The Real Mission

by | June 29, 2017

Last week I spoke at a United Methodist Conference. This is the time of year when Methodists do these things and I am usually found speaking at one or two. It is always an honor. At the conference, a man came up to me to ask a question. “Nice job,” he began. “Now, I heard you say you are not in the money business, but in the Jesus business. You really don’t believe that do you? How can you run a business, like Horizons, without counting money as the mark of success? It is like the church, we teach about Jesus, but the bottom line is that we must have money come in or we cannot teach. We are in the money business,” he exclaimed.

I replied that if Horizons or my church ever began to believe what he said, I would leave both. The world puts a lot of emphasis on money. It is the measuring stick of success in most every arena. But not with Horizons, and I pray not your church.

This week a beloved friend suffered an unimaginable tragedy. Her one-week old grandbaby suddenly died for no explainable reason. She and the baby’s parents are devastated beyond belief. The tears flow constantly and the agony is indescribable. I can offer words of care, hold her hand or hug her neck. If I wrote her a check, bought her a new car or house, none of that would do one bit of good to lessen her pain. The grief is beyond human solutions.

Christ, and Christ alone, is her only hope. He, and he alone, conquered the grave and now lives forevermore. He holds the keys to tomorrow with a promise of no more tears and no more sorrows. Only His Spirit can bring a peace that passes understanding. On this solid rock she can stand and face another day. It is Jesus who will work the miracle of her smiling again.

It is not a sales tactic to say we are in the Jesus business, not the money business. I mean it and I believe it. Money is an important tool, but it does not lead people to Jesus and new life. I want to help churches raise money so they can bring more people into relationship with Christ. I wish money could ease my friend’s pain, but I have nothing in my pocket to help her. Praise God she does have something in her heart that can carry her burden and walk with her through the valley. She will live again. The baby will live again. The sun will come up tomorrow because He lives and will never die.

Friends, this is our mission. All of us who know Jesus as Lord must proclaim Him till the whole world knows. Nothing is more important. Praise God from whom all blessing flow!


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Everything you need to inspire generosity.


4 Disturbing Trends Behind the National Decline in Church Giving

Church Giving Realities

Charitable giving has consistently risen from less than $150 billion to more than $400 billion in the US over the last 40 years. Yet, last year individual giving fell by 3.4%, charitable giving fell by 1.7% (inflation adjusted), and sadly, inflation adjusted giving to churches fell almost 4%.


What do these giving realities mean for churches?

If this trend continues for just five years, churches in the United States will have 20% less ministry funding.


What should church leaders do next?

In this video, Joe Park explains the trends behind this decline in church giving. He also offers some very practical advice to church leaders to address these giving realities. Some of what Joe discusses is likely brand-new territory for many church leaders. Churches who have made these practices part of their funding model are enjoying increased ministry funding.



If you want to watch the rest of the Giving Intelligence series and access a variety of practical tools to help you cultivate a culture of generosity in your church, visit our Giving365 resource center.


Click here to request a free 20 minute consultation by a Horizons Ministry Strategist about how your church can increase ministry funding and improve discipleship through a process we call Next Level Generosity.

How to Talk About Money and Ministry in Church

Talking about Money and Ministry

Giving to religion fell 3.7% (inflation adjusted) in 2018* as people continue the trend of shifting giving away from the church to other non-profit organizations.  How we talk about money and ministry in the church is one of the reasons.


It’s Easier than You Think

Changing the conversation about money is easier than you might think.  You can begin with one simple vocabulary change. When you make this change, you’ll watch how quickly awkward money conversations can become opportunities to celebrate ministry impact and life change.

Listen as Joe Park, Managing Partner of Horizons Stewardship, explains how this simple change can resolve the tension you might be experiencing as you talk about ministry and money in your church.



If you want to watch the rest of the series and access a variety of practical tools and ideas to help you cultivate a culture of generosity in your church, visit our Giving365 resource center.

*Data provided by the 2019 GivingUSA report.

Why Shifting Your Fiscal Year is a Next Level Generosity Best Practice

Shifting Your Fiscal Year

By shifting their fiscal year away from the traditional calendar, an estimated 40% of vital churches have become better equipped to manage ministry funding. In most churches, up to a third of yearly income is received in December.  In the next offering from Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series, Managing Partner, Joe Park describes why moving to a non-traditional fiscal calendar should be one of your church’s best practices.



To find out more about Joe Park, click here.


Horizons’ Next Level Generosity (NLG) is a framework that enables church leaders to align people and resources to do more ministry. We’re not talking about a capital campaign, but a shift in culture that multiplies a church’s capacity to change lives and make a lasting impact on its community.  Churches that use NLG are reporting double-digit increases in year-over-year giving. To arrange a free 20-minute consultation to explore if NLG is right for you church visit or contact us at


Did you miss the first installments in Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series? Find them in our free Giving365 vault by clicking on the Giving365 logo below.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource




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