Opportunity to Meet People Where Their Need Is
“In the local church: People in the church and people in the community are reassessing where they are financially, they are reconsidering some of their expenses, they are working to make ends meet and they are looking for assistance. This may be the perfect time for a church to begin offering programs such as Good Sense, Financial Peace University, Crown Financial Ministries, etc. Help people better understand their finances and take control of them. Help people better understand stewardship and grow spiritually in this area.”
This is a great idea – especially since it is hard for people outside the church (and sometimes inside the church) to see how the church can be relevant where the rubber hits the road in everyday life. This is one area where the church can really reach out and offer an opportunity that no one else is offering. I am a little familiar with Crown Financial Ministries – you can find their info here: http://www.crown.org/financialwisdom/church/startcrown.asp. I know of one church that used that and had very good results with it. I’m sure the others are also very good.
One of the keys for doing this well is to do something different than we usually do when we offer a new program. Most of us typically announce it in the bulletin, newsletter, on Sunday, and maybe in a notice in the local paper. And then we’re typically disappointed with the turnout. The church I am aware of that used the Crown Financial Planning program did something different – the leaders committed to being a part of it, and then they called EVER SINGLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH, whether they were “active” or “inactive”, and invited and encouraged to sign up for a small group. The way it reaches out into the community is then for the people who have signed up to invite their friends and acquaintances, being sure to say why they are going to attend for themselves.
That particular church had a HUGE response – I have forgotten the exact percentage of participation, but I think it was something like over 75% of the members. Whatever it was, it was a significant majority of the congregation. Who of us wouldn’t die of joy to have that level of participation?
Remember these days people are thinking a lot about money, how they save, how they spend, what they can do, what is wise use of it, etc. As I’ve already said – we, the church, have something to say to people to help them navigate these times. And that is no matter what size church we are. How can your church offer an opportunity to your members and your community to talk and learn about faithful ways to approach, view, and use money these days in a safe environment?