People think I am crazy…again. Why this time? I elected to make the decision to NOT have a service on December 28th. I have been told it is a terrible decision that will hurt the “business” big time. The business? That’s a weird way to look at it….but kinda right.
Church is a very unique organization. It is a spiritual place, yet must function like a business in many ways. Many people do not like to think that the church runs like a business, but let me give you some similarities…
- We have a product. That product for us is hope, a hope that is found in Jesus. However, the difference between a normal business and us is that hope, for the most part, is not a tangible product. It is found in a relationship with Jesus, and once you have it you understand it, but to someone without it, it might not make sense. The other main difference is that I am not willing to “sell” hope. No gimmicks. No bait and switch programs of ministry. Just a simple process of “find life, live grace, and become hope.
- We have investments. Yep, that’s right. Our church has investments everywhere. We have a staff that has invested their lives to creating a place for people to come and embrace Christianity in a simple, relational, truth filled, way. We have invested money in our church, in places like BaypointeKIDS, media, décor, and don’t forget COFFEE. Why spend money there? Because we believe that those things help people in more ways than this blog can contain. (Trust me, you don’t want a Sunday without coffee…)
- We have bills. While it is true we are not like a normal business with goods to be sold, this means nothing to other companies we have to pay. Rent, power, property insurance, liability insurance, internet provider, etc etc etc all have to be paid. The great thing about our church is we have a great team of people that help us make sure we are financially sound, making the right decisions, and holding every penny accountable. We know how many people have mistrust when it comes to the local church and their finances and we have done everything we can to be transparent (if you want to see the budget, just ask, I’ll give it to you) and prove ourselves trustworthy. It is obvious to most that we are not a rich church by any means. Not even close. We are a church that operates on a strict budget, and as long as people stay faithful to giving, God will provide the rest.
So why do people say I am crazy to cancel a church service? Most pastors are afraid of two things happening to the “business” when there is not a Sunday service.
- You wont be able to pay the bills. Yep, it’s a true fear. Just like any business, don’t pay the bills and you don’t stay open. Losing a Sunday means potentially losing 25% of your income because there are only 4 Sundays in a month and most give on a Sunday. Financially losing 25% of our income would devastate us, but I believe in the people of our church. We provide online giving for this, and I hope and pray that you will utilize this tool.
- People will leave your church! People say if you cancel a service, then they will go somewhere else that Sunday, like the “bigger” church better, and never come back. Well, true. That might happen, but that sounds pretty insecure to me. My job is not to “trap” people at Baypointe. My job is to point people to Jesus, and if their journey takes them to another church, then so be it. Baypointe always has, and always will be made up of great people, serving people, loving people. Some come, some go, and there is nothing I can do, but living in fear people will leave is one I won’t entertain.
So, I cancelled the service this Sunday. I will chose to allow the staff and volunteers to have time with their families. I believe the people of our church understand my heart, will still give financially this weekend, and will return………loving Baypointe even more!
I might be crazy, but I love being your pastor and will see you next Sunday!!
Find life…live grace…become hope.