Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Ed Young: Don't Play Nerf Ball With the Church
Ed Young has some thoughts about money and financing ministry over at TheChurchReport.com... see what you think about his thoughts... Ed writes:
People always ask me, “How has your church changed since you started with a few hundred people to 20,000 that meet in four campuses across Dallas-Fort Worth?” My answer is simply, “My leadership style hasn’t changed. My work ethic hasn’t changed. My dependence on God hasn’t changed. The main thing that has changed is more zeroes behind everything!” That’s especially true when it comes to money. Whether you are meeting in a high school or your city’s largest sporting venue, it takes money. And, as you grow, you’ll just keep adding zeroes to the financial need. It’s staggering to think of the amount of money that our church requires every month just to be able to turn the lights on. As we prepare to launch yet another capital campaign at Fellowship Church, I’m reminded of a truth I had to learn the hard way. When I left the hallowed halls of seminary, one of the realities that ambushed me as a young pastor is this: It takes super-sized cash to finance ministry. Like it or not, one of the primary responsibilities on every senior pastor’s job description is that of chief fundraiser. Growing up with two younger brothers, there was a lot of testosterone running around the house. And that would undoubtedly lead to bloodied noses, broken vases and busted windows. One of the solutions to curing our hyperactive aggression was the Nerf ball. This soft, low-impact ball was made for playing indoors. Too often, we take the same approach with our churches when it comes to giving. We soft sell the topic of financial stewardship with our people. For the first four or five years, I shied away from talking about money. Just like everyone else, I felt uncomfortable talking about financial needs in the church. Because I was fearful of off ending people or even losing some of our people, I’d take the easy way out. I might talk around the money issue, but I never felt comfortable challenging people about the link that money. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matt 6:24, NIV). What I finally learned is that Jesus talked about money more than almost anything else. In fact, He talked about money more than prayer, heaven or hell. And, as church leaders, we must follow his example. You won’t learn about tithing from your accountant. The financial gurus don’t understand God’s economy. The only place you can truly learn about the supernatural blessings of God associated with biblical money management is in the church. No matter what you do, and no matter where you are, it’ll take money to maintain a dynamic and creative ministry. Jesus knew that money management had serious implications for our spiritual maturity. And He wasn’t afraid to throw hundred-mile fastballs towards his audience when it came to money. If it was good enough for Jesus to talk about, it’s good enough for us.
You can read Ed's article and alot of other great stuff this month at TheChurchReport.com's website.
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