Especially with Ministry Finances, Sweat the Small Stuff

by Jac La Tour, ECCU Communications Manager
(Originally published as a post within ECCU’s former e-publication, The Buzz.)

When you work at ECCU, Wednesday mornings are regular reminders that this is a different kind of financial institution. That’s when we gather for our weekly staff chapel. These gatherings always include a brief message, usually devotional, often from ECCU President/CEO Mark G. Holbrook. Sometimes guest speakers come, occasionally from ECCU member ministries.

Last week’s guest was Chuck Booher, senior pastor of Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, California. He used a few verses from Zechariah 4 as context to tell the church’s jaw-dropping story of financial troubles that would cause most ministry leaders to run for cover. (By jaw-dropping, I mean things like finding out on your first day as the new senior pastor that the church's electricity will be shut off on Friday because of $85,000 in unpaid electric bills.) Part of the context was in verse 10: “Who despises the day of small things?”

The point was that small things matter much more than we realize at the time. Chuck used this point to tell every employee in the room that Crossroads Christian Church survived their financial crisis because of them, and that the profound kingdom impact the church is having today is because of so many things they did then and do today that may seem small.

The Crossroads story makes painfully clear that when you’re managing ministry finances in support of a God-sized vision and mission, you have to sweat the small stuff. Doing so in the short term is essential to keep the ministry stable, and in the long run to be sure the ministry endures to do work that has eternally significant results.

Think of it this way. If you don’t attend to the sea of small things that add up to prudent financial management, your ministry may not be around to step in to those Esther-like “for such a time as this” opportunities. That’s a sobering thought, and one reason we produce white papers like Handling Cash: A Common-Sense Approach to Securing Your Ministry’s Most Liquid Asset.

So the next time you’re tempted to slack off on “small things” like dual custody or separation of duties when it comes to handling your ministry’s finances, think again. If necessary, watch this video of Pastor Chuck telling part of the Crossroads story.

Then be ready, because when you sweat the small stuff, God surprises you by doing big things.

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