The line between business and church is messy. It’s a line everyone must walk, and nobody’s sure how to do it well. Is this a church or a business? Or could it be both? Most (if not all) churches run as nonprofits, which makes everything twice as difficult. The majority of their costs are funded through congregational donations, which makes them feel as nonbusiness-like as you can get. It’s a relational business. You’re not fighting for dollars; you’re fighting for hearts. And yet, at the same time, you can’t run a church without money. Are you feeling the tension here? Do you see where I’m going? We often think that business and church are opposites: it’s about money (business), or it’s about people (church). But is it possible to run the church as a business?
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Business and church — But can it be about both?
In my opinion, you can run a church as a businesses. And before you write me off completely and tell me about Jesus turning over tables, hear me out. I think implementing best business practices in our churches today can help us serve the greatest number of people in the most helpful ways.
Why It’s Good to Run Church as a Business
First, people want responsible leaders.
Churches have financial responsibilities. It’s a fact. You either rent or own the building where you meet. You employ a staff, whose salaries you have to pay. You have lights you must keep on and programs you must fund and people to pay to care for your kids.
Even churches with a bare-bones budget have things to pay for. This is when it becomes crucial that there’s a business side to your church. People don’t want a church that talks about money constantly, also you need responsible workers for this and manage their payrolls with tools like a paystub generator can be useful for this purpose.
But they do want to know that when they give their money to the church, that money is in good, responsible hands—and that the church will still be around next Sunday, next month and next year.