The One Thing

David Bennett, Director of Finance & Development

At NextGen, our mission is to plant and multiply new congregations, encourage established congregations toward health, and developing existing and future leaders. We are here to serve our churches by helping them accomplish their individual visions. We consult to support and empower our supporting churches by providing planning and stewardship resources.

Recently, a pastor asked me, "What are churches doing that are flourishing financially? I knew there must be churches that are doing well. Who are they and what are they doing?" Then my mind began to race and think, "Who's doing well in this economy... let alone flourishing?" Then my mind went to Rivercrossing Church just outside of Cincinnati who raised $6 million to buy a movie theatre and renovate it.  Then I thought of Crossridge outside of Portland who in 12 months increased their giving by over 20 percent even though they didn't have growth in their attendance. I also thought of The Community at Lakeridge in Mansfield Texas (outside of Dallas) which just had its best February in the church's ten year history. Their average monthly giving is around $65,000 but in February they received $151,000, over double their average.  Another example of a church flourishing is a church (remaining anonymous) in Northern California which found $500,000 was missing in their accounting and then within a year after significant changes made up this deficit and had a $500,000 surplus in savings. Is there a common denominator with each of these churches?  Is there one principal they all followed?  If so, is it duplicatable in different  ministries, settings and demographics?" The answer is yes. There is a common denominator and one transferable principal that would help any church, anywhere.

That one principal is that they all had a financial coach. There are three steps in NextGen's financial coaching/consulting process.  First, we help the church, pastor, and leadership become clear on what they really want. We ask questions like, "What would need to be in place two years from now for you to feel like you have made significant progress in your church?" 

The second step is that we write a step by step plan of action which gives the church the highest probability of accomplishing what God is calling them to. Some of these tactics would include doing a financial seminar series or a seminar as a "booster shot"  to Financial Peace University to keep the positive momentum going. Other tactics would include highlighting how God is working before the offering is collected, instructing leadership on how to present the budget to the congregation in a way that creates more commitment to the church rather than controversy over how the money is spent, or methods of preaching on money.

The third step is the most significant because this is where all the difference and results come from. We provide accountability. Once we become clear on the outcome, and we provide a written step by step plan of action. We provide two thirty minute calls each month to make sure we are making progress to achieve the pastor's intended outcome. Sometimes we stay the course. Other times we may need to make adjustments to the plan to increase the likelihood of achieving the church's vision. 

If you would like additional information or a free thirty minute consultation, we would be glad to schedule that for you. Simply call us at 916-521-5451 or email David Bennett