If the best athletes have a coach why don’t you? The best athletes work to get better. My friend Jimmy Washington once visited the training camp of the Indianapolis Colts the year after their then quarterback Peyton Manning had been named the NFL’s most Valuable Player. What impressed Jimmy was watching how Manning was personally coached on his technique and plays. Here was the best quarterback in the league working with coaches to improve his game. Manning is not alone in having coaches work to make him better. The best always work to get better.
Which leads me to my question, who coaches you? If you are like most pastors, myself included, you spent hours in college and seminary studying. Most of what we studied essentially stayed in the classroom. I never can recall anyone in my churches asking about the Council of Nicaea or any other thing that I had studied so hard about. The vast majority of our colleges and seminaries under train our ministers for the reality of church life. Little of what I learned in college or seminary was actually applied to real ministry when I was a pastor. My guess is that the same is true for you. So, what most pastors and Christian leaders have to do is self teach themselves. It is one reason why there are so many conferences, books, webinars and other post educational offerings to pastors and Christian leaders. All of these are an attempt to fill a void in the education and preparation of our ministerial staffs. Your college and seminary gave you a good base. It is now up to you to build upon that base. If you are not ever learning you are in trouble of becoming ineffective.
The Lack of Stewardship Training Nowhere is this more important than in the realm of stewardship. One study showed that 77% of U. S. clergy are very or extremely satisfied with their seminary training on theological and liturgical issues. A mere 7% are similarly satisfied with their seminary training on financial duties. The same survey revealed that 83% of U. S. pastors are very or extremely satisfied with their experience of pastoral duties, while only 33% are similarly satisfied with their experience in handling financial matters. However, when asked about their level of interest in taking continuing education courses on various subjects courses on finances ranked the lowest. So, do you see a problem? Pastors admit they do not feel trained in the area of finances and stewardship and they don’t feel satisfied in how they have handled these areas of ministry. Yet they really don’t want to learn how to get better at this? Could this be one reason giving has continued to decline from 3.11% to 2.38% of Americans disposable incomes?
The number one stewardship mistake of churches is the disconnected pastor. You might not like that statement but in my over 15 years in the Stewardship field I can tell you this is true. The churches that struggle the most with giving are the ones where the pastor shows little or no interest in stewardship. If the pastor is not concerned with giving who will be? One way to correct this is to have a coach. More and more of what we do as a stewardship firm is simply coaching pastors. From large churches to small we help pastors get better in the area of stewardship. Here is what three of my clients recently sent me with regards to my coaching of them…
“Mark Brooks has provided for us an incredible depth of knowledge, intriguing insights, and does it all in an interesting way. As a former Pastor, his theology of stewardship comes only from the Word of God, being interpreted through the context of the local church. Mark communicates with people and churches with both conviction and compassion. You will not be disappointed with Mark Brooks,”
Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd, Senior Pastor Cross Church The 53rd largest church in America and newly elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention
“Mark Brooks has been a key partner as we have grown from 200 to 1700. During that time our giving has increased by over 170%. His wisdom, knowledge and insight remain invaluable.”
Shane Bishop Senior Pastor Christ Church The Eighth fastest growing UMC church in America
“Mark Brooks has helped our church raise millions of dollars in both capital campaigns and for our yearly budget. His coaching has helped lighten my load as a pastor and made me more effective in ministry. I am blessed to not only call him my stewardship coach but also my friend.” James Washington Senior Pastor Phillips Temple One of the largest African American churches in America
These guys are some of the best at what they do and yet they are working to get better. They each have seen the value of having a stewardship coach. What about you? Who coaches you?
If you are ready to start getting personalized coaching then go to the following link to join my monthly membership plan http://thestewardshipcoach.org/join-now/
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions