Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
I’m on vacation this week. So, as this post gets activated on the blog and read by you all, I’ll be sitting on a Caribbean beach enjoying a sunny holiday. This is a double-blessing, because not only will I be in a warm and beautiful place, but I also won’t have to deal with the fall-out from today’s post. :)
I say that in jest, however, in truth today’s post is a tough one to write. But I write it in the hope that the context of all the other posts on this blog will qualify this and convey that our heart is never to offend but to build up the Church. It’s for that very reason that I felt compelled to write this post.
In short, this post is about paying your bills. Let me clarify one thing before I explain that further. Many of you may not be aware that both Electricurrent and AdvancedMinistry belong to a corporate entity, Gateseven Media Group. Gateseven, or G7 as we call it around here, is comprised of Bark Communications and Electricurrent. Bark is a communications agency and works exclusively with for-profit companies and organizations. Electricurrent on the other hand offers the same communications services as Bark but focuses on the Ministry and not-for-profit world (AdvancedMinistry falls under the umbrella of Electricurrent’s responsibility).
Having laid down that groundwork, let me get to the heart of the matter. In the 5 years that I have been employed here working with both corporate and not-for-profit (ministry) organizations, we have seen a consistent pattern of ministries not paying their bills. Given, in some instances it was for valid reasons like an invoice that went missing, but the truth is that we consistently see a much higher rate of unpaid bills on our ministry side than we do on our corporate side and our experience is that it’s frequently a result of sloppy book-keeping or an attitude of entitlement (“I’m a ministry and you guys are Christians so you should give us a break”).
Now again, let me clarify that I’m not writing this post in the hopes of making sure that we rake in more cash here – that truly is not the intent. I also fully realize that there are distinct challenges to ministry budgets. However, my aim is less to criticise than it is to challenge you all to be better, not for our sake, but for the sake of our witness. I can only imagine that if ministries are having trouble paying a $35/month invoice to us, that they will be struggling with paying bills to the non-believing organizations they deal with. Are we asking ourselves what the impression is that we leave with those people?
The Bible calls us to be honourable with our finances – to be good stewards. Part of that stewardship comes in the paying of our debts on time.