How to Talk to Your Church about Financial Opportunities

A lot of church struggles can be traced back to poor communication. Let us say that your board has been working nonstop on a plan to purchase a new building so the church can expand and create new ministry opportunities. You might have thought through every possible detail and wrinkle, but when you rushed through the process of sharing it with the congregation, everything fell apart.

Maybe some people were adamant that putting the church deeper in debt was a bad idea. Perhaps they did not entirely understand the plan, and as they began to talk amongst themselves, it only became more unclear.

When it comes to church finances, you will find that your congregation probably has a lot more opinions than they do clarity. Here are some tips for communicating financial plans and opportunities in the most fruitful way possible.

Make Business Meetings an Event

How churches handle their finances is spiritual. The opportunities that finances offer churches are spiritual too. Your budget is a spiritual stewardship document. Unfortunately, most church meetings are low attended and dry affairs where finances are covered in a very remedial fashion. It is too bad because if your congregation were to truly understand how the church’s budget facilitated your mission and made your goals attainable, they would probably invest more.

Business meetings should cover last year’s performance against the budget and changes for the coming year. This information should be presented in a way that communicates the church’s plans, aspirations, and goals. The more understanding people have about church finances, the easier it is to talk with them about it. They are more invested, they pay more attention, and they are ultimately more generous.

Do what you can to make church business meetings an event that should not be missed. Offer a meal. Plan some entertainment. Present the financial information in a way that members can personally connect with. This will help them care about the topic.

Keep a Tight Reign on Information

If your board is working through financial details and opportunities, it is critical that this information is kept in the boardroom until it is ready to be shared. When information is leaked out in bits and pieces, people inevitably fill in the missing details with questionable facts and rumors. It is not that you are keeping things a secret—you want to make sure that the information is ready to be shared.

Not only do you need to ensure the plan is ready to communicate, but it is helpful to think through potential questions and objectives that could be raised—not because you want to raise them yourself, but so that you have answers prepared should they come up.

Presenting Financial Information

Let us say that you wanted to communicate that the church is going to be taking out a loan to invest in a larger facility in town. Ideally, you are going to throw together a meeting after church or on a weeknight to disclose the details and discuss it. Here are some things you will want to keep in mind as you communicate this info:

  • Help people make a connection between financial information and the opportunities to expand the kingdom.
  • Give people a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns.
  • Make sure people know who to go to if they have more questions.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance in the process.

Some people will process the information quickly, and others will need to think about it. Encourage people to discuss any questions or concerns they have with the right leaders.

When people communicate that they are excited about the direction and decisions, encourage them to become an ambassador. This means that if they encounter questions or negativity, they can share the reasons why they are excited about the project. If the concerns are thoughtful and legitimate, will suggest that the individual meets with the appropriate person in leadership.

Communication is Key

You do not want to pour a bunch of energy into a business plan and then have everything go sideways because you did not give enough thought to how you would present the news. You might have the best strategy in the world, but if people cannot get on board, it is going to be a struggle to implement. Make sure that your leadership team puts enough thought into sharing the details and strengths of the proposal in a way that people can get behind.