How do we find a way for our churches to remain financial solvent during difficult economic times?
Since I’ve been “semi-retired” from ministry and actively pursuing a second career as a writer, I’ve discovered that the publishing scene is drastically different from when I published my first book twenty years ago. Back then you sent out manuscripts, found a publisher, and left it to the publisher to market your book. Not so any more. Now you have to have a “platform” before a publisher will even look at your book. You need a presence on social media, whether a blog, web-site, facebook, linked-in and/or twitter account. And your web-site needs to be designed to attract repeat visits, meaning regular updating with new material. It’s a different world thanks to the rapid advance of technology. (Just think, twenty years ago I didn’t have a cell phone.)
It occurs to me that the same may be said about ministry. Technology is changing the face of ministry, how we reach people and keep their attention, especially young people. It’s no long enough to have meaningful church services and programs, counting on the weekly offertory to pay for these. Now we need a web-site and to utilize social media to reach the growing segment of the population who report no religious affiliation. And just as a good web-site can draw readers and be a source of income for writers even as they sleep, perhaps a good web-site can help churches raise money and support for programs???
What do you think? Does that strike you as true? What are you doing to keep your church financially viable in the New Year? Join the discussion. Comment below and/or join us on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 9a.m. at the Jackson District Library, Carnegie branch, as we continue to share information and explore ways to sustain our ministries financially in 2014.