The Value is in the Question

The Value is in the Question

How is giving going after the first two months of the year? Are you ahead or behind?That is the question that I ask my clients. It’s the first question I think about but often the last question a church ever thinks about. Frankly, most churches don’t think about that at all. It is time we changed that because…

The value is in the question. That was the line my mentor in stewardship, Dave Sutherland, pounded into our heads. His point was that our job was to ask the right questions. Asking the right questions is a key step toward solving the issues that face a church. This Coach is entitled The Value is in the Question.

We are in the midst of some of the greatest, most challenging days of our ministerial lives. Churches are faced with transition on an almost daily basis. We face membership transitions, staff transitions, and seasonal transitions. It seems that since Covid, our ministerial lives are one transition after another. It’s imperative that you ask the right questions.

“There are no bad questions.” Have you ever heard that line or used it? It’s actually not true. Let me illustrate.

I will often get an RFP from a church. RFP means, request for proposal. RFP’s are typically a list of questions a church wants you to answer by a certain date in order to make their final list of who they will interview before they hire a firm.

One reason I don’t respond to RFP’s is that they typically ask the wrong questions, which would give them inaccurate information and thus they potentially might make a bad decision. Again, to my point, there is such a thing as a bad question.

It depends. That is my answer to nearly every question I get asked. When a client asks me a question, I typically ask them several more questions before I can give them an answer to their first question.

Ask the right questions! Several years ago, I started working with a church for a capital campaign. One of our sales guys who sold the contract wanted to be in on the initial planning meeting. I sent him the list of questions I would potentially ask our new client at that first meeting. In that first meeting, I never got past question two on my list. We spent two hours probing that one question. It was the right question from which many other questions arose.

When we got in our car to return to the airport, the sales guy marveled that I had only asked two of the multitude of questions on my list. I replied, “Our value is not derived from the quantity of questions we ask but from the value of the questions we ask.”

That is why I am continually asking the question, “How will that impact giving?” You read my stuff to help you think strategically in one specific area, generosity. My purpose for clients is to ask the right questions at the right time, helping them arrive at the right conclusions. What questions are you asking?

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

Missions and Ministry Moment
(aka Offering Talk)

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! I’ve written hundreds of talks for the offering time, and I do this to help you elevate the offering time. To simplify and better meet your needs, starting with this issue, I will be moving away from posting weekly talks to the Stewardship Coach/Stewardship Journal newsletter. Instead, I will be providing links to all my offering talks.

To register for this site, go to Look for the Free Offering Talks link at the top and follow the directions.

This week’s talk can be accessed after you register at:

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