Perspective

10 reasons why pastors should be engaging financial leaders in their church during COVID-19

High-capacity givers understand return on investment. They want to invest their money in effective ministries. They want their pastor to win and the church to be successful.

For these reasons, leaders in giving can be much more than just financial support to pastors, and pastors need them now more than ever. The truth is, financial leaders need their pastors now more than ever as well.

By Brian Dodd, INJOY

Here are 10 reasons why pastors should be especially intentional in engaging their financial leaders during the COVID-19 crisis:

1. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus crisis, but also regularly, even when not in crisis.

Building relationships with financial leaders should be a normal part of a pastor’s rhythm. It honors them and releases countless resources to be used for life change. For more on this topic read 12 Facts About Your Church’s Financial Leaders and the Impact They Can Have On Pastors and 11 Lessons From Jesus on the Relationship Between Pastors and Financial Leaders.

2. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because many financial leaders need their pastor right now.

Do not assume your financial leaders are in an emotionally or spiritually healthy state right now. They are facing this crisis like everyone. Financial leaders are making hard decisions every day, and more of them now. And these decisions affect the lives of their employees and their families. Many are deciding how to manage business expenses. Financial leaders may be facing their own personal financial pressures as well. Some may even be forced to close their businesses, which for many is the death of a dream. As a result, many financial leaders are carrying an unimaginable emotional burden. They need to hear from their pastor.

3. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because some are experiencing an increased financial blessing.

Many churches are facing various shortages in their ministry budgets. Some financial leaders, such as those in the grocery, technology, or medical fields, may be experiencing increased blessings right now. They could be uniquely positioned to resource under-funded or struggling ministries in your church if they are aware of the need.

4. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because they can learn more about making hard decisions.

If solutions are not found quickly to end the pandemic, many churches may be forced to make difficult budget, staffing, or salary cuts. Many financial leaders have already walked this path and made these kinds of difficult decisions. They can be an invaluable resource regarding how to look at this process, what to value, what to prioritize, where to best leverage budget dollars, and how to deliver an unpopular message.

5. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus crisis because they can learn to better make pivots.

The word “pivot” has become standard in American business recently. What this means is businesses are being forced to change their methods and approaches because their world has been disrupted. You can’t do business the same way anymore. New products are being developed. New communication strategies are being implemented. Churches are not excepted from this. Your church likely has been forced to go online. You’ve likely had to make other changes as well. Financial leaders are uniquely equipped to assist pastors through the process of recognizing and navigating change.

6. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because many of these leaders know how to lead remotely.

Pastors are shepherds. Oftentimes, they like having their teams around them and under their care. However, social distancing has forced many pastors to use video conferencing to lead their teams. Business leaders may have been leading like this for years. They are likely to understand the frequency and type of messaging needed to lead those you can’t be physically present with.

7. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders who understand how to take care of their employees well.

Many pastors are glorified CEOs. Many CEOs are actually shepherds. Many of the financial leaders I know love, care, and shepherd their people as well – as pastors. They may have rich insights to share about how to shepherd a staff well.

8. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because they can learn personal financial principles.

The sad reality is, unless God intervenes, many churches may have problems making payroll. Many pastors reading this post will be taking salary cuts themselves. Knowing how to manage their family’s personal finances will likely be a needed skill in the days ahead. Who better to assist with this than your church’s financial leaders?

9. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because financial leaders are often visionary leaders.

People need hope right now. They are following those leaders who have positive approaches to life and are pointing to a brighter tomorrow. Financial leaders have the unique ability to rally people in times of crisis and chart a course to a better tomorrow.

10. Pastors should be engaging their financial leaders during the coronavirus because their resources are desperately needed.

Let’s just keep it real. Many in your church will experience job losses and salary reductions. This will have an obvious negative impact on your ministry. There are defining moments in the life of every ministry in which leaders with various gifts, talents, and abilities are needed to step up. During a financial crisis, the moment has come for financial leaders to faithfully exercise their generosity. This is a defining moment. This is their defining moment. Invite them into the game and allow them to be used as only God can use them.

Pastors, start contacting your financial leaders today. The two of you need each other like never before.

Brian Dodd is Director of New Ministry Partnerships for INJOY Stewardship Solutions and prolific blogger on Brian Dodd on Leadership. He defines financial leaders as any family that tithes $10,000 or more annually to your church, or, for churches that don’t have givers at this level, it’s the top 10 percent of a church’s annual givers.

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Episode 16: Leading with empathy as we recover and rebuild

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