Book Review

Just finished reading “The New Context for Ministry: Competing for the Charitable Dollar” by Lyle Schaller. He wrote this at the end of 2001 and it was published in early 2002. In the book, especially in the last handful of chapters he makes some predications about the future of church economics. It is uncanny how accurate he was and is.

Schaller gives all churches (and non-profits) a warning shot across the bow about the way they’ve always done church finances versus the new economy and how they need to re-shape their church’s finances. It is also hard to acknowledge that the church is not prepared for the future. What is worse, is that no one seems concerned about the future enough to do anything about it.

About once a year someone pulls the fire alarm in my church. It is always a false alarm. Everyone knows it is a false alarm. So, no one moves the exit; no one gets the kids out of the building; no one runs to investigate the source of the alarm. In this book, Schaller is pulling the fire alarm for churches because there is a real fire. Unfortunately, churches believe that “God will provide” the financial resources they need. Well, God will but the church must actively work and search for it.

I recommend the book (even though it is not particularly readable) with an emphasis on his recommendations at the end of the book.

Lead On!