Last week we began delving into the essential ingredients for strengthening your congregational finances, starting with the first of three ingredients… LEADERSHIP. Now we set our sights on the second ingredient… RELATIONSHIPS.

Conducting Relational Meetings
Congregational leaders (Pastors, staff and lay leaders) will be most successful when serving people who trust and respect them.  How can you build that trust and gain their respect? By engaging in one-on-one, face-to-face conversations.  Who should you reach out to? Cast the net broadly, engaging not only active members, but also inactive members, new members, former members, and younger adults.  The purpose of the encounter is to build a relationship and understand what is important to the other person. Ask them the following… Why are they members? What keeps them here? How is their family doing? What are their hopes and dreams for their family? What is their work environment like? Don’t stop with members, but go beyond the church walls and reach out to neighbors and community leaders.

Understanding and Relating to the Financial Leaders
Pastors and key staff need to know who gives to their church… and why. Looking at the giving records for the last three years will reveal who their financial leaders are. Have a relational meeting with your financial leaders to better understand why they give, how the congregation has helped them grow spiritually, and what thoughts they have as to how to enhance the mission & ministry of the congregation. Oftentimes, the squeaky wheels in the congregation usually give the least. Not knowing who your financial leaders is like driving a car with a blindfold. Informed Pastors learn not to react to the complainers, but lean more into the financial and spiritual leaders of the congregation who will help move the congregation forward. Effective Pastors do not fret over knowing the giving history of their members, for they know that having such knowledge need not hamper their ability to minister to the spiritual needs of all members.

Next week we will explore the 2nd ingredient for strengthening your congregational finances… An Asking Strategy.

(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

Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company
(414) 690-3426