The Cost of Doing Ministry

A few weeks ago we did a post called “Change Yourself, Not the Church.” Lot’s of great feedback. One area we got a lot of heat and responses was in the section focusing on the Cost of Doing Ministry.

We wanted to repost and focus in on some ways we can make the most out of our money for ministry.

Are we giving enough to those who can not eat?

Are we serving those in real needs?

Is every dollar we are putting into our buildings worth it when people are starving?

How can we make better stewardship of the tithe we are giving to God?

Just a few questions to ponder.

The cost of doing ministry

Today we have to look at the cost of doing ministry. We honestly have to look at the amount of money that is put into new churches across the nation, when men, women, and children are starving worldwide. We admire Francis Chan, and his decision to move from a new building project to an amphitheater and then give the money budgeted for the new building to missions. Why can’t we build community centers or use community centers to Worship God? Why segment and spend millions of dollars to build a church that will turn more people away than attract?

Again here is a great question we asked a few months ago, if you took away the lights, media, and all the bells and whistles, would people still follow the so called God you are preaching. Are you expressing Jesus in a way that it does not matter what material things you have. Just a thought.

We as churches have given into technology and the cost of it so much it is like we are given into just another worldly thing. (Romans 12:2, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.) Yes we use social networking technology to reach people, but we neglect to determine real relationships that have real values. Skye Jethani looks at this in his book the Divine Commodity, on how people use Social Networking sites and other platforms to mediate nearly all of their personal interactions. Rather than encouraging healthy relationships we give in too much to the psedudo-relationships through shallow identifies. Think about this; Are we giving into the world, or the things Christ has commanded for us?

We are part of one of the most innovative churches in the country, but it seems that God wants us to be so much more than culturally relevant. I mean it is great that we are connecting so much with technology and building internet campuses, and applications for the iphone, but real relationships are so much more. People are hurting and a new application for their phone is not helping.

Seriously we have seen more people brag about how cool it is to have the bible on their iphone more than read it. We use the bible/church, as such a consumer product, we have put a deep relationship with Christ beyond it all. There is no technology in the world that can authentically make you fall to your knees before a God that wants so much for you.

How can we reduce the cost of doing ministry, and invest it more wisely to make a difference.

Share your thoughts.

Team IML


3 responses to “The Cost of Doing Ministry

  1. My mother use to tell me to eat my vegetables because there are starving children in China. I would ask her “how does eating my vegetables help those kids?” I never received a good explanation. One night I put my Asparagus in a box to ship to those starving kids over seas. My parents told me I could not do that because it would spoil before it reached China. “Oh”, I said “then it does not matter if I eat this or not because either way it won’t help those kids.” and with that I was never forced to eat vegies again.

    One of the out cries I commonly hear over and over when people look at the money a church is spending on building projects is “how can you build a building when there are starving people in the world?” As someone who has spent time working at a large Christian NGO and researching the problem I can tell you that the main reason people go hungry in most of the world is political problem and not a food or financial one. There is plenty of food and plenty of money already in the system. The issue is the governments of developing nations who use food as a political tool to control the people and whose corrupt officials steal funds for their own personal gain. There may be some good reasons for not spending millions of dollars on a church building campaign, however not doing it because you want to send the money to help “starving people” is like me boxing up my vegetables as a kid, it sounds good but in the long run it makes you feel better about yourself without accomplishing anything.

    As with most issues in the church this is not an either/or situation, it is a both/and situation. Build your buildings that you will use as a tool to reach more people. Pick an area of the world you want to “end hunger” and make that a church mission objective. The more people you attract the bigger your audience and the bigger impact you can have. A sustained focus on a problem over time will have a greater impact than a lump some one time gift that will not end hunger and leave a church without needed tools and resources for reaching their community for Christ.

  2. I like the saying “attraction rather than promotion”.

  3. Great post bro, but be aware this is for “Mature Leaders” maybe that could of helped some of the blows soften 🙂
    Your right all the way, there are a TON of churches just getting “FAT” on attendance and giving in ONE location, never reaching beyond there own parking lot or seat….Jesus said preach to the whole world and to do THAT…
    It takes $$$$$

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