These highlights are from DeYmaz’s seminar at Exponential 2020. More details can be found in his book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics (Baker, 2019). Also, insights can be found in Mark DeYmaz and Bob Whitesel’s book, reMIX: Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press, 2016).
The key is what the business world calls “ROI” or return on investment. Church economics is, basically, “how do you leverage the assets of a chruch to bless the community and secondly to create income for the church?”
Because of the “rise of dual income streams in households” (see the Pew chart on this page) this principle, when applied to church, leads to dual income stream churches. ”
Also, the reduction in income of the middle class means less charitable giving.
“Today most churches are just managing decline” – Mark DeYmaz.
“Those born before 1964 = 78.8% of the total church giving.” – Mark DeYmaz.
“If you keep giving everything away for free, you may not be here in 10 years.”
A strategy is …
- Leverage church assets
- Bless the community
- Generate sustainable income
Theologically, see Matt. 25:14-29.
Matthew 25:14-30 The Message (MSG)
The Story About Investment
14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’
Promising Practices …
I (Bob) would summarize this passage as saying that, securing church money rather than leveraging it to do more good is what Jesus is warning.
Strategies suggested by DeYmaz include …
- Lease out you building, rather than give it away free.
- Rent out the less attractive parts of your church
- A carpenter rents out an electrical cage in Mark DeYmaz’s church.
- Storage lockers are popular
- Loading docks are needed
- How do you explain to an organization has been using it free, that it is no longer going to be a ministry.
Monetize existing services
- Janitorial services can be turned into a for-profit company that cleans other businesses.
- Ask entrepreneurs to be enterprising, not managers …
- Not to be greeters … then they become line workers.
- Not to oversee greeters … then they become managers.
- Ask them to figure out how to monetize something like free coffee (that can costs $100s a month) … then they operate in their wheelhouse as “entrepreneurs.”
Start new businesses
- Can start a for-profit under a non-profit.
- But, you must have legal advice to do it right and to ensure you pay taxes.
For more see Mark’s book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics (Baker, 2019). Also, insights can be found in Mark DeYmaz and Bob Whitesel’s book, reMIX: Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press, 2016).