Four Questions to Answer Before Taking on Debt

Should churches go into debt? This question often elicits passionate responses from people at various points on the yes/no spectrum. . . . If your church does opt for debt, you’re making a weighty decision. Here are four questions to help you assess whether it is right to take on debt:

  1. Is the debt for a ministry need or want? “If you build it, they will come” is the wrong philosophy. Debt is not the time to take shots in the dark, hoping for a positive outcome.
  2. Can we pay off the debt quickly? Once again, this is not about hope. Can you actually pay off the debt in a timely manner? If the debt payoff requires a huge increase in giving over just a few years, it’s best to wait.
  3. What is the budgetary impact? Will this debt cause us to be on the financial edge? Will we need to reduce ministry budgets to account for the payment?
  4. What are our other options? Debt should not be a first resort. It may be easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s wiser. Consider all your options before diving into debt.

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