Monday, November 4, 2013
A Short Story About Church Finances
I don't remember much from college, seminary, or "graduate" schools.
O.K., I remember lots; but, uh, most of that was outside of classrooms if ya know what I mean.
That's because we spent muuuuuuuch more time in lower education reading books about the book than reading the book itself; and as I've started scratching the surface of my relationship with Him and His in higher education by reading the book more than books about the book, I've learned some things aren't worth remembering if ya know what I mean.
Anyway, I recall one chapel service in a formerly faithful now far more academic than spiritual institution when an authentic Christian undershepherd from some church in Hopewell, New Jersey told a short story about church finances.
An elder went to his pastor and said, "We've got a financial problem in our church. People are not giving enough to pay our bills."
The pastor replied, "That's a very important concern; however, as you know, as pastor, my focus is on our spiritual concerns and problems. I suggest you take this up with our Trustees or Stewardship Committee."
That same elder went to his pastor a few weeks later and said with more urgency, "Pastor, we've got a really big financial problem in our church. We can't pay our bills. We can't even pay your salary."
"You should have told me that it was so serious," the pastor remarked with increasing concern, "but as you know, as pastor, my focus is on our spiritual problems. This is a financial problem. But knowing how serious it is now, I suggest bringing it up at our next board meeting."
At the next board meeting, the pastor announced, "One of our elders has an important concern to share with us that demands our immediate attention for the health of our church."
The elder stood up, looked directly into the eyes of the pastor, and said, "Pastor, we have a spiritual problem in our church."
There are no financial problems in churches.
There are no relational problems in churches.
There are no denominational problems in churches.
There are no psychosocioeconomic problems in churches.
Buuuuuuut many churches have spiritual problems manifested by financial, relational, denominational, and psychosocioeconomic challenges.
Spiritual problems demand spiritual solutions.
A good place to start looking for the spiritual solutions to your church's problems is John 3.
Blessings and Love!