Money And The Small Church: 3 Reasons We Must Talk About It (New Series)

Many people have a love/hate relationship with money.

Including me.

I don’t like thinking about it, talking about it, teaching on it or worrying about it.

But do you know what I really hate about money? When I don’t have enough of it.

How’s that for one of life’s crazy little ironies? Money may be the only thing in my life that I both dislike intensely, but I want more of. Love/hate.

Not having enough money is a huge problem in life and in ministry. Yet it’s just the way things are – especially in a small church.

But helping those who are in even greater need than we are is one of the primary callings of the church of any size. Which makes this one of the challenges every small church has in common: how do we do more ministry with so little money?

Because of my intense dislike of money, I have written very little about it, but it’s one of the subjects I am asked about most often.

So, despite my misgivings – or maybe because of them – today is the first of several blog posts on the subject of Money And The Church in the next few weeks and beyond.

Avoiding The Trap Of A Punch-The-Clock Mentality In Ministry

Too many pastors suffer from PCM. Punch-the-clock mentality. And if you don’t, you may be struggling to work with church leaders who do.

PCM can develop in people who have spent their entire working lives in jobs where they get paid hourly. Every work day, they punch in and punch out. But it isn’t limited to them.

These people perform some of the most important jobs in our society. They keep our communities safe, clean and livable. Many great people live their entire work lives punching a clock to feed us, house us, clothe us, care for our kids and make the products we use.

So, there’s nothing wrong with a punch-the-clock job or the people who perform vital services through them. But there is a problem when we have a punch-the-clock mentality.

Why It’s A Bad Idea To Run A Church Like A Business

Churches cannot and should not be run like businesses.

I’ve always felt that to be true. But, as a pastor, I only knew it in the abstract.

Then, a few years ago I started my own business. You’re reading one of the products of it right now. The writing and speaking I do about small churches in my book, the Pivot blog and at also happens to be a ministry, but it’s not a church, it’s a business. My business.

I started it. I own it. I run it. And I make all the decisions for it.

That’s not the way it is with pastoring.

I didn’t start the church. I don’t own it. I don’t run it. And I don’t make all the decisions for it.

A church doesn’t belong to the pastor. Or the church members. Or the denominational officials. It belongs to Jesus.