Recently I had the great privilege of meeting with Pastor Ronnie Floyd’s Mentoring Luncheon at Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas. Cross Church is one of the most dynamic churches in the country. They have three locations in strategic sites around this fast growing corner of the state. The newest location is near the University of Arkansas and is led by Ronnie’s son Nick Floyd. That campus ran 1,900 last weekend in their services after only being in existence for one year! Cross Church http://crosschurch.com/ truly is an amazing church.
The Mentoring Luncheon was comprised of their youngest staff members from all three locations. It was both an encouragement to me and a shock to my system. It was encouraging to see nearly 50 young committed Christians giving their lives to full time service. It was a shock to my system as they keep calling me sir. I was one of the oldest guys in the room! At any rate they listened as I shared The Top Stewardship Mistakes Churches Make. That is the working title of my next book. I listed five major mistakes churches make when it comes to stewardship. Here is my list..
Failing to Ask. It is not that churches talk too much about money we don’t talk about it enough! One study found only 32 percent of American church members reported that they had heard a sermon on the relationship between faith and personal finances in that previous year. When was the last time your preached this topic?
Asking to fail. When we ask we often do it in a manner that leads to failure rather than success. Most “asks” are driven by guilt. Effective “asks” are driven by vision. Good vision trumps bad economy. Give your donors a reason to give!
Lack of planning. Churches have plans for everything why not a stewardship plan? If you don’t have a plan you are planning on failure.
Continuing business as usual. Times have changed and your approach to giving has to change as well. Cash and checkbooks are disappearing. The world is moving towards electronic means of commercialism and business. The Church had better change to meet the changes or we might find ourselves out of money to fuel our ministries. Think about it, you pass an offering plate asking for people to give who have little to no cash on them and no checks. Is it any wonder giving is declining?
Lack of pastoral involvement. The buck stops with you! Churches that are financially successful are the churches that the pastor is involved in the process. There is simply no other person who can and should set the pace for stewardship in a church. The Senior Pastor can’t pass this baton to anyone else and see his finances be successful. What about you pastor? How involved are you in the stewardship of your church?
All of the above mistakes can be easily avoided. You have to recognize them first and head them off before they become issues at your church. My hope and prayer is that the next generation coming up will avoid these mistakes that my generation has made. After meeting the men and women of Cross Church’s Mentoring Group this “old” guy has renewed hope for the future!
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions
PS. To find out more about Ronnie Floyd and Cross Church visit his blog at http://www.ronniefloyd.com/ You can also follow him on Twitter at @ronniefloyd