Pastors and Church Finance: A Reflection by Rev. Margaret Marcuson, Part 1

ABCUSA > In the Spotlight > Pastors and Church Finance: A Reflection by Rev. Margaret Marcuson, Part 1

Pastors and Church Finance: A Reflection by Rev. Margaret Marcuson, Part 1

A team working together around the challenge of stewardship in the 21st century has worked hard over the past eighteen months to put together “The Generosity Project,” a pilot program running from Sept. 2017 – Dec. 2018 which will work to provide stewardship resources and support to a cohort group of pastors from New England regions. Members of the team have prepared blogs for “The Generosity Project” participants, which will also be shared on the ABCUSA website in the coming months.  To learn more about The Generosity Project, click here.

In January 2018, team member Rev. Margaret Marcuson, provides her thoughts about stewardship and giving.

Seven Things Pastors Must Do in Church Finance

Love dealing with money or hate it? It’s a vital part of the job for any pastor, no matter the size of your church. Here are seven things pastors must do to enhance their leadership in church money matters and overall.

1 – Pay attention to the finances. Even if you are not a money person, your role requires some basic skill and time. One idea: find a friend outside the church who can coach you if you need help making sense of the numbers.

2 – Stay connected to the money people. Work on your relationship with the treasurer and finance people. Find ways to connect with them that don’t have anything to do with the budget. Relationships are critical in church life, and perhaps nowhere more than in finances.

3 – Talk about money from the pulpit. Try scheduling a quarterly sermon where you talk about money at a time when you are not asking people for it. There is no shortage of biblical texts to choose from.

4 – Give to the church. Sure, your giving helps support your own salary. But you can’t ask people to do what you are not willing to do yourself.

5 – Remember, it’s never about the money. Money challenges reflect emotional process in congregational life. In conflict “about” money, look deeper and longer.

6 – Take a look at the past. Look back at your church’s history to see what you can learn about what they do in relation to money. It can help you take the challenges less personally. “Oh – they had this fight with their first pastor!”

7 – Let go. You can’t control the decisions other people make about their own money, or the decisions the governing body makes. Give your input, and then let them do their own work.

Bio: Rev. Margaret Marcuson helps ministers do their work without wearing out or burning out, through ministry coaching, presentations and online resources. Margaret is the author of Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry and Money and Your Ministry: Balance the Books While Keeping Your Balance.  Get Six Ways to Last in Ministry at