Liberating Finances in a Church Plant (actually, in any congregation)

Some of what we’re learning about money and churches is confounding. However, much is also liberating.

I spent much of today with pastors of both newly planted churches and thriving congregations who are learning to tame the money monster thru carefully chosen jobs, businesses and/or careers. The benefits to churches and their pastors are obvious.

Pastors with outside employment quickly learn to “delegate or die,” but they also have the benefit of freedom to better care for their families. They enjoy better medical benefits, contribution to retirement plans and adequetly funded holidays. Churches benefit from reduced salary costs which allow more money towards vital ministries. In the case of church plants, sending organizations can judiciously inject funds once a new church gains enough momentum to put monies to maximum use.

I’ve just posted a podcast describing how to liberate church finances. You’ll find it by clicking here, or through the link at the top of this page. You can also access it through your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe.

Here are my podcast notes:


Predicated on Micro/Bivo…freelance pastor

  • Sending church—low overhead
  • New church—none of the traditional costs
    • Education
    • Salary
    • Rent
  • Church planter
    • No seminary: A. Money B. Time tax
    • Good salary
    • Freedom to quit job if/when necessary
  • “Future Church”
    • Church plant can amass money if growth is outsized
    • Sending church can send money when it will do the most good

Micro/Bivo solves two major problems

  • Problem 1—Constant worry/attention to raising money
    • Matthew 6:24 ESV No oneone can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
  • Problem 2—Unable to succeed due to pressing finances
    • Luke 14:28-30 ESV For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’



3 thoughts on “Liberating Finances in a Church Plant (actually, in any congregation)”

  1. We just visited this morning with a local pastor who is having tremendous financial difficulties within the church. We are going to take this article and others to encourage them to take a very close look his how their Ministry is funded and what they can do to handle their finances better. Thank you Ralph, for addressing the Practical issues as well as the spiritual ones!

  2. Ralph,
    Thanks! God has really been working on me to “give away” rather than “gather.” I’m slowly learning that this applies to any resource – money and people.

    I have a question for you. I am starting a church. I am also money rich and time poor. I don’t plan on ever quitting my day job, so I doubt that this will ever change. Should I go to seminary? If so, when?

    1. Hi Brian,
      Thanks for the questions. I like hearing that you are “money rich and time poor.” It’s easier to learn to delegate than to live on less money than you need.
      I’m assuming that you were trained for ministry in a local church. That being said, seminary is an educational option rather than a credentialing issue. Big difference in the people who attend school to gain a certificate from those there to learn more. In your situation, I’d go as it is both needed and convenient (online???). I’d pace myself and cherry pick classes to enhance ministry. Seminary is a great opportunity for anyone, but even better for those who don’t need it to gain acceptance from a board or organization.
      Keep us posted,

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