a mark of an outward focused church is reflected in the budget…good ole dollars and sense…pun intended
having traveled to different places and spoken on how to begin an outward focus by developing effective community outreach…I always know that one of the questions will be…How much does it cost? or How do you pay for all that you do? or Where does the funding come from?
I always mention we budget…% goes off the top of what comes in to finance, staffing, supplies, outreach ideas, benevolence, serving single parents, inter city outreach etc.
Values…in reality, we pay for what we value…our values can be measured by time spent, attention given, publicly highlighted, actually doing, and big bucks.
If we say we value outward focusedness and give no time, attention, public awareness, seeking to actually do what we say what we value, or spend little, if no funds upon the value…we are living in la la land.
It’s like asking(more like proclaiming) for a harvest and sowing no seed. A farmer would look very foolish at harvest time if he proclaimed to all that he was going to have the harvest of all harvests, a bumper crop…then questioned, Why, how many seeds did you sow? must of been a lot,eh?…For him to reply, ‘Nope didn’t sow one seed…matter of fact, didn’t even plow, or water. Word would quickly get around that ole farmer Brown had a few screws loose!
I often return the ‘how much’ question, by asking…, a few questions… What are you currently investing in monetary terms to reach your community? I have ceased to be surprised when the figure is 0 dollars, nada, nothing, zero, zilch…
Pause for effect…I then ask, Can an outward focus really be a value you embrace if you are not investing in the value? or is it merely a perceived value?(something you’d like to believe and do but is not a reality)
Bottom line… it takes a lot of focus, time, effort and investment to love our communities into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Each year we target X amount of dollars, usually a percentage off the top, to invest in reaching out to our community…Big Bucks!
Is it a good investment? you bet…hundreds of people are being cared for, loved in practical ways, served, and the church is being redefined before a watching community. Our people are learning…to really care you have to serve out there.
To top it all…people are being nudged into a relationship with Jesus Christ…weekly people say, ‘yes, Jesus come into my life, forgive my sins, propel me into your purposes.’
Budgeting to reach your community is more than dollars and cents… it just makes sense.