I’m not doing a very good job of it, to be honest.
I could blame it on a lot of things, but I won’t. Blame doesn’t do us any good. Underneath the blame is the worry. Worry for our church. Worry for family. Worry for friends. Worry doesn’t help anything, yet I do it any way.
I’m worried about our finances. True. No lie here. I’m worried about it. But, as I said in worship a week ago, it only points to the financial situation of most of our members. It is no surprise that giving is down when the individual’s financial situaiton becomes more difficult.
However, the current “National Financial Crisis” isn’t the whole problem. Truth to be told, even if everything was going well, we would still be hurting. You see, there have been a few life changes that have had an impact upon our congregation.
We’re a small church, so small changes go a long way. We had one tither leave so that she could be with her physically challenged son at another church. He has the best Sunday School Class in the world there. They changed their times, which means she couldn’t come to our church, and be able to pick up her son after their service. So, we find ourselves at a loss of one consistent tither.
Secondly, some people retire and their income decreases. We’ve had that happen as well. When the income decreases, so does the tithe. It is just the way it is.
Next, we had a foundational couple move away to an independent living facility. When I say “foundational,” I mean they were “Pillars” of the church in multiple ways. One of them being financial.
Oh, and did I mention that each person/couple was in the top five of our givers?
Yep, we’re a small church and small things matter.
We’ve gained some new members of the last year or two, but we’ve still a bit of discipling to do. You see, the ones we lost were “10 Talent” Christians. The thing is, God usually replaces those with “1 or 2 Talent” Christians. You see, our job is discipleship. People need to be trained, they need to be loved, they need to be developed in ways that will make them better Christ Followers. So, even though we’ve gained two people per every one loss over the last year, we still feel the pinch.
I’m not asking for more giving…that is, unless you sense God is telling you to give more. What I’m asking for is your help in discipleship. People need to be trained in more than Bible Stories. They need some real life training, like how to balance a check book. We have some people in our church that are strong financially, and your expertise is needed. Lets train our people to be fiscally responsible, and see where it leads.