By NewChurches.com Team: When planting a church, one of the last things many church planters want to talk about is finances. On the flip side, the challenge of financial sustainability is the single biggest obstacle facing many church plants. The challenge of church plant startup costs and developing a plan and partnership for long-term financial sustainability can feel like a heavy weight of uncertain stress and anxiety that threatens to derail the dream of planting a church before it even gets started.
The good news is that a proactive vision for a church culture of generosity can be pursued and implemented from day one. The biblical principle of sowing and reaping applies directly to the financial stewardship of your church plant. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:6: “The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.” The same principle applies to church plants.
Seeing Generosity as Opportunity, Not Obstacle
Without a clear vision, building a culture of generosity in your church plant is destined for trouble and likely failure. Because of fear or uncertainty, many church planters see the financial needs of their plant as an obstacle to be overcome rather than an opportunity to be taken. Some of the common obstacles many church planters encounter include:
- Lack of personal confidence
- Over-committing resources in advance
- Taking a “lone ranger” approach to church finances
- Making no generosity growth plan
- Making no long-term financial growth plan
Church planters are often tempted to add staff prematurely and put themselves into a financial bind. Many avoid preaching or teaching on finances for fear of being perceived as manipulating their congregation to give. Still others fail to consider that every decision they make in a church plant budget does have a tangible result that either contributes either to the sustainability or potential failure of the fledgling church. The reality is that every dollar counts.
While it can be tempting to approach your church plant finances month-by-month and trust God to work it out in the end, the reality is that if you are spending all your resources every month and every year, your church plant will always be under financial pressure. The question becomes: how can you and your church plant see the area of financial stewardship as an opportunity for generosity rather than an ominous obstacle standing in the way of success?
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