By Dr. Terry Jackson
Often the question is asked “What is the church doing to improve the quality of life for congregation and the community?” The church normally speaks to the different ministries it has, but most churches do not measure the impact the ministries have on the lives of their congregation or the community. This has to change.
The church is a business[M1] . Most churches are incorporated as non-profit organizations. Every week millions of people attend church; they tithe, but do not ask for a specific return on their money. The church is the only institution in which people do not seek something for their money other than a “feel good” experience. With all of the money the churches collect tangible results are needed.
In the African American community, the church is seen as a place of healing, a house of refuge. It is also the one institution in the African American community that receives millions of dollars per week yet the church creates no businesses or jobs for the congregation of community. Most churches have poor facilities to groom the youth and do not teach practical skills to its congregation that can be used daily. One of the major weaknesses of most Pastors is their lack of understanding of organizational development, more specifically financial management. This too must change. Pastors must be held accountable.
Accountability is the operative word for the African American Church and the Pastors of the church. Are they good stewards of their flock? Are they looking out for the best interest of themselves or the best interest of the congregation? What is the strategy to row the church and its flock? How can the business of the church grow locally? Basically, the Pastor is the CEO of an organization and must have a vision that enables the congregation and community to prosper. The Pastor must ensure that the church bears fruit. Remember that Jesus washed feet. How many Pastors today would do the same?
To ensure that the church has the ability to hold the Pastor accountable these “7 Questions” have been created.
1. What organizational development skills do you possess and how do you plan to grow this church and community?
2. What Financial Management skills do you possess and can you read financial statements?
3. What does congregation and community well-being mean to you?
4. How will you use technology to educate and train the congregation and community?
5. What has your experience been with building businesses outside the church?
6. What is your experience in developing youth leaders?
7. What does being a servant mean to you?
Daily, African Americans are displaced from their jobs, yet they attend church Sunday’s seeking solutions to remedy their situation. They hear great messages, but most are not applicable. They tithe faithfully, but the church cannot offer them any solution that provides them a job. This must change. Billions of dollars are received by this institution, but it provides little, if any, tangible results. It’s time for accountability and transparency. Pastor you will be held accountable.
[M1]Elaborate on the church business principal. What track record can any church or pastor produce to showcase capital gains, both financially and socially from the community it serves? What exactly is the church’s aim and purpose in your neighborhood?