Archive - December, 2011

Broke Pastors Attract Broke People

As we?ve traveled the country working with hundreds of churches, I?ve noticed a connection between the financial condition of the pastor and the financial condition of the church.? That observation has led to the formulation of this principle.

Broke pastors attract broke people.

A pastor living in debt is the pace car for the congregation?s generosity.? Your church can?t move on to financial health, because their leader isn?t financially healthy.? The people in your church are going to follow your lead, and in this case, you are leading them into a 24.99% APR.

You attract who you are.? If you care about reaching the down and out, then chances are, the down and out find a place of comfort in your church.? If you love verse-by-verse, angry preaching, then your church is probably filled with angry Calvinists.? And if Joe?s PayDay Pawn Shop has your car title in their safe, your people are struggling to make their car payments.

Broke pastors can?t lead broke people to financial freedom, because they haven?t experienced it themselves.? If you?re in debt personally, you?re not going to be able to lead your church to financial health.

If you?re in debt, then chances are, you?re avoiding talking about Biblical financial principles.? It?s the reason you?ve never seen a fat preacher preaching about gluttony.? You?re not going to be honest with your church, because you?re not being honest with yourself. Or if you are preaching the truth to your congregation without living it in your life, you?re a hypocrite.

If everyone in your church was in your financial position, would your church be strapped or blessed?

This post is based on a chapter from 39 Things Pastors Need to Know About Money, a new book being released by Giving Rocket in 2012.? Giving Rocket members received an advance copy.

 

Give Your Wife Her Dream Christmas

Giving Rocket is giving away one dream Christmas for one pastor?s wife.? To enter into the contest, comment below on why your wife deserves a dream Christmas and what that would look like.

Okay, we?re really NOT giving this away, because that is your job. ?Here are some helpful thoughts as you consider making your wife?s dream Christmas a reality:

  • ?Is there a dream gift you can purchase for your spouse?? This is not something she needs, but wants.? If you cannot afford the dream gift for your spouse, is there a cheaper version you can find?? If you cannot afford to buy her a dream gift, is there something you can make her or give her to communicate how much she deserves a dream Christmas?? Start saving now to get this dream gift for her at a later time!
  • Pamper her with a pre-Christmas pedicure, manicure, or massage to make sure she stops and enjoys Christmas.? If you cannot afford to treat her to this pampering, you do it.? That might actually mean more to her than some stranger doing it.
  • Pick-out a card today or tomorrow.? Don?t wait until virtually all the cards are gone.? Find one that expresses all you want to express and all that she deserves.? If there isn?t a card that expresses that, make one yourself!
  • Figure-out one way each day to serve your wife between now and Christmas.? Perhaps, you can pick-up something that she really needs.? Maybe you can perform a household task that typically belongs to her.? Do this without asking.
  • Ask her the greatest need that she has this Christmas and then do your best to fulfill that need.
  • If you have kids, take them away for the day so she can accomplish anything she wants to accomplish at the house while you?re gone, even if that means sleep.? While you?re gone, give each kid a budgeted amount and let them shop for her.
  • If you have kids, keep them by yourself so she can go out and do whatever she wants to do, even if it is shopping.? This might be a great time to also send her to get pampered!
  • Be fully present with her.? Pastors are busy at Christmas, but do not let your busy-ness decide whether your spouse receives her dream Christmas.

When Pastors Struggle with Finances, Churches Struggle with Finances

This is a g

uest post from David Walters, the Lead Pastor of the Vine and a Giving Rocket member.  If you’re interested in writing a guest post for Giving Rocket, contact us.

Just like a thermostat dictates the temperature of a room or building, so does a pastor dictate the culture and the climate of a church.  Call it the leadership lid, spiritual thermostat, or the principle of attraction, but whatever the pastor is doing, the church will follow.  This is especially true of finances.  When a pastor struggles with his/her finances, the church will struggle as well.  When a pastor thrives financially, his/her church with thrive as well.

One of the primary reasons for this is that pastors tend to avoid talking or teaching on things that they are guilty of or neglect.  However, pastors will gladly communicate the aspects of life that they excel in.  So, if you are in debt, you are not likely to talk about debt or how to get out of debt.  By contrast, if you have worked hard to get out of debt, you will gladly celebrate that you are debt free, and that it is possible for the attendees of your church to be as well.  If you are in debt, but don’t mind talking about what the Bible says concerning debt, that’s a subject for another blog.

Become financially healthy at a personal level in order for your church to become healthy at a personal level and corporate level.  If you are in debt, get out of debt.  Once you are out of debt, celebrate it and educate your people on how they can become debt free.  If you do not have a manageable budget, establish one, and teach your congregation how to do the same thing.  If you are not being wise and saving money for emergencies or other expenses, begin saving.  Once you have a savings account funded, celebrate that with your church.  When you are tithing or giving above and beyond the tithe, don’t be afraid to share that too!  As you start to thrive financially, so will the people

n your church.

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Open an Online Savings Account

This month on the blog, I want to offer some practical financial advice to pastors.? My goal here is to help you save money.? Today, let?s talk about savings.

Over time, the difference between a traditional savings account at your bank and an online savings account with an FDIC insured, online bank is pretty significant.? While traditional banks have the benefit of close proximity, online banks have a few benefits as well.? Here are just a few of those benefits:

  • Higher interest rates!
  • Quick and easy set up!
  • Quick and easy accessibility!
  • Option of acquiring checks and/or debit cards!
  • Often there is no minimum deposit amounts!
  • Automatic, monthly transfers!
  • Accruing interest!

ING Direct is a perfect example of an online savings option.

As you approach Christmas and look for deals that ?save? you money, set up an online savings account today that will truly help you.

Requote Your Insurance

This month on the blog, I want to offer some practical financial advice to pastors.? My goal here is to help you save money.? First up?let?s talk about insurance.

Did you know that 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance?? That?s right!? It can also save you more money on your home insurance too.? If it?s been over a year since you?ve quoted your home insurance and car insurance, you might be missing out on some significant savings.? At this time of the year, who wouldn?t like some extra money to spend on Christmas gifts or to donate to your favorite cause?

Before contacting your current insurance provider about requoting your insurance, use a web-based quoting instrument that will give insurance providers an opportunity to fight financially over the opportunity to provide you with insurance.? Make sure you clearly communicate how much coverage you will need.? Once you have received their quotes online, contact your current insurance provider to see if they can match or beat your online offers.

For extra insurance savings, bundle your car insurance and home owner?s insurance together for a quote.? If the same provider gets to cover your home and car, there is typically significant savings.

 

Don?t Make This Financial Mistake in Your Church

Pastors frequently make mistakes in churches, and usually they are the same mistakes.? Whatever you do, don?t make this mistake in your church?

Do not ask your people to give 10% without teaching them what to do with the other 90%!

The Bible definitely has a lot to say about the tithe, but the Bible also has a lot to say about other aspects of financial management, including subjects like debt, saving, and budgeting.? When you teach your people about these other subjects, you are helping them learn what to do with the largest percentage of their income.

It might be helpful to do a Sunday morning message series on the subject of financial stewardship, but don?t just teach them on Sunday mornings.? Establish some type of financial class with extended teaching on the practicalities of giving, saving, and spending, and offer this class frequently.? Finally, provide free financial counseling for people in your church.? Even if you have to spend money to equip someone with the proper knowledge to provide adequate counseling, it is worth the investment.

What you will discover is that if you will teach people what do to with 90% of their money, they will be more willing to return the other 10% back to God!

 

I’d Like to Meet You In Person

In early 2012, our team is hitting the road and traveling to NINE cities so we can meet you IN PERSON.  We’re doing a FREE, half-day workshop focused on teaching you the best practices of leading a financially healthy church.   Here’s where we will be:

  • January 31 – Atlanta
  • February 1 – Charlotte
  • February 7 – Los Angeles
  • February 8 – Seattle
  • February 21 – Chicago
  • February 22 – Dallas
  • February 23 – New Orleans
  • February 28 – New York
  • February 29 – Washington DC

At this 100% free half-day workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to build a digital giving culture and move people to online giving
  • How to talk about money in your church services without coming across like you’re only interested in money
  • How to follow up with donors and intentionally build generous disciples of Jesus

The workshop is completely free for you and up to 4 people from your team, and we’ll even provide lunch for everyone.  There’s no strings attached and I believe this will be a huge benefit to your church.  Register here.

Preaching Christmas-A Conversation with Jeff Henderson

We believe in the mission of the church, and our mission has always been to help the local church. So I’m fired up that early next year, we’re launching Preaching Rocket, a service designed to help pastors preach better sermons. I’ll tell you more about that soon.

Christmas is coming, and it’s one of the most important times of the year to communicate a clear message. Click the image below to watch my conversation with Jeff Henderson. Jeff is the campus pastor at Gwinnett Church, the newest campus of North Point Ministries. He’s a fantastic communicator and had some amazing insights on preaching Christmas.

I hope this 23-minute video encourages you as you get ready for the Christmas services at your church. Click on the image or HERE to get access to the on-demand video.

Teach People To Win

Today's post is from my great friend, Joe Sangl.  He is Founder of I Was Broke. Now I'm Not and president of Injoy Stewardship Solutions.  Joe and I co-wrote Funded and Free to help as many churches as possible.  His passion is contagious and I 100% believe he can help you help your people win with their finances!

We all love a winner. Every time the Olympics happen, a new person becomes a household name. Why? Because they won. Michael Phelps, Lindsay Vonn, and Apolo Anton Ohno are all known because they excelled at what they did – and beat everyone else.

Every person wants to win at what they do. When asked “Where do you want to be in 20 years?” in their high school senior survey, no one wrote down:

  • I want to be totally broke
  • I want to have a list of train wrecked relationships

But 20 years later, so many people are living right there! And our churches are full of people in this situation. They have been saved by Jesus Christ, but they are still living a broken lifestyle. Here are some characteristics that indicate financial brokenness.

  • The first thing they do each morning is check their bank account balance
  • High credit card balances with high interest rates
  • Payday loans
  • Make statements like, “I’m just trying to make it through this week” and “I’m so far behind that it’s hopeless.”
  • Marriage issues
  • Easily fall into “get-rich-quick” strategies that equal “get-poor-even-quicker” actualities

As church leaders, we can help people WIN! We can help them win with their marriages, raising their children, building businesses, and with their money!

It is my passion to help church leaders equip their people to WIN with the financial resources God has provided them. This is why I have written two personal finance group studies – one for adults and one for young people (high school age thru 20-somethings). Each one is just six weeks and is focused on helping people win with their money God’s way – with very practical teaching. JANUARY is a great time to kick off these studies.

Evaluate our materials by obtaining a kit of ALL “I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.” resources HERE.

Use promo code “GR” during checkout to receive 20% off your entire order – this offer is good through December 30, 2011!

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Don’t Hurt Your People Financially

When you preach a sermon on money or offer a financial class, did you know you could actually HURT your people?

HOW you talk about money matters. On one extreme, there’s the apologetic preacher, dancing around the issue afraid to offend anyone. On the other hand, there’s the fiery preacher wielding the topic like a baseball bat, dispensing guilt like candy.

When you talk about money, you MUST start with the Scripture and teach the Biblical issue of stewardship, but you must season your message with HOPE and HELP.

People need help and advice – on topics related to debt, savings, insurance, and spending. People need to hear HOPE and more importantly, they need to FEEL hope.

In the process of teaching generosity, don’t hurt your people.

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