A few weeks before Christmas I received an email with an end of year giving idea. I clicked on the more details tab and found a very simple church wide email template including suggested send date. The company that sent the mass email idea is a reputable and successful company, yet the idea seemed too simple and too calculated to pass my smell test. Two days later the email was still in my in-box and I looked at it with fresh eyes of possibility and had to ask myself this hard question- “What if the idea works and I am responsible for the church not receiving the gifts that people are prepared to give?”
The entire problem was created from my unwillingness to admit that I do not always know what is best. In our churches today, we all face numerous changes from the days of old. Attendance patterns have changed, commitment from membership has changed and giving patterns have changed, yet in the midst of this change I often attempt to solve these issues with the same old processes and thinking.
This year I took the advice from the reputable church finance company and followed the plan for the church wide email. It worked! The email response grew our weekly gifts by 20%. I am tempted to say if you get an idea emailed to you from an expert, follow it- but that does not truly capture the lesson learned. Openness was the lesson I learned, I must at times force myself to look at things with fresh eyes of possibility in order to serve my church. Best practices are just that best practices, and my hesitancy to consider such can get in the way of good leadership. I do not suggest that we follow all best practices. I do suggest, though, that we consider all best practices and contextualize them with our specific congregation with wisdom and openness.
These thoughts above are from John Daniels, our partner based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. His primary focus is working alongside churches in administrative challenges and opportunities. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at 910.899.6724 or email@example.com.