"It's like the more money we come across, the more problems we see." — Notorious B.I.G
Here is the deal - there has never been a church that has not had to deal with the ever present struggle to "have enough money." My six year career has been 100% in the non-profit world. A large portion has been in the church. The more I work in the church, visit churches, and read about churches, the more I realize that the non-profit world is always enduring a financial challenge. This is an important realization to have, because if you are anything like me, you get frustrated that you do not have enough money in the budget to do the things that you want to do.
We tend to live in the place that says, "If I only had a larger budget, we could accomplish ______" (you fill in the blank). I know what it is like: you watch a church's weekly podcast. You visit a conference that holds nothing back. You follow people on Instagram, and you have come to the conclusion that what they are accomplishing has more to do with the money that they have than the God they worship. Fair assessment, I tend to do the same thing.
Comparison really is one of a leaders worst enemies. For some reason the more time I spend comparing, the less time I spend thinking logically about where that person has been and what they have gone through to get them to where they are. The thing is, money does not grow on trees. Someone had to work, sacrifice, and work some more in order to get to the point where people will use them as a comparison.
Look at it this way -- if what you are doing is worth putting your whole heart into, I think that you will find people to put their wallets into it too. People do not give to programs, they give to vision. How are you doing at painting the picture of what you want to accomplish? It is easy to color by number, and try to copy someone else's picture.
Here is something I have to ask myself regularly: Is money really my issue? It does take resources to accomplish ministry, but is that really the issue?
Building anything from the ground up is not easy work. Building anything in the non-profit world from the ground up is even harder. I had to wake up to the fact that if I was going to do something great, I needed to work extremely hard before the resources started pouring in. I needed to figure out what I was passionate about and why. I needed to surround myself with the right people. And, I needed to stop comparing myself to other people.
Right now, you do not need more money. You need more vision. Paint a compelling picture and people will be more than willing to help you get there. You do not need more money, you need to work harder. People value hard work.
In the non-profit world you will always have a financial challenge, and you will learn a lot about yourself as you navigate the challenges with your team.
There are a few resources that have really helped me along the way:
- Start with Why, by Simon Sinek
- The Cause Within You, by Matthew Barnett
- Courageous Leadership, by Bill Hybels - the first leadership book I ever read.
Josh is the Chili Student Pastor at The Father's House in Rochester, NY. Through a dynamic speaking style, he challenges audiences to live out the key Biblical principles that God has promised will change the world. Josh is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY and has a Master’s Degree in Ministry from Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma.