Last week, I had the privilege of attending the National Association of Church Business Administrators Conference in Orlando. It marked the 10th time in the last 12 years I have been a part of this annual assembling of church leaders.
Working for INJOY Stewardship Solutions, I have gotten to build personal relationships with a large number of the other exhibitors. Over the years, I have seen many people wishing to work with churches come and go. I have seen the flash-in-the-pan individuals who initially make a big splash but just as quickly disappear from the church service landscape. I have also seen a faithful handful who have stood the test of time and are still making a significant impact in helping the Bride of Christ fulfill her mission and vision.
During one of the breaks, I had the opportunity to spend extended time with Dennis Moses, the Vice President of Religious Institutional Banking for Bank of the West. Dennis has been faithfully serving churches with the bank since 1996—18 years and counting. During this time, he and I have become great friends. There is no one I recommend more to churches who need to borrow or refinance significant amounts of money.
As I think about Dennis and others who have stood the test of time serving churches, I gleaned 10 Things Needed to Serve Churches More Than 10 Years:
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Truly Love Jesus—Serving churches is too hard not to be called to it. You must love Jesus and deeply desire wanting to spend significant time with Him daily in prayer.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Deeply Love the Church—The church is not a “market” someone has discovered. The church is the Bride of Christ. Some are called to the business community. No doubt. But for those given the choice between selling soap, software or widgets, or serving THE redemptive instrument of human history, the Bride of Christ, the local church, how could you possibly do anything else?
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Unconditionally Love Pastors—Pastors are very smart. They intuitively know when someone is selling them or serving them. If you do not love pastors, they will quickly sniff you out and you will not last.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Are Skilled Craftsmen—Not only must you WANT to help pastors, you must be ABLE to help pastors. You must be a continual learner and constantly improving your ability to help those in church leadership.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Are More Concerned With Helping the Church Than Making a Sale—Dennis is one of the best at this. If you try to make a sale with a pastor, you likely will not. However, if you simply want to help the church succeed and do not care if you get the sale or not, you will get an exponential number of sales.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Respect the Industry—People who serve churches all got into this industry for the same noble reasons—to help pastors and churches. They now travel and spend much time away from their families. They face a similar enemy, Satan. They provide incredible value to church leaders and deserve respect.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Build Strategic Relationships—There are many aspects to serving churches—bankers, builders, architects, printers, stewardship companies, etc. … Building relationships across disciplines is key to long-term success.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Help Others Succeed—When I work with Dennis, I always get a sense he is deeply committed to my success as much as his. As a result, I joyfully invest in his success as well.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Think Long-Term—Don’t burn bridges. Not getting a partnership with a church today is not an indication you cannot serve them tomorrow. Even if not selected, if you serve the church well, you will have another opportunity to serve them in the future.
- Those Who Serve Churches More Than 10 Years Become Trusted Experts—Food just tastes better coming out of a crockpot than a microwave. There is a self-confidence and maturity which comes from faithful years of service. A depth of understanding about the issues church leaders face is developed and extremely valuable.
If your church is looking for someone to help your church with a particular need you are facing, please let me know. I’ll be glad to recommend someone who will serve you well.