Some estimate giving to churches is on a 40-year decline. In contemplating the reasons why, here's a thought that should give church leaders pause: A church budget usually is set to the level of its people's unfaithfulness.
That's one of the messages Brian Kluth is taking to churches around the country.
Brian spent 10 years as the senior pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Colorado Springs. Nine out of those 10 years, the church ran a surplus budget. In the four years prior to Brian's arrival, the church never met budget.
Earlier this year, the church commissioned Brian to become a "generosity minister at large." In addition to developing his resources and writing a book, Brian now is touring with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and its 14-city "recession-proofing churches and ministries" workshops.
Brian recently visited Christianity Today International and sat down with me to share more about the tour, and about developing a culture of generosity in your church. In our short interview, Brian makes several interesting observations, which you can hear by clicking the link below (the audio player you need appears with the rest of this post).
Brian's observations include:
* In his 10 years as senior pastor, the church never mentioned the budget to the congregation;
* Teaching generosity means teaching people to excel in the grace of giving;
* When it comes to talking about money, the responsibility presumably falls to the pastor–but maybe shouldn't;
* Why "budget cutting" shouldn't be our mentality during tough economic times;
* The biblical view of how God uses "cold economic winds" to draw His people closer to him.
Links to help
* Church Finance Update e-newsletter
* http://kluth.org/ecfa.htm (this includes a $50 discount for an ECFA workshop)
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