I have been bothered of how churches finances have been run since I have been a youth pastor. How many people really understand how church finances run?
In saying what I am about to say. I do believe in God, and miracles, I believe God is in control of situations.
I also belive that God has given us minds, creative ideas, and the opportunity to generate money for God's work and kingdom.
Churches are dependent on each of their congragents desire and ability to listen to God. If these people are willing to listen to God and pay the traditional 10% tithe then it can keep a church in business. Churches base their budgets on either pledges for the year, or figuring out a budget from last years numbers.
When a church is looking to build a new building or to raise money it goes back to the people that are tithing and look to get more money from these sources.
If the money is not raised does that mean that God is not apart of the plan? The answer many times is immediately yes or that people are not following God.
What if churches started thinking more strategically in making money. What if they thought creativly and found other revenue sources other than the congregation? Is this wrong?
I know in some circles this is a taboo topic. I am not suggesting making more money so the pastor can get paid more, I am suggesting generating more money so more ministry can happen.
Let me share some of my brainstorming ideas that are not refined ideas but rather starts.
This is something that would have to be well researched before embarking but there are many companies who support and given in kind donations with their companies logo on it. I have seen many gym scoreboards sponsored by pepsi or coke. What about the church van being corporatly sponsored. It will have to be companies that first off are not going to make the message of the church compromised but also someone you are proud to support.
Why isn't this done more? Other than the above mentioned fears. I think that churches in general are not organized enough to have a plan to present to an organization or business.
I can answer why churches don't do this more. The vision is so small that we have any need for grants.
Fundraising through sales-'
Of course there is the bake sale and the occassional rummage sale for youth trips etc. But what if churches intentionally started businesses through their church in order to raise money for missions on a continual basis?
For instance an ebay store or a book selling business. With donations from both the church participants and the community, and or a relationship with a resale shop the amount of money raised could be 300% times what is raised from an occassional bake sale and rummage sale.
Using the building as a resource-
Again this gets into a sticky area of what events and things that promote the church's values. With a resource of a building that in most cases is used sundays and wednesday nights with some creative thinking could make money for the church throughout the rest of the week.
When I was at real life and we did concerts. We brought in over $2,000 one night. These events was both a positive event for the community of teens and it helped pay for our annual ski trips.
Yes there is a lot of work that would go into doing any of this- but lets think about what we want to accomplish. Is maintaining an option? If we are going to be a viable option in many people's lives having a God shaped vision needs to be part of it. With that vision comes a cost and hopefully these few ideas can and will help you out.