Church Executive Magazine Features Joe Park on How to Recover from a Decline in Giving
A Decline in Church Giving
Church giving was already becoming a persistent challenge for church leaders before the Coronavirus outbreak and social distancing. Now, it’s become a very acute challenge that is forcing staff and volunteer church leaders alike to wrestle through what it means to have a strategy and plan to make disciples and fund ministry.
Three Areas Every Church Leader Must Address
According to Joe Park, CEO and Managing Partner of Horizons Stewardship, there are three areas that every church leader must address:
- Strategy. Do you know why you do what you do?
- Communications. Are you communicating your “why” consistently in the places where your people are already connected?
- Funding. Do you know how you will fund your ministry plan today and moving forward?
If you’re not confident in one or all three of those areas, this is an opportunity to reassess where you are in relationship to all three and begin to ask the necessary questions to create clarity and alignment across the leadership of your church.
There Are No Simple Answers
In the Church Executive feature, Joe offers nine key questions to help guide your thinking. The reason why he offers you questions rather than answers is two-fold:
- There are no simple answers. Every organizational reality brings with it multi-dimensional attributes that will contribute to your next step. There is no next best step for everyone. Instead, there is a next best step for you.
- You need to invite your leaders into this evaluation process. You can’t lead your church alone. Use this opportunity to invite your volunteer leaders, staff leaders, and financial leaders into a conversation about the current state and future ministry impact potential of your church.
Asking the Tough Questions
When you are willing to ask and answer the tough questions, you’ll discover:
- Key insights that will refine your thinking. It’s possible you’ll discover information you weren’t aware of that will influence future decisions.
- Areas of your church that need to be re-imagined. Sometimes you need to stop doing certain things and start doing other things. It’s always helpful to evaluate all your commitments and determine where you need to invest more—and less.
- Leaders, you need to elevate. There will be leaders who emerge out of this self-directed discovery process who will demonstrate high levels of critical thinking and wisdom. Don’t waste those talents and gifts.
- Decisions that may have been true at one time but are no longer true now. Leadership is often a balance of what’s most important right now with what’s important overall. Sometimes programs are started in a church that are intended to only last for a season but seem to linger forever.
- Impact opportunities you may have never considered. Now more than ever, what happens between Sundays is just as important as what happens on Sundays. Your future depends on your ability to connect impact potential and generosity opportunities.
Invite Your Leaders into a Discovery Process
Leveraging your leadership to help you co-create the future of your church is a privilege. The decisions you make during this time of social distancing will likely impact the future ministry potential for at least the next decade if not longer. If leadership is about stewardship (caring for what God has entrusted to us), then God has positioned you to lead your church through a very unique season of ministry. Step into that opportunity with confidence and courage.
When you start with questions, you invite conversation. That conversation will help you curate the ideas and insights of those most invested in the future of your church. That becomes a perfect opportunity to invite a renewed sense of commitment, connection, and affinity for the ministry potential for your church.
Do You Want More Information on How Your Church Can Increase Giving?
Find more resources on increasing your church’s giving during social distancing by joining Giving365, Horizons’ free on-demand resource center.