Setting the Stage for Financial Stability

Setting the Stage for Financial Stability

How much time did you take making announcements yesterday compared to how much time you stressed worship through giving? The typical church spends two to three minutes on announcements and zero time mentioning the offering. Is it any wonder that giving is declining, and younger generations are giving less to the church than their parents? If we don’t fix this problem, we may never recover. I’m committed to changing this.

I’m your coach to help you prepare for the future. This Coach is entitled Setting the Stage for Financial Stability. My goal is to help you create a culture of generosity based on biblical stewardship principles. If you are interested, get your running shoes on; the 2024 stewardship training camp is about to begin. Here is my promise to you.

If you read and follow my directions, your chances of being fully funded in 2024 will greatly increase. If you fail to heed my advice, your church’s chance of existing beyond 2030 greatly diminishes. That’s a bold claim, but my mission is to reverse the decline in giving, one church at a time. In my years as a stewardship minister and coach, I have helped hundreds of churches raise millions of dollars. From the top 100 churches in attendance to churches running 100, my plans help church leaders navigate the financial challenges today. As giving continues to decline, we are faced with increasing challenges.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 churches close yearly, and the lack of funding is the number one reason. You would be wrong if you think that only small churches face this dilemma. I’ve seen churches with million-dollar budgets close because they couldn’t pay their bills. No church is immune to the impact of a decline in giving. One major reason why many churches are closing is our key donor base, Boomers, will be aging out by 2030. At the current rate of decline, giving to the Church is projected to decline by fifty percent by 2050. Church closures will accelerate, and the church that survives into the future will be the church that prepares for the future today. Most churches are doing nothing to avoid this. Why?

Disconnected pastors and church leaders are among the major reasons for declining giving. When it comes to helping a church be fully funded, the staff is the biggest obstacle I must overcome in the typical church. Sometimes, it is the Senior Pastor! Part of the problem is that we were never trained in stewardship development. Church leaders don’t know what to do, so they do nothing. On top of that, we think that any talk about money or finances will drive people away. The other reason for disconnected pastors and church leaders is their plates are already full. Thus, stewardship takes a back seat to everything else. And then comes July, and you don’t have enough money to pay staff or fund your church’s programs. It’s time we change our attitudes about generosity and stewardship.

The Right Attitude – “I simply don’t like to talk about money.” I realize that some of you are uncomfortable with any talk about money, giving, finances, etc. I hear that a lot. I understand, but my approach might surprise you. Here is one of my core principles: It is not that we ask for money that people hate. It is how we ask for money that matters. I’m going to show you how to create a desire within people to want to give to your church.

What’s the right attitude for church leaders when it comes to stewardship? Let me answer that with a couple of questions. Is the mission of your church important? Do you believe in that mission, or is this simply a job for you? It’s eternally important, and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t deeply believe in your calling. How about this for an attitude statement?

Our mission, to impact our world for Jesus, is given to us by God. We are changing the world one life at a time. Since all this is true, why would a Christian not want to give money to support our mission?

If you adopt this attitude, you take the first step toward building a stewardship platform to put your church on the path to financial security. While we are talking about attitude, here is what motivates me:

I believe in the mission God gave the local church and that it deserves to be fully funded!

So, my first goal is to get you started on the path to financial security for your church. My secondary goal is to help you disciple your congregation about stewardship’s role in their lives and how they, too, can experience financial security by being a good steward. We have failed to teach stewardship, which has hurt the church and church members.

We must understand the difference between stewardship and generosity. Some genius a few years back decided that people were not excited about giving because of the term we used, stewardship. So, to make it simple for people to understand, we started using the word generosity. The intent might have been good, but the outcome of using the word generosity isn’t helping us reverse the decline in giving. Why?

Because we have put the cart before the horse, generosity is a characteristic of a good steward. Without stewardship, generosity never takes root. We must change our thinking. Your goal is not to make people generous but to make them stewards of all God has entrusted to them. That produces generosity. The road to generosity is named stewardship. That is where our focus needs to be: raising up good stewards.

Focusing on generosity, gets a one-time gift. A focus on building long-term stewards who will live a lifetime of generosity, the vast majority of which they will give through your church, is one reason why it is important to make disciples, not attract a crowd. So, creating a culture of generosity based upon biblical stewardship values is a win for your church and your church members. By following my writing, you will accomplish both!

Your attitude about stewardship sets the stage for your church’s financial stability. If your attitude is right and you are teachable, I can help you avoid financial disaster. The mission God gave you is too important not to be fully funded!

Spring Training is just around the corner! That might sound crazy, but professional baseball teams will soon start training camps to prepare for their season. Teams work on the basics, honing their skills. I intend to start my own training camp on stewardship issues next week. This year, we will start by looking at the offering and covering every stewardship base, including capital campaigns. This is why I said with all humility that if you follow what I write, you will be on the path of financial security. You’ll thank me this summer.

As of today, 10,000 plus pastors and church leaders now have access to my writing! Starting with this edition of the Coach, my writing will now be available to multiple state conventions of the Southern Baptist Convention. This column and my Bonus Section are reproduced in another newsletter called the Stewardship Journal. Welcome to our team!

I believe in your mission, and I will work to help you fund that mission. Let’s get started!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach, the leading online giving processor in America, sponsors my writing. OG is owned and operated by committed Christians active in their local church. Find out more about their services at

You can also read my blog post I write for them at

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