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How to Communicate Church Finances With Your Congregation

A ministry’s finances are much bigger than handling your church accounting needs or saving up for a missions trip or building fund. Finances are a consistent and intimate part of a Christian’s life — both individually and as a church.

Even though both personal and church finances play an important role in daily life, they are often treated as a taboo topic. We’d like to challenge that concept.

As is the case with so many other sensitive but essential parts of life, it’s important for churches to tackle the topic of money head-on, not just as a leadership team but across their entire organizations.

Why Is Healthy Communication With Church Finances Important?

The topic of finances and healthy money management is often left out of the church conversation. Why is that? 

The Cultural Disapproval of Money Talk

Part of the issue is the way American culture handles finances in the first place. U.S. citizens often find discussions about money to be rude or inappropriate. 

One study found that 75% of Americans don’t talk about money with their friends. 63% won’t talk about it with their family, either, and tragically, 46% won’t even touch on the subject with their spouses.

Another report found that Americans tend to be more comfortable talking with friends about mental health, addiction, sex, race, marital troubles, and even politics. As long as money doesn’t come up, they’re okay.

Faith-Based Challenges When It Comes to Talking Money

When you bring money matters into a church setting, it’s easy for the unmentionable mindest to get turned up a notch. Many will go straight to Bible verses like 1 Timothy 6:10, which starts out, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” 

However, there’s an important clarification to make here. Let’s look at this famous anti-money verse a little closer — and in context.

The love of money is very different from money itself. The verse continues by saying, “It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (Italics added.)

Paul sets the stage for his comment in the previous verse (verse 9), where he states, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” 

Shortly before this, in verses 6 through 8, he also says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”

Paul isn’t talking about money being evil. Money itself isn’t the problem. It’s human attitudes toward money — the insatiable desire or craving for it — that create issues.

In context, money is just a part of living life. It’s the modern equivalent of a farmer’s crops or a merchant’s goods. The Bible talks about money as something that belongs to God along with everything else. 

It’s a tool that humans must learn to use. The Scriptures discuss things like managing debt, working for wages, and being good stewards of our possessions.

When you break it down, money shouldn’t be taboo in church. It’s a topic that should be consistently discussed in a Godly manner. 

By tackling money head-on from the pulpit, church leaders can teach and mentor their congregations to utilize Biblical principles in their personal finances on a regular basis.

The big question is: Are you doing that in your ministry right now?

Tips for Communicating Finances With Your Congregation

If you struggle to find ways to consistently bring up money matters in church, here are a few tips to help you pull together a game plan for your church’s financial communication.

Teach Biblical Financial Management

The Bible is full of lessons about money. When it comes to finances, the first responsibility of church leaders isn’t to ask for donations or communicate financial reports. 

They should focus on raising financially healthy Christian attendees. When that happens, it prioritizes individual Christians, improves their lives, and paves the way for more comfortable and mature money conversations over time.

Use Natural Opportunities Like Annual Reports

You don’t need to update everyone every time you set a budget or approve an expense. However, it’s a good idea to proactively keep everyone in the loop with your church’s big-picture financial health.

Annual reports are a great way to do this. They can communicate income and expenses as well as the different ways you’ve invested in your church’s ministry.

Be Consistent, Transparent, and Tactful

Strive for consistency as you communicate church finances with your congregation. Don’t teach Biblical money management as a one-off series. Return to it often. 

Provide updates on big fundraisers and ongoing projects. Create predictable, sensitive calls to give on a regular basis. Be transparent about concerning situations.

Once again, as you establish transparent consistency, remember to be tactful. Over-communication isn’t necessary. Instead, prayerfully consider what financial elements are important to transmit to your church members on a regular basis.

Lighten Up About Church Finances

You aren’t a business protecting your “secret sauce for success.” You aren’t trying to beat out competitors and rake in profits. You’re a non-profit. Even more, you’re a church. 

Finances are a means to an end. So don’t treat them like they’re a big secret. Demonstrate a willingness to talk about finances. Be open to sharing about your church’s administrative setup. A willingness to communicate how you’re handling donations goes a long way in keeping everyone on the same page.

Communicating Finances With Your Church

Church finances can be complicated. But they shouldn’t be hidden. 

Make a point to talk about money. Teach money management principles. Communicate your church’s financial status. If you need help, our faith-focused financial consultants are standing by. 

Reach out, and together, we can explore how to restore a sense of Godly wisdom, comfort, and positivity to how your church handles money.

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