Finance and Leadership
By: Tom Bandy
Established churches of all kinds are hitting a financial wall. Some are now asking the clergy or staff to take salary cuts, and these leaders are rightly perturbed at the hidden assumptions behind such a move. Remember that the key to stewardship is disciplined adult spiritual growth, and that the key to that is leaders modeling a higher standard of commitment to spiritual discipline than the members.

Think of the pastoral relationship as a mathematical equation. If you add or subtract from one side of the equation, you have to subtract or add to the other side. So, if the clergy are asked to take a 10% cut on one side of the equation, then the board leaders should be willing to accept a 10% increase in their personal giving on the other side. The point is that responsibility for stewardship must be shared as a team. That is the essence of pastoral relationship. The board cannot punish the clergy without accepting higher responsibility; and the clergy cannot accept that penalty without holding the board to a higher commitment in spiritual discipline.