“…you have an inner-city church with inner-city problems; might I suggest you quickly wise up and find an inner-city solution…”
(Archdeacon Robert, from the BBC TV Sitcom ‘Rev.’)
The BBC show “Rev.” is familiar to some, but may be new to many on this side of the pond. The show centers on the life of Rev. Adam Smallbone, the Anglican vicar (pastor) of a church located in downtown London. In the clip below, Rev. Adam is providing ideas to Archdeacon Robert (Rev. Adam’s District Superintendent-equivalent) about ways to pay for a window in the church that has been broken.
Like Rev. Adam, many pastors are faced with very real financial challenges, and it can be easy to assign them a label. You may have a ‘rural’ church with ‘rural’ church problems or a ‘dying’ church with ‘dying’ church problems or an ‘apathetic’ church with ‘apathetic’ church problems. While these labels provide helpful context for what a pastor faces, they typically serve as a reference point, not as an absolute descriptor of the challenges faced.
Regardless of how the issues are named, the solutions tend to require creativity, because pastors are finding it increasingly difficult to secure streams of revenue to sustain the churches they serve. In addition to church yard sales, food sales or car washes, some churches now rent out their facilities to other churches or nonprofit organizations. Other churches have joined with neighboring congregations to sell popcorn, fruit baskets or Christmas wreaths. Still other churches pool resources to offer financial education programs such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University or Crown Financial. The rationale for focusing on family finances? As the cash flow of members begins to stabilize and improve, so should the finances of the church.
How has your church creatively raised funds? Please share your ideas in the comments section!
May God bless our Church Universal and our pastors who continue to navigate their way through the stressors of church stewardship. May God provide them with the wisdom, strength and vision to keep serving our [insert label here] churches with their [insert label here] problems, while looking for [insert label here] solutions.
– Angela M. MacDonald
(Video clip courtesy of BBC TV, Episode 1; Season 2 ‘Inner City Church, Inner City Problems’)