Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Money-church-affordThey may not say it out loud, but I’ve talked with enough pastors through the years to know there are two key numbers they’re interested in: attendance and giving. Attendance matters because it’s one measure we have of the impact the church is having in a community.

Ironically, giving may actually be a better measure of the real heart change Jesus is having in people’s lives.

With that, let me share the data from the churches we’ve served. I have a feeling this is going to be very sobering for some of you.

That’s right. For the churches we’ve served over the years, the average giving per person per week is between $37 and $45. You can ask Ryan, who has helped me with the data and analysis. This is the one benchmark I’ve asked him to recheck on several occasions. That number is much higher than I would have expected.

As you might imagine, there appear to be several variables that will impact this measure. For example, location matters. There are regions of the country where the cost of living and wage levels will drive this number up or down. Who you’re reaching also matters. If your church is reaching people outside the faith, it takes time for them to get to the point where they’re ready to give.

That said, your stewardship strategy also matters. Churches that have experienced increases in per capita giving have engaged several of these intentional actions:

  • Identifying a champion for stewardship systems and strategies at the church.
  • Annually teaching a series of messages on biblical money and stewardship principles. And by “series,” I mean three to five consecutive messages, not three messages spread out during the year.
  • Providing coaching for people who need help getting to a healthy place with their personal finances.
  • Engaging stewardship campaigns with companies like RSI Stewardship, one of my strategic partners, to fund their vision. They do stewardship every day, and they know stuff you don’t know.
  • Connecting giving with vision. Connecting giving with stories of life change. Connecting giving with spiritual disciplines. Generosity becomes a value that’s not only important to the church’s health, but is also a priority for helping people take their next steps toward Christ.

What are you doing to intentionally help people embrace biblical stewardship principles and apply them to their lives? Are you helping people take their next steps in this area, or are you avoiding the issue for fear of how people will react?

Let me just offer this: If people are stuck financially, they’re looking for help. If you engage this topic with a biblical approach, people will respond in a very positive way. In fact, don’t be surprised if your series on helping people tackle financial challenges also grows your attendance. I’ve seen it happen many times.

Want to learn more about measuring church health? Here are the previous articles in this series:

Tony Morgan is the chief strategic officer and founder of TonyMorganLive.com. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, Ga.), NewSpring Church (Anderson, S.C.) and Granger Community Church (Granger, Ind.). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth—each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His book Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing) challenges leaders to focus on the priorities in life and ministry.

For the original article, visit tonymorganlive.com.

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders