People support mission, not church budgets

A few years ago I got to spend a week with Mike Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg UMC on the outskirts of Dayton, OH.  One of the things he said was, “People give to church mission, not church budgets”.  I’m reminded of that phrase as we paved a new 24 space parking lot to add additional parking to our church last week.  The parking lot cost $14,700 to pave.  Over the last three months we asked people to contribute to the “blacktop fund”.  We collected about $7,500.  The church “major maintenance fund” and the United Methodist Women’s group will cover the difference.  And let me say that parking is a major stumbling block to a growing church, so it was necessary and is awesome that our church board decided to expand the parking!

dirtywaterHowever, blacktopping a parking lot is viewed a lot like paying the electric bill.  It’s awesome to have it, but it doesn’t really excite people to go out and have fundraisers for it – especially when there is already money in the church coffers to pay it.  On the other hand, if we had been raising money to dig a water well for a village that was getting their drinking water out of the hole in this picture, I guarantee you that our church would have raised the $14,700 over the last three months.  We would have been having car washes and selling pepperoni rolls.  Kids would have been selling pizzas and Rada cutlery.  It would have created a buzz and excitement that paving a parking lot or putting new windows in the church doesn’t.

We will soon be shifting into full gear to plan for and fund-raise for a new multi-purpose facility.  Kids be playing basketball and adults be playing volleyball in it, but it IMG_0727will be so much more than a gymnasium.  I envision it being a church mission for the glory of Jesus and betterment of our community.  I see bunk rooms and shower facilities in it so we can bring mission teams to our area to work on homes for those in our area who need the help.  I see an indoor playground to give the people of our community a place to have birthday parties.  I see us having 300 people worshipping Jesus at our 9:30 contemporary worship with a band on the stage.  I see the building hosting the Frankfort Falcons, Frankfort Colts and Ridgeley Rams sports banquets.  Might it contain a thrift store?  Might we have a missions conference in it?    I don’t know what all God will use it for.  But I believe our church and community will see it as a lot more exciting and mission oriented than a parking lot and will get behind the mission.




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