Greetings, one and all.
Glad you can join us for another tasty treat to chew over, when it comes to applying biblical principles to church planting.
Our most recent Planter Session was focused upon talking about money at church. How to do that was suggested, in various ways, by two experienced budgeters and fund-raisers. New Life Anglican Church pastor Stuart Starr worked with Rod Irvine at Figtree Anglican Church (Wollongong area), who is author of Giving Generously and advises church leadership about money. (For copies of Giving Generously for you and your church, contact Rod directly: email@example.com)
For their entire information session about how to talk about money at church, click here. As a taster, we latched on to one of the many points Rod explained about how to approach members and supporters. In short, Rod's an advocate for having a clear vision of your church-plant ministry – and calling people to team with you, to fund what you pray will be the very work of God.
Provide vision, see growth
“You're asking people to give to the vision,” Rod offers simply, about how to combine your ministry work with the heart-deep issue of godly giving. “You can hold up the vision and the ministry's going on in that vision. You can say to people that what's going on here is we want to start a childrens' ministry, or a ministry to the poor, or a men's or women's ministry, or we want to send five more people to the mission field. And these are the things that happen because of your generosity.
“So you're highlighting their growth in faith and the church's growth in vision and ministry, under God. And people get excited about that.”
Rod encourages church planters to focus on how financial support is manifesting within what their congregation is doing. Pointing people to fruits of their generosity doesn't just sound nice and reassuring. It's a biblical model of seeking unity in giving, because a particular flock of God's people want together to give themselves to God – and to return His material blessings to His mighty works.
“That's exactly what Paul was doing in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, what David was doing in 1 Chronicles 29, and Moses did when he raised material for the tabernacle,” explains Rod. “They held up this vision and said, 'Under God, let's get on board.' And Paul actually says they gave themselves to the Lord before they gave to us. There's a spiritual dynamic – they're giving themselve to God, and to God's work. So let's give! It's a very exciting thing to do, and people grow.”