The title I was pushing in this webinar for is “Is Jesus for sale at your church?” It was a good decision not to go with that title, but it does make you think: Is my church more concerned with bringing people closer to Jesus or with bringing people’s wallets closer to the offering plate?
Sheri Meiser and I had some great conversations leading up to the webinar about the differences between a Transformational Church (one that focus on seeing lives/communities transformed) and a Transactional Church (one that focuses on seeing the church remain solvent). Some of these made the webinar, but here is the list:
- A transactional church sees people as customers. A transformational church sees people as needing Jesus. When you talk about reaching new people, is this mainly in the context of helping pay the bills?
- A transactional church tells the amount of money received from a fundraiser. A transformational church tells the stories of people serving and being served by a fundraiser. We are all excited about raising money for the church, but are we also excited about the people stories?
- A transactional church fears investing. A transformational church fears not investing. This is not just financial investing but also operational investing. Change is seen as almost a certain loss of money for some churches but as an opportunity for other churches.
- In a transactional church, the treasurer’s opinion matters most. In a transformational church, the mission matters most. When it comes to making a decision, is the final say with the treasurer for all intents and purposes, or are you looking to the mission?
As Sheri states well in the webinar, you actually need both types of people involved. Transactional view points make sure the bills get paid. Transformational view points make sure that lives get changed.
- Presentation Slides: https://www.dakotasumc.org/media/files/CONFERENCE/5_Conf_Finance_Benefits/Finance/Transact_Transform.pdf
- Henri Nouwen’s A Spirituality of Fundraising: https://henrinouwen.org/read/a-spirituality-of-fundraising/
- Clif Christopher’s Rich Church, Poor Church: https://www.abingdonpress.com/product/9781426743368/