Most of my friends know that I like to fish. I live on a river and have a fishing boat right behind my house. I like to take vacations where I can fish and if I am anywhere close to a tackle shop, I will spend money buying fishing gear that I really do not need. Yes, I like to fish.
Because of this, I occasionally get questions from persons about fishing. Last week, I was in a church and a lady came up to me and said she had decided to take up fishing and had a question. I was delighted to try and help. “Why do you do it?” she said. I was confused. She elaborated, “I thought I would learn to fish, but why do you do it? What is it all about? If you catch a fish, so what?” She really had no idea why anyone would want to fish. She just thought it seemed like a good idea.
I tried to explain to her that if she did not think she wanted to eat fish or that fishing would not give her a sense of peace and relaxation or bring some satisfaction in finding such a creature and convincing him to bite what you offer, then perhaps she should not take up fishing.
Every year, I get dozens of calls from pastors or finance leaders in the church asking me what I think they should do to increase giving in their church. My first question is “Why do you want more money?” The reply is often, “Because we do not have enough.” They may explain that they are behind their budget projection by several thousand, or they have a debt that is draining them. The problem is that the object of these persons is to just get some more money. They really are not sure what the ultimate mission is.
If your church can not envision how more money will help you make more disciples, then maybe you do not need the money. If lives are not being changed for Jesus, perhaps some of your staff is not necessary. If all you hope to do is prop up a building, perhaps you do not need the building.
Remember, we are trying to catch people. That is our mission. That is what we do. Money and buildings are just bait for the ultimate prize of catching people and making disciples. The next time someone in your church says, “We need more money!” Ask them “What for?”