Whenever the economy gets a little shaky, those that are fans of investing in gold come out of the woodwork. “If the economy collapses, gold is the only safe investment.” If the economy collapses, I would rather be invested in canned food and ammo. Apart from gold and food, what other alternative investments can a church make?
I’m looking mainly into “operational investments.” Investments that will improve your church which, I believe, will also improve your church’s finances. What do I mean by operational investments? Think about the changes your church made during COVID. A lot of churches invested in technology (cameras, computers, mics, FM transmitter, etc.). While churches don’t normally look at return on investment, I would bet that you can identify new donors or those that have increased giving as a result of these investments.
Here are the top three operational investments that may make a big impact on your church:
- Book Study: This investment costs approximately $200. If your church board studies a book together, that is a great investment. Over the last decade, I noticed that, time and time again, churches that were doing very well often had their board learning together through a book study. I’m not sure what this works so well, but it does. I link some books below that churches have used with success.
- Coaching: This investment costs probably closer to $200/month. Coaching for your pastor and/or church board is powerful. I have a tendency to think I don’t need coaching. I would rather just struggle to coach myself. I had coaching through DWU’s Practical Church Leadership program, and it was awesome! It helped me stay focus and honest with myself. An investment into the leadership of your church will benefit the entire church.
- Ending a Program: This is the cheapest one…likely. How much does it cost to end a program that is draining money and/or energy from a church? You might tick off someone that will leave the church so there likely is an actual cost. Usually the fallout for ending a program is short lived. There are two big wins though: 1)saving the money, and 2)no longer feeling powerless. I’ve sat on a lot of committees and boards, and it’s common for members to feel powerless. They are paralyzed by rules/policies, by public opinion, and by financial fears. Ending a dying program can begin to change that for your leadership.
- Practical Church Leadership at DWU: https://www.dwu.edu/online-adult-students/graduate-certificate-in-nonprofit-church-leadership
- Lasting Impact by Carey Nieuwhof: https://www.amazon.com/Lasting-Impact-Powerful-Conversations-Church-ebook/dp/B015DBPJFG/
- Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger: https://www.amazon.com/Canoeing-Mountains-Christian-Leadership-Uncharted-ebook/dp/B07CP74N87/
- Sticky Church by Larry Osborne: https://www.amazon.com/Sticky-Church-Osborne-Zondervan-Paperback/dp/B00DWWIYCE/
- Let Go by Matt Miofsky: https://www.amazon.com/Let-Go-Leaning-Future-Without/dp/1501879626/