Financial Facts of your church: It's time to face the music
Margaret Marcuson thinks it’s time for you to face the financial facts in your church. Do you know the following basic information about how people give in your church?
- What are the trends in giving and expenses?
- What is the giving pyramid – how many givers do you have at successive giving levels?
- What is the pace of income through the year – what percentage comes in during December each year?
- What percentage of income goes to ministries outside your congregation?
- Be as open as possible.
- Even difficult facts, calmly presented by leadership with the message, “We can handle this,” help calm people down.
- Be patient – in some churches it may take several years to get good reports.
- Present financial information in visual and/or story form. Most people fade out when pages of numbers are presented.
- Don’t try to convince people things are better than they think (the cheerleader approach). Simply state your own view.
- Don’t try to convince people things are worse than they think (the Chicken Little approach).
- Overcommunicate. Remember that anxiety is like static – it makes it hard for people to receive information. This may be especially true of financial information.