Emlyn Ott on How Churches Make Decisions about Money

Emlyn Ott of Healthy Congregations had terrific comments to make in Friday’s teleconference about church decision-making about money. She talked about the kind of principled thinking that can help decision-making, especially when times are tough. She said that churches which have done some thinking about their own principles on stewardship and finances before the crisis hits are able to weather challenges better than those who haven’t.

Ott suggested that telling stories about the church’s history can help churches make better decisions. She said, “I often will ask folks to talk about the ways that God has gifted them through their ministries, so they are aware of the saints that have been present throughout the congregation so they are aware, both that God has been present in Scripture and that there’s ongoing evidence of God’s activity in this particular place. That seems to access what the emotional process has been in the congregation, and what’s the spiritual process.”

Ott also shared a terrific quote from Peter Miller: “Crowds tend to be wise only if individual members act responsibly and make their own decisions. A group won’t be smart if its members imitate one another, slavishly follow fads or wait for someone to tell them what to do. When a group is being intelligent, whether it’s made up of ants or attorneys, it relies on its members to do their own part.” (The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done).

The recording of the teleconference is available. E-mail me at Margaret@margaretmarcuson.com, and I’ll send you the link.

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