Eager to Talk about Money and Ministry
by Jac La Tour, ECCU Communications Manager
(Originally published as a post within ECCU’s former e-publication, The Buzz.)
When people ask what I do, the conversation inevitably gets around to what I did before coming to ECCU. Like many on staff here, I have a background in both ministry and financial services.
Seven of those ministry years I served as a pastor. I still remember how much it meant to be able to connect with other pastors, both on our staff and at other churches, when I was engaging in new responsibilities or opportunities.
Mark Johnson’s recent post reminded me that the need for networking is universal. He saw and experienced it at the Financial Forums for Ministry ECCU presented in October. I experienced it in pastoral ministry. And I saw it again earlier this month when I facilitated three ECCU liquidity management workshops.
With a realistic case study as the starting point, these workshops gave attendees time in small groups to work through a list of questions that required them to identify and wrestle with liquidity and other financial management issues. Then we came together in a large-group setting to talk about what they had observed.
Each workshop took on its own flavor based on the participants. Their churches ranged in size from 100 to over 11,000, some thriving, others struggling. For all that diversity, though, there was one common denominator—everyone who came expressed gratitude for the opportunity to rub shoulders with and bounce ideas off their ministry peers.
This response underscored a unique benefit of membership in a financial cooperative like ECCU, which is the access it provides to a large network of peers whose daily duties include both ministry and banking. The longer I was in pastoral ministry, the larger my network became, but it took time to grow it. By connecting with ECCU, ministry leaders have immediate affiliation with a network of literally thousands of people who share their mission and the challenges of pursuing it.
No matter what you did before stepping into your present ministry role, and no matter how long you’ve been serving in that capacity, your need for the insights and expertise of peers remains. Conversely, they also stand to benefit from your experience.
And for someone in my position who gets to facilitate those conversations, it’s the best of both worlds.