I read this post by Brody Harper today, talking about the various segments of the music industry. Turns out that every segment has different budgets, and there’s a kind of latter of cash that everyone compares each other to.
This happens all the time, in every industry, even in the church. I know what you’re thinking, Pastors don’t think about worldly things like money and budgets, they just trust God right? I wish true, but churches do have budgets and sometimes things are lean, and sometimes things are going ok. I’ve never worked in a church that felt like it had all the money that it needed. And you know what, that’s great . . . if you are trying to do the right thing with that money.
If the pastor is trying to by a helicopter then we might need to be a little concerned.
But if churches are trying to reach more people for the Gospel, then they are going to need to fund their mission some how. It’s very easy to look at the mega church down the street and say, man if we had half the budget of that church, imagine what we could accomplish. Can I just tell you, that kind of thinking is a distraction from the enemy.
If you had half the budget of the mega church, then you would probably have half of the problems that that mega church deals with all the time. Are you ready for that? Probably not. When we look to the successes of others and wish we could have that, that’s idolatry and it distracts us from the mission that God has for us right now.
So Whatcha Got?
Don’t say not much. Don’t say not enough. You have all that you need, really. It’s not about what you don’t have it’s about what you do have. I believe every church has just what they need for every situation. God has given us a stewardship over these things, and we are accountable to him for how we use them, this is the Parable of the Talents. Pastor, if you are always comparing your church of 100 to the church of 10,000 you will be paralyzed by indecision and inferiority, you’re going to end up burying your talent.
However if you look at your congregation of 100 people, and see God’s blessing on your life, and look for what he’s up to, and partner with Him in what he’s already doing, you will be successful. You have what you need. You probably just need to utilize it better.
Maybe your church is going to reach senior citizens like nobodies business. Are you ready to capitalize on that instead of on your student ministry?
Maybe you are going to reach artists and teenagers, who are generally not known to be swimming in cash, are you going to be able to reach them even if your budget never grows? Because those artists and students are going to be the ones who change the world because of their energy and creativity. Are you ready for that?
What is God calling you to do? He’s given you enough already. Just get going. Stop comparing yourself with the Mars Hills and the Willow Creeks, because guess what. You are not them. Their mission is not your mission. Can you learn from them? Sure, but don’t try to be them. Don’t envy their budget, or their groups ministry, or their exercise suite for pastors and deacons, or . . . whatever.
Focus on what God has for you and you will be successful.