Strengthen The Financial Foundation of Your Church:
What You Can Do Today
I am blessed to regularly serve churches and non-profits in my ministry. I have found that most pastors and lay leaders are looking to understand how to establish a firm and steady financial foundation for their church or non-profit.
Over the past 30+ years as a financial consultant, I have made one overarching observation as I have served God’s people: fundraising is for the secular world! If, like me, you’ve been in ministry a long time, you have likely watched many fundraising efforts fail. Fundraising programs take extreme amounts of time and effort and are not always reliable. The church, however, requires reliable funding to operate. We must be able to house the ministry, provide a comfortable place of worship, and provide compensation to those who labor in service to God and to others in need. Yet, how we obtain this needed support determines the fruit that we produce. The Word of God is our only true and reliable guide for requesting support for His ministry.
What does God’s Word say about raising funds for the ministry? In Exodus 25, God instructs Moses to ask the people to give for the specific purpose of building the temple. In I Chronicles 29, David gave substantially of his wealth to Solomon to build the permanent temple, but he also gathered gifts from the people. The Bible states that the people gave willingly toward the work on the temple of the Lord. The Macedonians, in their extreme poverty, were motivated to give by their overflowing joyous love for their needy brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. We don’t need to create clever ways to attempt to motivate others to give. Genuine love motivates generous giving.
James reminds us that we “have not because we ask not” (James 4:2). If we truly ask with the right heart, there are many brothers and sisters among us, believers and non-believers, who will support the church if presented the opportunity to do so. We can stop “fundraising,” and can instead feel confident in clearly asking for the required needs. As we minister to those among us and those within our reach, we build the atmosphere that generosity thrives in. It is by meeting the needs of the poor, encouraging the youth, and providing moral guidance to all, that we create the Church that Jesus sacrificed His precious life to offer to each of us.
Cynthia Gordon-Floyd is a certified public accountant and founder of Willing Steward Ministries, LLC. Willing Steward Ministries (www.willingsteward.com) is a financial consulting and accounting firm for churches and other faith-based non-profits, specializing in Bible-focused financial practices, pastoral compensation issues, IRS compliance, and other financial needs specific to churches. Cynthia is a graduate of Lake Forest College and holds her MBA in Accounting from DePaul University. She is a Steward and the Financial Secretary at the First AME Church of Manassas in Manassas, Virginia.