David Bennett, Director of Finance & Development
Recently, a NextGen pastor approached me and asked what I did for NextGen. "The short answer," I said, " is to help our churches obtain more money so they can accomplish the vision God has for their ministries." Our goal at NextGen is to be a resource to our churches. We don't believe that churches are obligated to serve NextGen, but rather NextGen serves churches.
There are several ways we help churches increase their income. First we help churches increase their weekly offerings. The average church we work with increases its income by 17% and we do this by taking the church through our 44 point checklist for getting its financial "house in order."
Second, we help churches with Ministry Expansion Campaigns. When churches need to raise millions of dollars for new buildings, more staff and special ministry projects, we equip our churches and come along side them to raise more money. We make sure the congregation is ready for a campaign and if not, we give the church steps so they are ready. Also, we provide an estimate of what the church can raise which helps both the church to plan and to properly set the congregation's expectations. To determine this, we go further than just looking at current church income and its trends. We complete a Ministry Expansion Study.
Third, we help churches obtain planned gifts through wills, estates and other unusual gifts of real estate, collectables, marketable securities and illiquid assets like businesses. Many want to raise income by 10%. Others need $10,000+ donations for a capital or other project. The largest gifts come to churches through estate or other type planned gifts. Even though the national average for a planned gift is about $600,000 (according to Dunham and Associates research). my experience shows that these gifts are rarely under $100,000. We have a simple process for helping people to joyfully give the size of a gift.
Fourth, we provide coaching/consulting. Whether it's a new church looking to raise support or an established church looking to receive more income, we take a church through a three step process. We help the pastor determine what tangible ministries/projects/staff they want to see in place at the end of year one, year two, year 10 or any tie from he desires. Then we write a step by step plan of action which will lead to that vision. We tailor tactics and strategies to the specific church and its culture to give the highest probability of success. Then we have monthly, 30 minutes calls which have produced the most powerful results. Normally, executive coaching is very expensive, but NextGen provides this service for our churches.
Fifth, we help with retirement income planning. It breaks my heart to see pastors in their 70's who have opted out of Social Security and still failed to save anything for retirement. I've even spoken with pastors who are pastoring churches of over 5000 in weekend attendance with nothing saved. Now I realize that God provides. I also realize that He provide through giving us seeds to sow, or money to save. In addition, I realize that retirement is not mentioned in the Bible and even seems to discourage the traditional sense of retirement. For example, in Luke 12 Jesus tells the story of the rich fool. The "rich fool" tore down his little barns, built larger ones to store his crops so that he could take life easy. All of us have tasks to perform for Him as long as we are on earth. When our work for Him is complete, He'll take us home to be with Him. However, I realize that as we age, our income generating capacity diminishes. Even if a pastor still ministers as he grows older, many pastors use their retirement income from savings instead of asking their churches for a salary. We are here to help plan so that income from a church would someday be optional.
You may wonder if NextGen could help you generate more income in your church. Feel free to call 916-521-5451 or email me with questions or to schedule a 30 minute call.