One of the challenges with church planting is choosing how to spend those limited dollars wisely. There are so many things that you’d like to spend money on, but only so many dollars.
When we started our church, we were blessed to inherit some gear to get us started, but we still had to make some hard choices. Looking back there are some “purchase” choices that we probably should have made differently. Somethings we should have waited to purchase, and other things we should have purchased that we didn’t.
But looking back is easy. We made the best guess at the time, and so I’m not going to beat up on myself about it. But, I do think that we always need to learn from our experiences. Here are two questions I’ve learned to ask.
- How valuable is this potential purchase to the mission of the ministry? Some things are so cool that you just got to have them – right? Well, yeah, but should you have them now, if ever? Although I’ll concede that it may occasionally be the right reason, “cool” is usually not enough of a reason to spend money that your parishioners have sacrificially given. You really have to consider what value that purchase brings to the ministry. How would this purchase affect your short-term situation? How could it advance your long-term strategy? Can it change lives? Once you consider this, you need to consider the follow-up question:
- Is this potential purchase valuable enough to replace X, Y or Z, to make it happen? The reality is that we can only do so much with the resources God has provided. Whether He provides a lot or just enough, there is a real-world limit. That’s not to say that God is limited – he can do anything with nothing! But, the reality is that we are limited by our resources. It takes so many dollars to do something. If we can get it donated or the process offset, that’s cool, and we should try to do that, but sometimes the hard truth is that we may have to omit or postpone something else in order for this “new thing” to be implemented. Is it worth the exchange?
What questions are you learning to ask?