Why is this guy writing about finances?

When Neue asked me to write about finances for the website, my first thought is that you would think, Why is this guy writing about finances?
When Neue asked me to write about finances for the website, my first thought is that you would think, Why is this guy writing about finances?

 

This year has been very challenging. I have thought more about church finances in the last 8 months than in all of my previous years of ministry combined.

 

— I have endured restless nights as decisions about staff lay-off’s loomed.

 

— I have explained the term “soft freeze” to a staff that were accustomed to us meeting budget every year. (More on that term in forthcoming entries)

 

— I have combed our budget with key leaders to carve out more than 600K in budgeted dollars.

 

— I have interrupted my vacation to call the office to see if that big donor who promised a miraculous bailout (more on that as well) came through. And learned he did not. Which made dinner much less enjoyable.

 

During the last three years at Christ Fellowship, where I am honored to serve as executive pastor, we have enjoyed a fun season of growth. We have seen God bring more and more people to us, and we are honored to partner with Him in the transformation of many lives. In the midst of our growth, we set some bold budget increases to finance all God was/is calling us to do. We raised our annual budget 1.6 million from 2007 to 2008 (that was 37% for us). And while we ended 2008 significantly ahead on giving compared to the previous year (almost 25% higher), we also fell significantly behind on budget (over a 10% shortfall).

 

See Also

So why am I contributing to a conversation on finances?

 

Not because I have it all figured out. But because in the midst of a fun yet challenging year, God has taught me a ton about managing His money in His church. And I am going to share thoughts and struggles with you over the next several months.

 

As we begin…what about you?

 

What was challenging to you in 2008 in the area of finances in ministry?

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