Leaps of faith

Pop Quiz: What kind of pastor convinces a congregation facing a $20,000 budget shortfall to purchase a powerpoint projector and screen for $4000?

a. A really good pastor.
b. A really crazy pastor.
c. A hack right out of seminary.
d. Me.
e. All of the above.

I wish I’d had a tape recorder. We went round and round for about 45 minutes, and I was sure the Church Council was going to vote down the proposal. It’s too much money/ people will resent it/ what good will it really do/ let’s just table the discussion for next month (a very sneaky maneuver). Finally, the chairman asked what would happen if the discussion *was* tabled until next month. Well, I said, you’d have to have the discussion without my input. I’d better give you my input.

Then I said something like this:

An hour ago we were talking about what we can do to keep our church relevant, to get the message out, to attract new people, and to get people to stay. I can’t fix all of that. When people set foot on our property, I have one hour to reach them, one hour to spark their interest, one hour to get them excited about our church. At the end of that hour, I turn them over to you all, and you have to make them feel welcomed, interested, and engaged for the rest of their lives. A projector is not a guarantee. It is not a fix-it. But I can tell you that I know of no church that has purchased and implemented a system like this in worship and has *not* seen an increase in involvement and interest in their church over the long run. I can’t say that it will fix our dwindling attendance. I can’t say that it will help plug our deficit. But I can tell you that it is my opinion and the professional worship leader in this place, that this system will change our worship for the better, and I can tell you that if you purchase this system, you will not regret a penny that you spend on me as pastor, or on any equipment you place in my hands. If you have this discussion in another month without me present, please be sure that my voice and my strongest recommendation for the purchase of this projector are heard.

At which point, the treasurer motioned that we approve the purchase. The woman who had lead the opposition offered a second. The vote was unanimous. I was amazed. Now I’d just better deliver.


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