Dynamics of Church Finance (Ministry Dynamics for a New Century) , livre ebook

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The pastor's and treasurer's essential handbook to all aspects of church finance. Building on a stewardship model, this guide outlines sound, up-to-date financial practices.
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Date de parution

01 novembre 2000

Nombre de lectures

2

EAN13

9781585585892

Langue

English

Other books in the Ministry Dynamics for a New Century series WARREN W. WIERSBE, series editor
The Dynamics of Spiritual Formation, Mel Lawrenz
The Dynamics of Church Leadership, Aubrey Malphurs
The Dynamics of Worship, Vernon Whaley
The Dynamics of Pastoral Care, David W. Wiersbe
The Dynamics of Preaching, Warren W. Wiersbe
Other books by James D. Berkley
Called into Crisis
Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration
Leadership Handbook of Outreach and Care
Leadership Handbook of Preaching and Worship
Making the Most of Mistakes
Preaching to Convince

2000 by James D. Berkley
Published by Baker Books a division of Baker Publishing Group P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287 www.bakerbooks.com
Ebook edition created 2011
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-for example, electronic, photocopy, recording-without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
ISBN 978-1-5855-8589-2
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Scripture quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible ( NRSV ), copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.
To my mother, Erma Van Meter Berkley, in whose home I first learned stewardship and responsibility, and to whose gracious home I retreated to write this book
Contents
Series Preface
1. A Brief Theology of Stewardship
2. Prudent Practices
3. Planning and Budgeting
4. Raising Money
5. Receiving and Recording Money
6. Spending Money
7. Planned Giving and Foundations
8. Raising Capital
9. Legal and Tax Matters
Conclusion
Notes
Index
Series Preface
The purpose of the Ministry Dynamics series is to provide both experienced and beginning pastors with concise information that will help them do the task of ministry with efficiency, fruitfulness, and joy.
The word ministry means service, something that Jesus exemplified in his own life and that he expects us to practice in our lives. No matter what our title or position, we are in the church to serve God s people. The word dynamics is not used as an equivalent of power but as a reminder that nothing stands still in Christian ministry. If it does, it dies. True biblical ministry involves constant challenge and change, learning and growth, and how we handle these various elements determines the strength and success of the work that we do.
The emphasis in this series is on practical service founded on basic principles and not on passing fads. Some older ministers need to catch up with the present, while newer ministers need to catch up on the past. We all can learn much from each other if only we re honest enough to admit it and humble enough to accept each other s counsel.
I began pastoring in 1950 and over the years have seen many changes take place in local-church ministry, from bus ministries and house churches to growth groups and megachurches. Some of the changes have been good and are now integrated into God s work in many churches. But some ideas that attracted national attention decades ago now exist only on the pages of forgotten books in used-book stores. How quickly today s exciting headlines become tomorrow s footnotes! Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thess. 5:21).
An ancient anonymous prayer comes to mind:
From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, From the laziness that is content with half-truths, From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, O God of truth, deliver us!
Our desire is that both the seasoned servant and the new seminary graduate will find encouragement and enlightenment from the Ministry Dynamics series.
Warren W. Wiersbe
One
A Brief Theology of Stewardship
Everything belongs to God. That is the perfect place to start whenever we think of money and how we use it in churches. There s not my money and church money. There s not program money and mission money, designated money and general-giving money. No, everything is God s money. Everything. Not 10 percent. Everything.
It s important that we first get the ownership part clear, for as long as we consider only a portion of the resources entrusted to us as God s money, we tend toward error and begin to quibble over minutia. If only part is God s money, then which part? And how big a part? Does the part change from day to day and situation to situation? How much, then, can I claim as my own and not worry about? If I consider it my money to begin with, and I deign to give a certain part of it to God (nice guy that I am), or if I decide to designate part of that money sacred, while the rest remains secular and within my control, then I will come up with a completely different theology of church finance than if I consider it first all God s. If I have ten apples, how many belong to God? Ten, not one.
That s the hard part of a theology of stewardship. It involves a lot more than words and ideas. It involves giving up what, apart from Jesus Christ, I would rightfully claim as my own. In our society very little remains as sacrosanct as money.
I know a pastor who gets a kick out of saying at the annual congregational meeting: In order to be fair, since at this meeting we will be discussing in public the pastors salaries, let s just go around the room to start things off, and each of you tell everyone what you make annually. We ll begin with the elders. Bob, what do you make?
It always elicits a nervous twitter and some awkward moments until people are sure he s only joshing them. Why? Because money is right at the heart of who we are and what we hold as priorities. Money tells all about us, like a child who hasn t yet learned social discretion. We consider financial affairs an extremely private matter. Most people would sooner tell you their sexual sins than their adjusted gross income from last year s 1040.
So a theology that begins with God holding title to all we think we possess-that s a difficult starting place. It is, however, the proper place to begin. Anything less denies God s sovereignty and falsely elevates our autonomy.
To Be a Steward
The word stewardship, of course, comes from steward. Today we lack the model of large estates with stewards looking out for the lord s interests, so maybe we should use the word guardianship instead of steward- ship. Since it is a common occurrence for today s sandwich-generation adults to take care of aged parents as their legal guardians, people understand what a guardian is. A steward or guardian does not own the wealth or property; he or she instead simply manages it for the benefit of the legal owner. The wealth or property is placed into the guardian s or steward s care, with the expectation that the steward will not run off with it or convert it to personal use but will instead guard and cultivate the wealth, taking into account the best interests of the proper owner. A steward manages the interests of the owner. Stewardship, then, is the activity of taking extremely good care of what belongs to another.
The parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) provides a great case in point. The man in the story entrusted his property to his slaves-five talents to one slave, two to another, and one to a third. You know the story: One slave invested the five talents and made another five; the second turned his two talents into four by faithful investment. The one-talent slave merely sat on the one talent given him and, when the master returned, simply gave the talent back to him.
Every one of these three slaves was a steward; each took what belonged to the master, used it, and then returned to the master both the original stake and any investment returns. None of it belonged to the steward. All went back to the master. The designation of good and trustworthy went to the two who showed a return on their stewardship, and the scorn of being called wicked and lazy fell on the one-talent slave. But in all cases, all the money was the master s money.
The slaves were mere stewards, not owners. Such are we-stewards, not owners. Why? Because of God s sovereignty over creation. The earth is the LORD s and all that is in it; the world, and those who live in it, exults David in Psalm 24. The Creator necessarily possesses the creation, just as a playwright or songwriter retains copyright over intellectual property. God made it; it is his.
We are his too. We don t even possess ourselves, as much as postmodern people would like to consider their bodies, their lives, their decisions, their possessions their own. But Paul tells the believers in Corinth: Do you not know that . . . you are not your own? For you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20). God not only made us in the first place, but he also purchased us at an extraordinary price to be his own possession. We belong not to ourselves but to God.
In that light our possessions surely belong to God. We have what we ostensibly own through gift, inheritance, work, fortuitous experiences. Which of these sources falls outside of God s sovereignty? Could we work, were it not for the strength, intelligence, skills, and even breath that God gives? Can we claim any of the gifts of God s hand as our due? Is anything we call mine secured in our possession without God s willing it so? No, apart from the sustaining grace of our Sovereign God, nothing would be ours; nothing would remain ours. All, in truth, is God s.
So that leaves us needing to be stewards of the possessions of the Supreme Other.
To Be a Giver
But why should people give? Why should they transfer from their hands what God has given them? A number of good reasons exist: Giving is good for the giver. Calvin Miller writes in The Finale: The world is poor because her fortune is buried in the sky and all

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