I’ve never been a skilled carpenter, but I really want to be. I take on a lot of DIY projects around my house, but I often hit points in the project where the job is beyond my skill set. I’ve even started to purchase better tools like a nail gun, jigsaw, and drill press. There is no doubt in my mind that good tools make the project easier and often produce better results; however, they are not a substitute for skill. A good friend of mine once told me, “Putty and paint make me the carpenter I ain’t,” and if you’ve seen some of the corners of my baseboards, you know what he’s talking about.
Over the years, I’ve replaced my outdated and inexpensive tools with newer, better-quality ones. But I would never ignore a leaky valve in the shower because I wanted to work on a project where I could use my new 20-volt battery-powered reciprocating saw. For those who need clarification, the reciprocating saw is a fantastic tool for quickly cutting all kinds of material, but it cannot loosen the copper fitting in the shower. And if I don’t fix the leak, it can create a lot of damage.
A Great Tool
Churches want to be good stewards (managers) of the resources entrusted to them by God, especially financial resources. That’s why most churches spend so much time crafting a budget based on attendance and giving trends that align with the church’s mission, vision, and values. The church budget demonstrates fiscal responsibility to the donors. The process allows the church to evaluate healthy spending percentages like compensation, operations, and ministry. Like a reciprocating saw, a church budget is a great tool, but it can’t do everything. Churches need to have a complete toolbox to get the job done.
A Complete Toolbox
Unfortunately, money can easily become the decision-making driver for churches still reeling from post-pandemic attendance and giving loss. To be clear, I’m not advocating for fiscal irresponsibility; spending beyond what God provides is never a sound practice. On the contrary, I’m advocating that the church leadership team come together, earnestly and prayerfully seek God’s direction for the upcoming year, and put everything the church believes God is calling them to accomplish on the table. Then, it’s time to determine how to achieve the items on the list collaboratively. Refuse to let the lack of money prevent your church from accomplishing its mission. There are many ways to fulfill God’s calling for your church that don’t require money, and it’s time to get creative and find other ways to do it. Start with prayer and see where God leads. Explore options like utilizing volunteers, special fundraising, partnering with another church, etc.
Without realizing it, our church parking lot had lost its curb appeal over time. It didn’t send the intended message to visitors or our congregation, and we couldn’t budget for the improvements. A very generous church member who owned a quarry donated rocks that would significantly improve the look of the parking islands. We then called upon our volunteer workforce to help us prepare the areas with weed blockers and began moving tons of rock into specific areas. We refused to let the lack of money keep us from creating a great first impression when people arrive on our campus.
The budget is a wonderful and essential tool, but it is just one of many tools a church needs to accomplish its mission. Don’t allow a lack of finances to limit what God wants to do in and through your church. Who knows, you might just find out you’re better with a pipe wrench in your hand than a saw.short url: