A quick search for church buildings on the market for sale is eye-opening, to say the least, and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some churches were start-ups that never grew up. Some churches suffer from a declining congregation and they can't support the expense without the numbers. Some denominations make the financial decision to liquidate assets when they can no longer justify the church with few members. Countless churches build bigger and bigger facilities to support their growth, and they're leaving their debt-free buildings left behind to be sold. Like an abandoned first love, the "old church building" is left vacant and of no use and when it could be donated to bless another body of believers, the proceeds from the sale are needed to offset the money borrowed to build the new one. Yes, even the churches are subject to the money game these days.
It's reported that 6,000 churches close their doors each year; is it a lack of faith or a lack of money that's flooding the church market? In some ways, it's both. As much as some of us don't like to think about it, there is a price tag associated with keeping the church doors open.
Churches across America are finding themselves on shaky ground these days with foreclosures on the rise - and with an economy in a tailspin over the COVID 19 of 2020, the numbers are likely to grow...a lot. Not only are people not able to attend church throughout the mandated lockdown, but they also aren't able to give the way they've been accustomed to giving in a thriving economy and the church (with debt) will ultimately pay the price.
How did we get here? That's pretty complicated, but one major contributing factor is the abandonment of the concept of planting smaller (debt-free) churches to reach further out into a community when the "home church" begins to burst at the seams. That concept was traded for borrowing BIG bucks to build a BIG sanctuary to keep everybody under one roof today. With more churches trading a spiritual approach to growth for a business solution for growth, many churches have signed up for high mortgages to accelerate the fulfillment of their plans. Yes, they're trusting God to provide, but they're also relying on a stable level of giving to make mortgage payments. Will the borrowed money end up being more of a blessing than a curse? Anything is possible when we go on the line for debt.
I'm not the one to judge a church for borrowing money in order to expand their dreams, but I AM one to feel just as strongly that a church should snuff out debt as fast as possible as I do that each one of us should too. If the church had followed a financial GPS instead of throwing a little extra money toward a mortgage when they could, they wouldn't be so dependent upon the economy to keep the doors open today. Furthermore, if the church would promote the use of a GPS system to the congregation to help them get rid of debt as much as they preach to them about sacrificial giving, there would be a whole lot more giving in their time of need.
No matter what's going on in the world, the mortgage still needs to be paid, and the bank isn't nearly as sympathetic as we want (or need) them to be....even when they're dealing with "church people." So, if the money isn't flowing from the congregation as quickly as it's being dished out in the church, foreclosure is imminent.
Living Larger is on a crusade to help crush debt as quickly as possible IN and OUT of the church. Throwing extra payments at debt isn't the answer...neither is making MORE money. Debt is a big problem and it calls for an even BIGGER solution. If you and/or your church have debt you wish you didn't have, contact [email protected] and I'll show you the fastest way to $0...guaranteed.
Isn't it time for God's people to stop playing with debt and to get rid of it once and for all?
Just imagine HOW FULL those offering plates would be if we were!