4 Church Finance Tips from King Solomon

Category | Church Finance

As a loan consultant for FCR, I’ve had the opportunity to attend leadership conferences and hear from pastors across the country on different issues that growing churches face. Recently at an ARC Churches conference, Chris Hodges, pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham,  Alabama, offered some insightful leadership lessons regarding King Solomon’s visit with the Queen of Sheba. The information was valuable, so I’d like to recap the message here with some additional insights. 

Church Finance Tip #1: Put spiritual needs first.

1 Kings 10:1-13 describes how the Queen came to King Solomon bringing spices, gold, and precious stones. The reason for her visit? To test Solomon’s wisdom and relationship with God. She wanted to see for herself if the reports she’d heard about his achievements were true.

Rather than shrinking from the scrutiny or putting on a show to impress her, Solomon showed concern for her spiritual needs by listening to her and patiently answering all of her questions. He could have been defensive or guarded, but he wasn’t.

Ask yourself: As a pastor, when I interact with people who ask tough questions about the church, especially the finances, do I focus on their needs or on impressing them?

Implementation: Join with your staff and/or board to pray for God’s guidance in making sure you stay focused on what God has called your church to do.

Church Finance Tip #2: Be faithful.

When the Queen saw that everything was in order in Solomon’s kingdom, she was impressed (vs. 4-5). Specifically, she was impressed with the financial order, leadership order, and accountability she witnessed. Her impression with these things came before her decision to bless Solomon. When her expectations were exceeded, she bestowed generous gifts in response (vs. 6-10). 

A key point for church leaders is that Solomon had to be personally faithful in order to lead his kingdom in faithful stewardship. It started with him and God. From that place of personal faithfulness, he could establish life-giving financial management in his kingdom.

Ask yourself: Am I faithfully managing my personal finances—giving and saving with purpose? Am I disciplined in following a budget that reflects my financial goals?

Implementation: Evaluate your church’s current budgeting practices and accounting policies, looking for areas of improvement. For step-by-step guidance, download the Interactive Guide to Church Finance.

Church Finance Tip #3: Build right.

Solomon used the Queen’s gifts to honor God (vs. 11-12). Rather than throwing a party or commissioning new furniture for the palace, he chose to build supports for the Temple and to furnish the musicians with instruments for worship.

In other words, Solomon made God’s house stronger and facilitated worship. Most pastors truly desire these two things. However, it is easy to get sidetracked by the (often justified) lure of a new building or bigger connection space. Churches sometimes take on too much debt at the expense of a stable financial foundation. That’s why I encourage leaders to take it slow—really evaluate your financial position and ask for God’s wisdom to help you build the right space at the right time. 

Ask yourself: Will this financial decision strengthen or weaken my church in the long run?

Implementation: Watch Rob Ketterling share his church’s philosophy on when to use cash and when to use financing in this brief video clip.

Church Finance Tip #4: Use financial strength to enrich others.

The Queen left richer than she came, even after her many generous gifts. To her, Solomon imparted the priceless gift of wisdom and truth. Then he sent her on her way with many gifts from his own royal bounty.

The best part about sound financial management is that it enables your church to enrich the lives of others even more. Have a new outreach ministry you’d like to start or expansion opportunity you’d like to explore? How about increasing missions giving? When the finances are strong, you can act sooner and take advantage of opportunities to enrich more lives.

Ask yourself: Do our ministry goals and financial practices support the enriching of people’s lives?

Implementation: With your team, consider how you can continue to increase your efforts and enrich others as you build a solid financial foundation. Do a little dreaming—what really cool thing would you love for your church to be able to do in the future?

It’s a joy to come alongside pastors and church leaders and help them watch their visions take place. These four tips will help you build a solid financial foundation as you move toward your church’s God-given vision.

If you have any questions or would like more information about church financing, feel free to email info@fcrinc.com or call 888.829.6877.

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