James Lamkin on, “Is Your Church Struggling Financially?”

James Lamkin, pastor of Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta, made many thoughtful comments on yesterday’s teleconference. He said that church leaders need to consider 1) the big picture (the global view), 2) the local – the congregation, and 3) the functioning of the self in the life of the congregation.

He suggested that church finance is one large thread in a covenant community’s tapestry — our communities are held together by other things. Every congregation has its own history of the role finances play. He says he tries to be a student of his own church’s history. In the current economic climate, he has looked back to other challenging times, like the 1970s, and has looked for ways the church has dealt with a recession, and the ways they met the challenge. He has even copied letters that were written by leaders from those times and shared them with current leaders.

In terms of his own functioning, he tries to think through what his role is: “I’m not the chair of finance.” So he tries to stay in his role as pastor, and coach the other leaders to fulfill their roles. He says, “I try to be responsible to them and with them, and not for them.”

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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