Financial Do’s and Don’ts for Young Pastors

One of the things Bible college or seminary doesn’t teach you, is how to handle finances in ministry. I am a young pastor and money is not my thing. I either spend too much or save too much. I’m not the best with managing a budget and sometimes spend money on things that are not necessary. The good news is I’m learning. I’m learning how to save and spend when I need to. I’m learning how to manage a budget. I am doing what all young pastors should do-learn.

From that opening paragraph your probably wondering why I am writing a post on financial do’s and don’ts. I am kind of wondering the same thing, but I do believe I have some practical advice that is helping me that will also help you.

Financial Don’ts for Young Pastors

  1. Waste your budget right out of the gate.
  2. Handle all your finances on your own.
  3. Spend it on “wants” of the ministry rather than “needs” of the ministry.
  4. Spend your own personal money for your ministry when you can use your budget.

Financial Do’s for Young Pastors

  1. Pray over your budget (Ask God to use it for His will)
  2. If you need help with finances, ask!
  3. Be open and honest about your spending from your budget.

I know this list is short, but I don’t believe we need to make finances any more complicated than they already are. God gives us money and resources to use to expand His kingdom. If there is any advice that I would say rookie pastors MUST remember is this-your money and the churches money is not yours, it’s God. Let Him use it the way He sees fit and follow His leadership.

This post was originally a guest post I wrote for RookiePastor.com. Rookie Pastor is a great site for young pastors who are looking for practical resources and tips for church ministry.

Book Review: Leading on Empty

Recently I finished reading Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro. I never heard much from Cordeiro until I saw him in the Elephant Room 2. In the Elephant Room 2, Cordeiro was a part of a great conversation on burnout. He mentioned his book Leading on Empty so I knew I needed to get around to reading it sometime. I’m glad I did. This was one of the best leadership books I have ever read.

As leaders, speaking particularly of church leaders, we are expected to lead even if we don’t “feel” like it. Ministry can be a 24/7 thing that demands your time, energy, and heart. This is not always an easy thing for pastors and most of the time leads to burnout. Here are a few statistics to show where many pastors are:

80% percent believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively
75% percent report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry
45% ercent of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry
40% percent of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.

This is why Cordeiro’s book Leading on Empty is a breath of fresh air for church leaders. In this book, you will not only learn how to lead when your spiritually, emotional, and physical tank is on empty, but how to prevent burnout before it happens. The thing I enjoyed most about this book was it’s balance. What I mean by is that it presented God’s Word and the spiritual healing side of burnout, but it also presented medical facts and the physical side of avoiding burnout.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone in leadership, epscecially those in church leadership. There is nothing more important in leadership than protecting your spiritual life, physical health, and family. In this book, you will hear Cordeiro’s story of burnout as well as learn how to protect yourself from the same.

Click here to get a copy of Leading in Empty from Amazon for a great price!

Guest Post: Don’t Hide Behind Your Inexperience

I was a critical Rookie Pastor. Particularly in my first year. Everyone was wrong, no one was listening to me and if they knew what was good for them they should. Then rather abruptly I was given explicit freedom to do it my way and I froze. All that talk was just that, talk. What I was once advocating I couldn’t pull the trigger on. My age wasn’t a liability until I wanted it to be. When others pronounced my age as a liability I fought it with cynicism and a critical spirit.

Don’t fall into this trap.

The temptation is to lead out of your place. We look up and criticize not knowing what it is like to have that responsibility. Our vision is limited to our specific area of concern while those above us, whether they be another pastor or elder, are concerned with the totality of the community. You have to acknowledge your limitations, as difficult as this may be. When the time comes when you do feel freed up to implement the change or shift philosophies own this leadership, you do nothing. Leadership has nothing to do with titles or position or age and everything to do with action. Leaders do. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much you get paid, it is what you do that matters.

Fear or insecurity will come at you hard while you are stepping into this new leadership opportunity. You’ll also have an opportunity to use your inexperience as an excuse. The fear will tell you that you don’t know what you are doing and that mistakes will be made. The fear is right but that shouldn’t stop you. Get over this pursuit of perfection. No one changes anything by trying to be perfect. Things change when leaders are faithful. Stop waiting on permission or using the lack of it as an excuse for inaction. Quit undermining those above you just because you don’t understand their responsibility. Don’t hesitate and hide behind your inexperience when you should be leading.

This guest post was written by Josh Tandy. Josh has a great blog called Rookie Pastor that is a great resource for young leaders. I encourage you to check his site out and read more of his content there. Also, follow Josh and Rookie Pastor on twitter @Josh_Tandy and @rookiepastor.

Guest Post: How to Start an Effective College Ministry

Starting a college ministry from the ground up is not an easy thing to do, but at the same time, it’s nothing to stress over. In this post I hope to give you some things I’ve learned and help you as you being a college ministry in your church. Now we all know that ministries targeting college students are desperately needed, so we’ll just jump right in with some practical steps you can take to kick it off.

1. Base it on the Gospel – You ministry needs to be based on the Gospel. The message and hope of the Gospel should be made very clear very frequently.

2. Vision – Pray and think about the vision you have. You want to be able to articulate this vision to others to bring them on board with you. Don’t be scared to have a God-sized vision, but step out in faith and pursue.

3. Leader – Choose a leader wisely. Maybe the leader will be you, but maybe you will have someone else begin this ministry. Find a man who is godly in his personal life, has the gift of teaching, and knows how to study the Bible in its context.

4. Core Group – Figure out who would comprise a solid core group. These are the college students you are sure will come and will invite others. As the ministry grows, the core group will grow as well. Allow these students to have input in the ministry, and get them excited for it by filling them in on details.

5. Structure – Structure your ministry wisely. College students don’t ask for a lot to do, but they do want something. I would suggest something very simple like singing, teaching, and small groups. Emphasize the teaching. College students want answers. They are going through a time in their life where they question a lot of things, so make the lessons to be grounded in the Word and very informative and practical. The small groups will help them build relationships with others and this becomes accountability. Singing is good; it helps set the tone for the meeting, but I’ll be honest, if it gets in the way or becomes a hassle, just get rid of it. There’s no law saying we have to have singing at every meeting. When the students develop a love for the Word, they will come whether there is singing or not.

6. Make it Legit – I highly encourage you, however you decide to do your ministry, make it legit. College students can tell whether or not you are putting your whole heart into reaching them, and if they see that you’re not, they will not be impressed. You want them to see that worship is enjoyable, and that they are loved at your ministry.

This guest post was written by my good friend David Sheldon. David is a recent graduate of Piedmont International University and currently interning at Union Grove Baptist Church in Lexington, NC. He has been given the opportunity to start a college ministry called The Well at Union Grove. You can see more of David’s thoughts on his blog as well as follow him on Twitter.

Simple Church

Simple Church defines a “simple church” as a congregation designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. That is what this book is about. How to design a church that is truly simple that makes it easy to move people through a discipleship process. Simplicity is the key to a successful organization. Simple Church contains stories of popular companies such as Google, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Papa John’s that know this truth; simplicity works. Not only do these companies know this, but also growing, vibrant churches do to! Simple Church tells us about two churches. One is simple and one is complex. One would assume the complex churches would be the growing vibrant church, but that is not so. The simple church is the one that is actually growing and is vibrant. The complex church is struggling and not seeing growth. In Simple Church the writers give four things that are essential to a simple church. Those four things are clarity, movement, alignment, and focus.

Clarity

Movement

Alignment

Focus

Instead of defining each of those and describing how they make up a “simple church” I will let you read the book and find out for yourself. One might be wondering if this “simple church” model actually works. The writers answer that question by providing three churches that are “simple” as examples that the simple church model actually does work. These three churches are Immanuel Baptist Church, Christ Fellowship, and Northpoint Community Church. These three churches are truly “simple churches” and are proof that a simple church model is both possible and effective.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone in church leadership, especially pastors. In the last chapter, the writers gives a call for churches to “change or die.” Too many church are dying because they are complex, busy, and not simple. Simple churches are not dying. It may be hard, but we need ti simplify our churches so we can see more spiritual growth.

Another great church ministry I just read is 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. You can read my review of that book here. Next book on my list is Humility: True Greatness by C.J Mahaney. After I read it I will post a review here on my blog.