It can be discouraging. Your weekly church offerings are about the same amount as your childhood piggy bank savings. Maybe you’re in a situation where the building payment takes away 90% of your income. It could be that you simply have a small church, paltry offerings, and have had to cut everything but the light bill to save on costs. Money problems can be pretty discouraging.

In an age of massive church buildings, sprawling campuses, and even millionaire pastors (check out the controversial article on the topic), you may feel like your church is doing something wrong. What do you do when your church’s budget reaches rock bottom? When the money is gone? When offerings are dry? When you have no budget?

Obviously, you’ll need to depend on God. Big time. That’s easier said than done. Another way to gain help is to study what Jesus said about money. There is a lot to study. He spoke more about material possessions than he did about faith, repentance, heaven, or hell. What you may find is that Jesus’ financial management principles are pretty radical:

• And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)
• “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
• “You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
• “Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics.” (Matthew 10:9-10)
• “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)
• “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” (Luke 3:11)
• “Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.” (Luke 6:30)
• “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
• “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.” (Luke 12:33)

Is that radical? They’re beyond radical. Such financial management principles (if you can call them that) are basically unheard of. How difficult it is for us to extricate our thinking from safety, from “wise” investing, and from the American dream!

One theme, which characterizes all of Jesus’ teaching on money, is this: there are some things that are more important than money. Here are ways that you can save money and still make a difference.

Preach the Word.
While your church may lack money, you will never lack God’s Word. Your church can wield incredible power, even with no resources, simply by using God’s Word. Preach the Word. Read the Word. Practice the Word.

Pray a lot.
Do you realize the mind-blowing power of prayer? Prayer is we—puny human beings—talking to God—the Sovereign, all-mighty Creator. As John Newton eloquently stated about prayer:
“Thou art coming to a King.
Large petitions with thee bring.
For His grace and power are such
None can ever ask too much.”
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer—a resource more valuable money.

Fellowship more.
True fellowship is something that doesn’t have a price tag. Even though money may facilitate new programs, a fancy fellowship hall, and an industrial kitchen facility, none of those things constitute fellowship. Fellowship is the encouraging, spiritual interaction between Christians. Fellowship is powerful. Regardless of how paltry your budget may be, fellowship is always available.

Money is a big deal, but some things are a bigger deal: the Bible, prayer, and fellowship. As Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Mt. 6:33).

About The Author

Daniel Threlfall has been writing church ministry articles for more than 10 years. With his background and training (M.A., M.Div.), Daniel is passionate about inspiring pastors and volunteers in their service to the King. Daniel is devoted to his family, nerdy about SEO, and drinks coffee with no cream or sugar. Learn more about Daniel at his blog and twitter.

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