Last week we discussed the reasons why people give of their time, talents, and treasure. Let’s now begin to delve further into the essential ingredients for strengthening your congregational finances… starting with the first of three ingredients… LEADERSHIP.
It is important that congregational leaders (staff and lay leaders) embrace their role as leaders. The congregation is counting on its leaders to do just that… to lead. The congregation leans on its leaders to be visionary, to inspire, to recruit, teach, and train. What are essential qualities to becoming an effective Leader?
Vision: A leader needs a firm grasp of the purpose of the congregation… it’s Mission and Core Values. Leaders probe key strategic questions… Why do you exist? What difference would it make if the congregation were to vanish tomorrow? What is it about your congregation that gives you the most hope? What are your biggest assets? What needs to change? What gets in your way of making progress or a greater impact?
Relational Skills: Leaders strive to understand those they are serving. Leaders possess a healthy curiosity and desire to reach out and build relationships… sharing and listening to one another. Relationships are built on trust and mutual interest. Leaders are comfortable building relationships by engaging one-on-one with people, discussing what is important to them… what they believe in or are passionate about.
Courage: Many of us fear asking… for example, asking someone we don’t know for a meeting, asking someone to assist with a task, or asking someone for money. What is it we fear? We fear rejection. We fear that if someone say’s “No”, it means we are not liked, valued, or approved of – perhaps not even a worthy person. Effective leaders refuse to be paralyzed and stifled by their own fear. Effective leaders muster the courage to face the fear, get beyond, and grow.
Self-Esteem: Leaders have healthy self-esteem to insulate them from any rejection that comes with asking people for anything. Leaders know deep in their soul that they are loveable and valuable. Leaders are grounded in an unconditional love that finds its source in family, friends and faith in God.
Next week we will delve into the 2nd ingredient for strengthening your congregational finances… RELATIONSHIPS.
(This current series of articles is taken in part from the book “Raising Money For Your Congregation”, written by Bob Connolly of The James Company, published by ACTA Publications https://actapublications.com/raising-money-for-your-congregation/)
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company