Thought Factory Podcast #409 || Making More Money for Ministry

How do we approach ministry when it comes to money?  Money is a tool that allows us to do the ministry we desire with students.  But, do we have an abundance mentality or a scarcity mentality?  Whether the youth ministry we work with has a $500, $5000, $50,000 budget, it appears to never be enough. Since we cannot physically make money, can we try to figure out how to leverage what we have been given to gain more?

For you, what do you think would be an ideal salary?

What are you most interested in when you think about your career?

My view of money is that it is_____________.

How important is money to your overall satisfaction in life?

In this episode, we are talking about maximizing money for ministry.

Abundance Mentality vs Scarcity Mentality
Do you have an abundance mentality when it comes to money and resources in your ministry or do you have a scarcity mentality?  It is seeing what you have – an optimistic view or a pessimistic view.

An abundance mentality means you may not have an abundance but you believe that God is the God of Abundance.  We want to be clear, we’re not talking about a health and wealth thing or a prosperity gospel.  What we’re talking about is believing that God has an approach to us that He wants to bless us.  Just like a good father, He wants to take care of his kids and that’s who we are.

If you find the vision, if you hear the vision, if you see the vision, you’ll find the money, you’ll find the resources.  It’s out there!

I think most of the time, what we suffer from is not a lack of resources, but a lack of vision.  Money is simply a tool.  We recognize that it’s something that leverages what we can do.   Whether you are at a small church or a large church.  Whether you have a small budget or a large budget.  Whether you have five hundred, five thousand, or fifty thousand to work with,  we tend to always say, “It’s not enough!” and we want more.  We tend to look at the number that we’ve been given and go, “Man, if I had just a little bit more, I could be able to do this…”  We aren’t satisfied with the amount of money that we have to work with.  The abundant mentality is taking the amount of money that I have been given and ask, “Can I leverage it for more?  Can I be able to use it in a creative way that maximizes what I can do in the ministry?”

The opposite is a scarcity mentality, saying, “Well, I don’t have it, so we’ll never do that.  We’ll never be able to get there.”  We look at the budget restraint and the limited resources and it appears to be not enough. We think that if only we were at a different church, a larger church, a more vibrant church, a church in a more affluent part of the city, then we would be able to have the resources to do what we want.

It all begins with our vision and our mentality. I think you can be more creative when you have greater budget restraints because you start to think of what can be done to overcome these restraints. When you have a vision for what you are doing and you’re not just simply doing it while simply looking at the dollar amount that you’ve been given, you will be able to find the resources because that vision is driving you.  It’s driving you to approach people, asking people to come onboard and support this.

It begins with priorities.  What are your priorities in your ministry?   You need to decide what’s important to you.  You may need to even literally write it out.  What is number one for you and your ministry and where are you spending the money in your youth ministry?  What do I need to make that happen and how can I make that happen?

It’s the question of, are you a taker of what has been given to you or are you going to produce and leverage what has been given to you for the ministry?  It takes money to make money.

Another question to ponder:
When you think about your ministry, what is an annual amount of money you expect parents to pay to be involved in your youth ministry?

How are we placing that burden on to the families?  Are we expecting them to pay the three four five hundred dollars for camp and the two hundred dollars for the retreat and we’re going to have this small gathering which is another thirty-five dollars and then we want them to bring food for this one gathering so that’s another ten dollars.  We have all these different costs throughout the year for their student, their children to participate in your youth ministry –  have we figured out what that cost is? What are we placing on them as a family to budget for?

We ask that question because we are talking about fundraising.  We’re talking about leveraging what we’re given and we may think we have a small budget so we’re just going keep putting that burden on to the families of the children.  Then wonder why students are not showing up, signing up, and are not getting involved.

When we have a producer mentality, it motivates us to try to lower the burden on the family and almost eliminate that burden entirely –  to provide those events at a low cost.  When you start to do that, you see families wanting to get more involved in these events and into your youth ministry because there isn’t this massive burden on their budget.

It is important to communicate that whatever the cost, it is an investment in their children’s life.

Data from research to answer the questions at the beginning of this post:
(First number is the students’ response, the second number is what the adults thought how students would respond).

For you, what do you think would be an ideal salary?
A. $35,000-$50,000 // 4% // 4%
B. $50,000-$65,000 // 12% // 9%
C. $65,000-$80,000 // 44% // 16%
D. $80,000-$95,000 // 15% // 14%
E. $95,000 and up // 25% // 57%

What are you most interested in when you think about your career?
A. A career that is steady and offers security // 6% // 7%
B. A career that will make me wealthy // 9% // 38%
C. A career that serves a greater purpose // 18% // 8%
D. A career that is centered around something I am passionate about // 67% //47%

My view of money is that it is:
A. A means to an end // 11% // 13%
B.Generally Good // 49% // 54%
C. Generally Bad // 13% // 2%
D. I’ve never thought about my view of money // 27% // 31%

How important is money to your overall satisfaction in life?
A. Very Important // 19% // 64%
B. Somewhat Important // 43% // 15%
C. Neither Important nor Unimportant // 27% // 13%
D. Somewhat unimportant // 8% // 6%
E. Very Unimportant // 3% // 2%

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  However, students seem to have a more grounded view of money than what adults believe they do.  It appears that adults place more importance on money than students.  Sixty-four percent of adults believe students think money is very important to overall satisfaction in life, while only 19% of students believe money is very important to their overall satisfaction in life.  Seventy-five percent of students say the ideal salary is less than $95,000 and 85% say they want a career that has a greater purpose or centered around their passions.  Sixty percent of adults say students would think $95,000 or more is the ideal salary and 38% of adults think students want a career that will make them wealthy.

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