Is your church facing financial decisions? Even in boom times making decisions that involve money can be challenge for church leaders. It may involve taking a risk, and that raises anxiety: deciding to increase salaries substantially, hire additional staff or move ahead with a building program raise the possibility of not being able to pay for it. And when times are tough, and budget cuts seem inevitable, the decisions can be even more difficult.
Here are some questions that might be useful as you consider your decision-making process:
• What is the question that needs to be decided?
• When does a decision need to be made?
• Who else needs to contribute to this decision? Are we carrying the responsibility we need to as leaders, without anxiously looking for input as a way to avoid making a decision? Or are we hoarding information and the ability to contribute to a solution?
• Are we appropriately balancing the needs of the present with the needs of the future?
• Are we clear on the roles each person and group is playing – pastor, governing board, finance committee – and what those responsibilities entail?
• Are we sharing information appropriately? What do staff, other lay leadership and congregation need to know, and what is the right timing?
• On what assumptions are we basing our decisions? How do we know they are accurate?
• How is our faith informing this decision?
If you can make decisions in a thoughtful way, not matter how immediate the crisis, you will benefit the church for years to come.