that is tithing properly will tithe out of their love for their church and the leadership within. God does at times withhold funds to test our hearts, but we do need to come to the place of where are our hearts in regards to giving.

  3. #3 by Andrew on November 29, 2004 - 12:13 am

    Its nice to think of the spiritual and moral aspects of this, and I am not disagreeing with what anyone has said so far, but there are numbers and things that have been available for quite some time now, or at least that has been my impression.

    “The current church culture in NA is on life support. It is living off the work, money and energy of previous generations from a previous world order. The plug will be pulled either when the money runs out (80 percent of money given to congregations comes from people aged fifty five and older) or when the remaining three fourths of a generation who are institutional loyalists die off or both…”

    McNeal, Reggie. The Present Future. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003. p.1

  4. #4 by Marc on November 29, 2004 - 10:29 am

    I’m not sure about “giving because God blesses the faithful”. While that may be true, it seems like a rather selfish motive for tithing, and I always cringe when I hear that in a sermon.

  5. #5 by Darcy on November 29, 2004 - 9:50 pm

    I totally agree with you Marc. My heart was to communicate that God looks at the heart behind giving and he does bless his children according to their heart. I’m not implying that we should ‘give to get’, just that we should give with the right heart.

  6. #6 by Clinton on November 30, 2004 - 4:25 pm

    I find my money does God’s work better when it’s not strained through church first. I’m not a big fan of crazy mortgages, super sound systems and heating a mostly empty building 24/7. I also give more than just 10% when I know that my money is making a difference. I think churches will have to change because of the lack of money to pay for infrastructure, but when the church does change it will find more money to do God’s work than before.

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