“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Malachi 3:10
Your congregation knows that the money they tithe to the church has several positive effects. First, it allows you, the church leader, to bless others, pay bills, maintain the church building or purchase items for the church. Additionally, your church members know that when they obey God and give to the church, the Lord will continue to bless them in return, according to His will.
Church members know that tithing is not only used as a blessing to the church leaders, but a blessing to the congregation and community as well. Just as we are to manage our personal finances wisely, church leaders must abstain from careless or unnecessary spending and make intelligent purchases for the church when necessary.
As a leader in the church, your members often look to you for leadership and guidance; if they see that the leaders of the church are spending their hard-earned money on extravagant items that are impractical for the church, one of two things will happen. They will either think that it’s in their own best interest to spend their own money frivolously, thinking that it’s more important to have finer things, or they will become frustrated or angry that their tithes were spent on superfluous or showy items.
Most churches must present any major purchases to a committee for approval beforehand. Although this process may seem tedious and trivial at times, these groups are in place to help you make wise purchasing decisions and avoid rash spending that could upset – or even anger—other members of your church. And when you are faced with gargantuan financial decisions, such as building an addition to your church because of growth in attendance, consulting with members of your building committee can be a tremendous blessing.
Another major purchase that churches must face from time to time is that of church furnishings. Chairs and carpet become worn, pulpit furniture becomes outdated and baptisteries need to be replaced. Or perhaps your church has expanded and grown out of its current furnishings. When your church is in need of new church furniture, don’t be afraid to shop around. Ask other leaders and members in the church if they have any suggestions or if they have a church furniture store in mind that they can recommend. Compare prices and quality before committing to purchase a specific chair, pulpit or baptistery. Remember that the cheapest piece of furniture on the market might not be the wisest decision, especially when you could have paid a little bit more for something that would last twice as long.
As leaders in the church, we must remember that it’s okay – and even encouraged – to lean on others for guidance, strength and wisdom in our roles. And when we can’t find these things in our fellow man, we always have our Lord and Savior to point us in the right direction.
Tina Pashley is a writer and church consultant for Gabriel Services and Church Furniture Store in Rocky Mount, Virginia.
Thanks to Tina for writing this guest blog.