When it comes to money issues, there is always a temptation to give people advice that they’re not asking for. I remember the first year that our Board of Pensions issued rebates. A number of us at the Conference really wanted our churches to just sign those checks back over to the Conference to support our Miracle Offering. Hmmm…kind of like offering in-store credit. Have the United Methodists become the Menard’s of denominations?
As I watched how churches used that money, the thing that caught my eye the most was how Beresford Zion UMC made the decision. They met and prayed, and over the course of time they decided to put it towards upgrading their technology to better reach the unchurched. The process they used to make the decision led them to make a better decision to get the most out their unexpected windfall. Here’s what to watch our for:
- Asking for Forgiveness instead of Permission: I’m sure you have good ideas on how to use the money, but it’s wrong to try to commit the money to your idea without consulting the other leaders.
- Relying on Brainstorming: It’s difficult to think in a group. It’s even more difficult to think in a group talking about money.
- Avoiding the Decision: Sometimes we kick the can down the road for years hoping to make the perfect decision or have everyone in perfect agreement. I kind of wonder if there aren’t ulterior motives behind this strategy of avoiding making a decision.
- Harvard Paper on Brainstorming: https://hbr.org/2015/03/why-group-brainstorming-is-a-waste-of-time
- Beresford Zion UMC: http://www.beresfordzionumc.org/