Many pastors and church leaders face challenges in effectively connecting with people of great financial means. I will probably write several posts on this over the next few months but I want to begin by getting into the mind of how financial leaders think.
Let’s begin with some foundational statements:
- Wealthy people are not “better” or “more important” than anyone else.
- Wealthy people are financial leaders.
- Financial leaders have been gifted with the capability of advancing current ministry initiatives while also making a significant investment in a church’s future.
Pastors, with those statements as the backdrop, the following is what you need to know about the mindset of financial leaders:
- Financial leaders have a different set of questions than others will.
- They want a relationship. Make sure you thank them for the investment they are making to the church. If not part of your church, deal with their souls. Make sure they are saved.
- They are not pressured to be meeting with you.
- They are honored that you would meet with them.
- Most financial leaders deeply love their church. Where a man’s treasure is, there his heart is also.
- They are familiar with legacy commitments. They are frequently asked for resources from their alma maters, hospitals, multiple charities, missionaries, employees, etc… They are probably wonder why you haven’t already approached them.
- They have previously experienced multiple personal and financial defining moments. Therefore, they are excited to be part of something with eternal significance.
- They are inspired by the magnitude of vision. Have a great one.
- They need to see, hear, and feel the ministry impact. Tell stories.
- They are moved by the urgency of the moment. Be prepared to communicate why your meeting is critical.
- They are awed by personal involvement. Show them the difference they can make.
- Pastor, they need to know that you personally own the ministry deeply.
- Pastor, they need to know that you personally are in for the “long haul”.
- They need a good sense that the congregation is in it. They don’t want to carry all the weight.
- They need to know that what you are about to ask of them is actually doable and can be completed.
- Financial leaders will feel a deep sense of personal responsibility.
- Financial leaders need to understand proportional giving be based upon personal assets and not what others give. This is commonly referred to as “equal sacrifice, not equal gifts”.
- Now the big one, if they ask how much you want them to give, be prepared with an answer. However, attach the answer to God’s will in their life. For instance, “Brian, we are praying for people who can give us $1 million. But here is the bigger question – Brian, if gave us $1 million, would God be pleased with that?”
Would God be pleased with that? That is where financial leaders are no different from any of the rest of us? Regardless of income, we all want to know if God is pleased with our level of generosity? Pastors, please have the courage to help us find God’s will for that area of our lives.
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