As we talk about taking steps into the future as a congregation, you need to be aware of some trends taking place in society and how those will affect us in very tangible ways. To be sure, there are drastic changes coming in the next 10-15 years in how we do ministry. Those changes inevitable; my hope is that we as a church will figure out, proactively, what we want to do about it rather than simply let the change happen to us. Again, these changes are inevitable; it your decision to either drive the changes needed to weather what is coming, or just let those changes happen to us. Here are there factors I want you to consider.
The purpose of resetting the financial baseline is to free the preoccupation from money to reaching people for Christ through vital congregations. The criteria that matter going forward must be around reaching people, and the whole system needs alignment toward that goal. Money is a lagging indicator. We reset in order to return to the basics on which all giving depends — changed lives and transformed communities. There is no future for churches that cannot reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people.
The death tsunami is coming. If it sweeps over a church already stretched to its limits to survive financially year by year, the result could be catastrophic. However, if it comes to a church that has reset its baseline and demonstrated the ability to begin growing, then the losses will occur, but will not deter the "field of energy" already moving in the denomination. Such a church will not only survive but come out on the other side as a growing, missional, and spiritually alive instrument of God. The time to make choices is now — while there are still choices to be made. Otherwise, circumstances will make the choices for us in the future.
· Decline in revenue
· Decline in membership
· Not enough pastors to go around