The Barna Group has released a multi-part series on the economic crisis of the last year and how this impacts the church. These reports contain insightful and valuable information as you pray and plan for the year ahead. As a reminder, though research can serve as an indicator and prudent action is always advisable, we walk by faith.
Per the study, the implication is that church and non-profit leaders should prepare for another lean year. Response to this reality suggests avoiding high-risk and untested fund raising efforts and communicating effectively with constituents. In addition, consider proactive financial management, including adjusting income expectations. Avoid using traditional financial projections as reluctant donors are likely to cut back on the number of organizations and frequency of their support.
Action Items You Can Address:
1. Efficiency: Operate your ministry as efficiently as you possibly can. One idea is to select and use a children’s discipleship curriculum that can be reused each year resulting in substantial savings. For example, DiscipleLand’s Core Bible discipleship curriculum is comprehensive and can be used year-after-year.
2. Vision: Live the vision, teach the vision, and preach the vision. Cast and re-cast your ministry’s vision to staff, volunteers, parents and the congregation so that people rally behind the significance of your ministry.
3. Communication: Communicate the priority and need of your ministry.
4. Relationships: Nurture personal relationships with those who actively support your ministry.
5. Testimonials: Preach and teach on real case studies. Real-life transformational testimonies are inspirational and remind people of God’s awesomeness. One idea is to prepare and send a monthly life-changing story as an email to the entire church email membership list.
6. Involvement: Personally invite and involve those who contribute to your ministry. Nothing serves more effectively than a “hands-on” approach.