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If You Understand Inflation You Can Protect Your Church

Now might be a good time to reexamine your portfolio risk and reward ratios and understand that this money is given to your church to help in case of a rainy day, and although in some ways we’re not free from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are through the most significant phase of it.

It would appear that there are sunnier days ahead on that front. You might want to take a more risk tolerant approach to your investment strategy knowing that you’re potentially not going to need this cash for years to come. You could even look to more novel approaches; in fact, we’ve seen a number of churches across the country who became sole owners of an LLC using these cash reserves to actually do active investment, including opening up an entrepreneurial venture, such as a coffee shop or a rental facility. (We’ll be talking more about this in the coming months at unSeminary to give you some practical help and guidance in this area.)

3. Increased Leadership Development Spending

Your team is the best hedge against uncertainty.

I’m not talking about increasing salaries, although this may be something that you need to look at in the coming months. Now is the time to double down on the resources that you provide to your staff to increase their leadership development. While the cash sitting in your bank account may not be earning you interest, if you were to raise the leadership capacity of your entire team this year, that would pay dividends not only in the short term but also for years to come.

This could be the year to spend more on conferences that can both inspire and equip your team. This could be the year that you hire coaches for various departments. Oftentimes, experts from the outside can provide a great shortcut to your team as they’re looking to reach new people and increase the overall effectiveness of their ministry. It could also be the year to add extra support in the way of part-time administrative help or remote staffing contracts that could be simpler to get out of in the long run but could provide a great lift to your leadership in this coming year.

4. Look for “Noticeable-Less” Cuts

One of the tough realities of leading in an inflation-driven environment is when you look carefully at the spending side of what we do.

I remember years ago, when we were in a period of reducing spending across the board, we cut back on the budget that our kids ministry team used in their craft budget and got it down to a really small amount. And to be honest, it was such a useless cut because it not only cut away at a core experience for our guests but also didn’t make a substantial difference to the overall operation of our organization.

We can’t cut the budget by 10% by limiting googly eyes in kids ministry. We need to look at significant items and ask the question as we come out of the pandemic: are there things that we need to cut that people will notice?

What is the pet project that our senior leadership team has held onto for too long that we just need to get rid of because it no longer helps us effectively for the future?

During the pandemic, are there things that we learned we don’t need that it’s now time for us to act on?

What can we cut that people would notice and would make a difference to the overall budget?

I suggest that looking for “noticeable-less” cuts around 10% is the way to start. These kinds of cuts will cause your leadership team to breathe deeply and ask if they really need this ministry area but could provide great long-term financial health for organizations on the other side once they’re gone.

5. Consider Tech Upgrades

I know this might seem like a strange point to make as you consider the option we just talked about, but this could actually be the perfect period to double down on your purchasing of tech equipmentthat could help multiply your ministry in years to come.

Is there enabling technology, such as RESI, that could help you launch new locations and that you’d rather spend today’s dollars on than dollars a year from now?

Accelerating purchases like this is a wise decision in this season; because when you understand inflation and the inflationary effects of the loss of spending power, the money you have right now is more powerful than it will be a year from now. It will be more expensive to buy these items even then.

Look for items that will extend the reach of your church. This could include things such as new camera gear to add more capacity to your online experience. It could be something within your multi-site strategy that could help you open new campuses more quickly. This is a perfect time to consider more tech upgrades as you look to the future.

Still looking for more help as your church deals with inflation? Try this.

If you’re looking for the next steps to take coming out of this article, I would suggest three things:

  • Get your team together. Help them understand inflation. Let’s not hide from the fact that inflation is a real thing that’s happening around us. It has been a shift in our culture in the last year, and it will help your team to see inflation in their areas.
  • Share this or similar articles about how to understand inflation to help them process and think through what might need to change in the life of your church.
  • Discuss what actions you could take. Find actions that empower your entire team to help them take steps forward and ultimately grow as a community.

You can do this—your church will prevail if you continue to stand. At this point, you’ve been through the toughest season of leadership in a generation, and this trail on the impact of inflation will test the lessons that you’ve learned over the last two years of dealing with COVID-19. We’re cheering for you and are in your corner.


This article on how to understand inflation moriginally appeared here, and is used by permission.