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Do you have any bad habits? I have a couple (Warning About To Get Graphic!), and the worst is picking scabs. Yep, I’m 31 years old and I can’t help myself but to scratch at them, pick em until they bleed. It’s a nasty habit, one that every time I do I can hear my mom saying, “Chris, don’t pick at it. It will never heal!” And she is right, but you already knew that.
We all have bad habits, some of them we are cognizant of, while others we have no clue. So what are your bad habits? Do you have any as a youth minister? Again you probably have a few. Some you might be proud of and others you try to hide. However, one that I think many of us aren’t willing to admit is a bad habit; yet do is…FUND RAISING
You notice how the word has fun in it? What a lie, because there is really nothing fun about it. It sucks the life out of your longevity, it distracts you from living out the purpose of your ministry and if you do too many of them it enslaves you.
Notice how Jesus never fund raised? Notice there wasn’t one time when He said, “Hey Peter, can you catch some fish for the fish fry fund raiser this weekend?” or “Thomas, trust me on this, people will want to throw rocks to dunk John.” Of course Jesus didn’t throw fund raisers and mainly because He taught the disciples how to be:
As youth minister we need to stop fund raising and start raising givers. Not only does your sanity depend on it, but so does the financial future of the church. Raising givers means teaching your teens:
I’m willing to believe that most of you agree with me on this; however, the push back is the difficulty it takes to go from a fund raising ministry to a giving one. So, how do we make the change? How do we break this bad habit?
- Teach Tithing – And don’t mess around with the percentage. The Bible says 10% of your wealth, not 5% time 5% treasure. It doesn’t say give the leftovers. The bench mark is 10%, if they don’t start at that right away, challenge them to set a timetable for when they’ll reach it. Teach it, preach it and show them what happens when you trust God with your finances.
- Develop Their Money Management Skills – Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no financial guru. However, if we are going to teach people to tithe we need to make sure that they are confident in their finances. And you can never start too early, because if you can teach financial responsibility young, it will stay with them for a long time. There are great resources out there like Dave Ramsey’s Generation Change.
- Communicate Need – As someone who’s been in ministry for 8 years, there are people who still don’t know this is my full time job. There are a lot of teens (and adults) that have no idea what is needed to grow a church. If we are overseeing the future investors of our church we need to make sure they understand what is necessary to run and grow a church.
- Practice What You Preach – If you aren’t being a wise steward then don’t expect the students to do the same. I’ll be honest, I struggle with money, I tithe; however, my personal money management could be better. You don’t have to be Dave Ramsey; however, you need to work at it.
If you can change the culture in your ministry from surviving on fund raising to thriving on giving then you’ll see fruit instantly. God tells us to test Him on this and I don’t think that ends with our personal wealth, but how we pass the habit of stewardship onto the next generation.
Share your thoughts. Do you fund raise? Are you for it or against it?