Welcome to some great reading in Church Leader Insights. Enjoy!
Do what you love and the money will take care of itself.
That’s been a popular phrase for as long as I can remember.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was true?
I’ve also heard this related phrase for as long as I can remember: just preach the gospel, love people, reach out to your neighbors, and the money will take care of itself.
It would be even better if that was true. But it’s not. In even the healthiest and strongest of churches and ministries, finances are never automatic.
In a previous post, 4 Assumptions Pastors Can No Longer Make About Church Giving Patterns, I wrote about how a downturn in church giving is no longer the early and accurate indicator of a problem in the church. Giving patterns have changed. Even people who love the church and are fully committed to its mission are not giving as much as they once did.
In this post, I’d like to walk you through some of the steps our church has discovered by trial-and-error in the last couple of years that have helped us slow down, then reverse a downward giving trend in our church.
1. Emphasize generosity, not just giving
Giving is like any other skill. Very few people are born with an inbred desire and ability to give. Everyone needs to be taught how and why giving matters. And that’s up to us, pastors.
What’s in store for the social media industry in 2018?
The way consumers use social media channels is constantly evolving and as marketers and entrepreneurs, we need to adapt to these changes.
To better understand these changes, plus what’s ahead for 2018 and beyond we teamed up with Social Media Week to collect data from over 1,700 marketers and create the State of Social Media 2018 report. The report shows us how marketers, from businesses of all sizes, are approaching social media marketing.
Ready to jump in?
3 Key social media takeaways to guide your marketing in 2018
1. There are huge opportunities in the messaging space (only 20 percent of marketers have used messaging apps for marketing)
Messaging platforms have grown at an incredible rate over the last couple of years. And there are now more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
Despite this incredible growth, our State of Social 2018 survey found that just 20 percent of businesses have invested in marketing through messenger platforms.
After seeing such high user growth for the past few years, companies like Facebook will begin to focus on how they can monetize chat apps which will open up new advertising opportunities for marketers.
You’ve felt it.
Someone you know (or follow) is experiencing ‘success’ in their lives and leadership in a way you’re not. Maybe their church or ministry is growing faster than yours, or yours isn’t growing at all.
Or their marriage looks so much happier than yours. Or…they’re married. And you’re not.
Maybe their kids look more together than your kids, or they’ve built the killer team you always wished you had, but don’t.
And deep inside, you feel it.
Sometimes it shows up as criticism or excuse-making (Well, if I had their location/money/building/people I’d be that effective too).
Or it shows up as you questioning their integrity (I wonder what they had to do to get that. Betcha they have zero family life).
Often it just shows up as misery, a sadness that makes you feel bad about yourself, angry about your circumstances and maybe even frustrated with God (hey…you called me into this. I mean, come on…)
What is that?
Well, it’s at least three things: jealousy, envy and insecurity.
Every pastor and church leader feels them at some level, and if you look at the issues they cause inside us, around us and in our churches, it’s troubling.
If you’ve felt that at all, what do you do with it?
Several years ago, when we first started dating, Constantino had to buy a car. David, who is always more practical, advised him to buy a reliable used Honda. But Constantino, who had recently moved to Los Angeles from New York City and hadn’t owned a car in more than a decade, wanted something more exciting. He also didn’t want to spend a lot of time shopping around. He test-drove a VW and decided to buy it on the spot. David strongly advised him against it, but Constantino didn’t listen. Sure enough, within a week, the car broke down, requiring the first of many expensive repairs.
What do we do when we can’t stop our from partners from making a decision we’re certain is bad? Should we dig in our heels and oppose them every step of the way? Or should we voice our concerns, then hold our peace and support them no matter the outcome? It’s a matter of whether you want to be right, or whether you want to be successful in your relationship.
To be clear, we’re not talking about enabling destructive behavior or relinquishing your stake on decisions that will severely impact your marriage and future together. But when it comes to the myriad small decisions in life, we’ve found that sticking by your partner and supporting their choices is more important than keeping them from making mistakes.
Supporting each other even when you disagree is an important part of marital friendship. So is extending grace to your spouse by refraining from speaking the dreaded “I told you so” when their ill-advised plans go exactly the way you warned they would.
Thank you to our sources for this week’s blog posts:
Christianity Today (Karl Vaters) – 9 Ways To Reverse A Downward Giving Trend In An Otherwise Healthy Church
Buffer Social – The State of Social 2018 Report: Your Guide to Latest Social Media Marketing Research
Carey Nieuwhof – Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity and the Heart of A Pastor
The Gottman Institute – Letting Your Spouse Make Mistakes