The challenge for every church leader is fully funding your ministry budget. Managing church finances is a constant reality. One lingering reality for many churches is that debt service inhibits directing additional resources to impact.
Ken Sloane and Joe Park discuss debt more in detail. Listen to their conversation about the topic within churches‚ and how to overcome it.
The reality is that many churches whisper about debt. It's like the elephant in the room. Everyone in church leadership knows it's there, but no one wants to mention it. There are reasons for it. For one, it's embarrassing for church leaders.
But what if the idea of debt wasn’t part of your ministry reality? How would that change your current and future ministry capacity? And what if eliminating debt was a way to galvanize your church members to move into the future?
Several reasons exist as to why a debt capital campaign is ideal for many churches. Getting rid of debt can inspire your members.
- Debt campaigns are successful even when undesignated ministry giving is down.
- Debt elimination brings energy for the future by freeing the church from indebtedness form the past.
- Debt elimination turns debt service payments into new ministry funding.
If your church finds itself with a debt service that's more than 10 percent of your operating revenue, now may be the best time to take action before inflation and rising interest rates put even more pressure on your ministry funding.
Communicate with Transparency to Build Trust
Our nation is one of a generous people. Many say we’re the most philanthropically minded society on the planet, yet church funding continues to decline. One of the reasons is that church leaders have failed to connect ministry funding and impact.
People want to see their giving bear fruit and they are increasingly reluctant to invest where they do not see evidence of lives being changed trough their giving. So, regularly connecting giving to its impact removes doubt that might creep into people's minds and builds trust.
By being upfront and honest about the ministry funding lost to debt service will help your givers visualize the obstacle debt represents and builds trust in leadership.
Break Free From What’s Holding You Back
Many of your church members don't like the fact you carry debt. Moreover, knowing funding that being shifted from ministry to pay debt might be impacting their giving.
A debt campaign changes the narrative. In short, you break free of the debt. An integrated funding plan that includes a capital effort should also grow support for annual annual giving as well. church debt campaign most certainly helps you grow annual giving as well.
Develop a Clear Vision and Plan for the Future
This proactive approach is far more effective than constantly reacting to current events. The vision must be specific and measurable with a clear target date for completion. For transparency, write and share the plan within your church. (Read Seven Keys to Great Offering Talks!)
Ask for an Investment, Not Charity, From Each Member
This might sound like a subtle difference, but it’s a big one. When you ask for charity, you put people in a position where they feel like they have to give. If they don’t, they might feel guilty or ashamed. When you ask for an investment in the future of your church, you show trust and invite people into a partnership.
You take the pressure off people by stating that your campaign is an investment. They’re no longer pressured into giving. Instead, you invite them to make an informed and prayerful decision by giving them a bold vision and plan to invest in.
Debt is like a hungry monster you must feed monthly to stay alive. The more debt you have, the more ravenous that monster gets.
If your church needs a new financial direction, check out what taking your generosity culture to the next level might look like, or reach out to me for a free 30 minute consultation.
Celebrating Generosity! Joe Park