Dumb Things Leaders Do 05: Becoming Tight With Money

Miser - Wikipedia

One of the things I see so many leaders to is try and hold onto all the money and hold it as tight as they can. When they have nothing they can cope, but when money comes in, they start to trust in the money over trusting in God.

It is time for every single pastor in the UK to become bold with money. Stop being frugal, stop being tight, stop being tight, stop being afraid and be bold. Spend some money. Give away a lot of money. Do something bold with your money.

The people did not invest in your church and your ministry for you to have a savings account and get a penny or two interest. They invested in you as a visionary and dreamer and they expect you to take that money and change the world. Launch out!

If you are not accused of being stupid, careless or foolish with money you have not yet been bold enough. You have to decide you want to grow the church, you want to have fresh vision, you want to fuel giant big dreams. Stop playing it safe with money. Give big to world mission, give big salaries to people, hold a great big conference, invest in an international speaker.

I am not saying take a stupid risk, you as a leader should be able to discern, but if you have to choose between taking no risk and taking too big a risk – aim at falling on the side of too big a risk.

When your life is over your biggest regrets will be the chances you did not take. I know in the UK pastors are more guilty of sinning by what they do not do, not what they are doing! We need to step out. The reason so many churches in the UK are not growing, not increasing, not discipling is that they are afraid of taking faith risks. They are afraid of trusting God. They want big safe margins in the bank, they want big fat savings accounts.

At the beginning of this year, I emptied out our savings account paying for two big crusades in Tanzania. I do not regret that. In May, I gave £10000 to Andrew Wommack Ministries from our account. I do not regret that.

For our annual summer conference in 2022 I have paid for a venue twice the size of any venue we have hired before. I do not regret that. I once paid £35000 just to hold one Sunday service! I do not regret that for one minute.

Never ever let the pocketbook take more importance than the people, never let the cash matter more than the congregation, never let the money matter more than the mission.

Get on your face before God and admit that you are too stupid to decide what to spend and what to give, find out what He wants you to do and do it without question. I am so tired of hearing guest speakers tell me “I wouldn’t have made budget for this trip without you”, or horror stories of how cheap and nasty their accommodation was, or going to preach in places myself in venues that are leaking, smelly and cheap. I am tired of seeing such amateur leaflets and weak situations. I am so fed up of people thinking a hundred pounds is a lot of money in church.

I think we need to radically change our approach. Give big, spend big, do big, dream big. Take great big offerings, and never be afraid, embarrassed or unready to receive an offering.

The bottom line is not how much money you have in the bank, it’s how many people you disciple, reach, help, encourage, lift up, save, heal, and love. That is the bottom line, nothing else.

A war is on in the churches in the UK right now – and the outcome needs to be without fail that we are bold with money, that we are bold in our giving, our spending, in our investing in people. In excellence.

There’s nothing wrong with saving, but do not trust it – there is an easy and small step from saving to hoarding. We must not be frugal, we must not become misers. We must not violate what Paul has taught us in 1 Tim. 6 to enjoy our money! And the greatest joy of money is using it to change lives.

Peter Drucker said that being efficient is doing things right, but to be effective you need to do the right things. So many churches are doing tiny things right when we need to be doing great big things.

TAKE RISKS with MONEY! Trust God. And if you are in a church, it’s not your job to protect the people from the spending of the ministers. It’s not your job to stop giving big, dreaming big and spending big happening in the church. You are not there to make sure the leaders have tiny little British visions. You want a church like that, go plant one. Do not join a growing, daring, loving church and try and reduce them down to your level of your immaturity.

I have seen several churches where one or two people have tried to hold the pastor hostage and stop them having faith and advancing the kingdom and taking the gospel to the nation. If that is you, get up in front of the people, share your vision and make the people excited to give and excited for you to spend, and if a couple of people keep holding you back, you may have to ask them to leave.

Listen, as someone who has planted eight churches in 11 years, pays for a dozen venues a month, has staff, has one of the largest TV ministries in the UK, and spend a lot of money – it is always better to raise more money than cut back spending on gospel advancement.

Now, of course, you need processes, you need to fund your vision, you need to save too, you need to not be lurching from crisis to crisis, and then have to lay off someone or cut back in a terrible way. You need to be handle seasons (you might need an open ear for a seven thin cows), but at the same time you need to be bold and strong and stop being a Scrooge. We must be full of faith when it comes to money. We must stop being miserly.

We must never be in a position where we cannot spend money to reach and disciple people. It breaks my heart when a conference is cancelled due to funding, or a conference cancels its ministry to the most precious people of all, children, due to lack of funding. It’s not a lack of funding, it is a lack of faith. It is a lack of respect for the Lord and His goodness.

Frugality in the things of the kingdom is ugly, presumptuous, and is holding back revival in our nation. I hope I have said this strongly enough. Pay money to learn how to raise money if you need. I am not talking about secular, ungodly, sleazy ways of fundraising, I am talking about being bold, building a donor base and learning how to lead people into the freedom and joy of tithing and giving generously to your church.

I think we need to go right back to basics and realize the Lord Himself is our provider! We belong to Jesus, He called us and He will provide when we are in a place called there. Get there and expect the ravens to come. Trust me – God’s dream for your life, your church, your ministry is bigger than yours. Start to trust. You need to set the example in your church and give generously personally and from the church fund. You need to stop arguing over pennies and start giving big! The way to balance saving, income, giving, spending is to save big, receive big, give big and spend big. Don’t spend on a credit card, but while you are waiting for more money dream big.

The truth is that being miserly and frugal is actually materialism. It is because you love money, you spend more than you need on things you don’t need and don’t spend on the kingdom. You save and save because you cannot handle in any way not having money or trusting the Lord.

Be bold! Make sure you are giving to other ministries to advance the gospel across the world, in places not where you are. Make sure you are investing in your church and dreaming big.

Grace and peace!

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at www.tree.church, www.tree.church/youtube and www.tree.church/app.

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