Church Financing: 3 Tips that Build Financial HealthCategory | Church Finance
During an ARC (Association of Related Churches) conference earlier this year, pastors Herbert Cooper of Peoples Church in Oklahoma and Rob Ketterling of River Valley Church in Minnesota shared three pieces of advice about church financing that can make all the difference for your ministry’s growth and long-term financial health:
1. Build a relationship with your lender
Cooper exhorts pastors to develop a relationship with their financial institution. “Oftentimes as visionary leaders, we’ve got more vision than money. It’s great to have a partner that will believe in your vision and want you to see more changed lives. If you walk in cold turkey and you have no relationship, even with great books, there’s a lot of explaining. There’s a lot of questions.”
2. Borrow for the right reason
Ketterling maintains a philosophy that permits debt for one purpose: to reach more people for Christ. If the church wants to renovate something for comfort or aesthetics, they pay with cash. He shares, “This has helped me, because when you need financing, division will rise up in your church. This person will stand up and say, ‘I don’t believe in going into debt.’ So if you can stand in front of them and say, ‘Here’s the deal. We’re going to put 30% down on this expansion project and finance 70%. Why? Because this is a tool to reach more people.’ That, people can buy. That, people can go with.”
“You have to have your finances in order if anybody is going to loan you money.”
3. Get your church finances in order
“You have to have your finances in order if anybody is going to loan you money,” cautions Ketterling. “Even if they’re a Christian organization, they’re going to need to see profit and loss; they’re going to need to see a cash flow statement, and the more professional you can be, the better it is, because they are risking on you.”
Cooper agrees, “The more you’re handling your money right and your life is a life of integrity, the more they want to work with you.”
As you consider financing for your next church expansion, keeping these three tips in mind will help the whole process go more smoothly and result in a financially healthier church.
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