In an article published in Unity magazine (July 1982), Rev. Dorothy Pierson describes a time when she was taking a walk with Charles Fillmore. She told him, “I dreamed that I could fly last night!” She was looking for a lofty, spiritual comment. Charles repeated, “You dreamed you could fly?” He walked a little further and then asked her, “Can you pay your rent?” Charles was a spiritual visionary and a practical businessman at the same time.
What I have come to believe about church as a spiritual business is the importance of balance. Balance helps us see the big picture of our ministries and also keep an eye on the individual moving parts of ministry. To see the big picture, I often ask myself “Where is the energy flowing right now? Where are people expressing the most juice and passion for being involved?” A board member once said to me that the secret of success is to figure out which direction the parade is headed and get out in front of it.
Never forget that we are fundamentally in the “people business.” More than anything else, most people just want to feel heard. They want to know that their presence matters, that their questions and suggestions will be respectfully listened to. A good rule of thumb for ministers is to consider that we have six days to listen and one day to speak.
Balance of income and outflow in our finances is important as well. What I have learned is the importance of being conscious about money in my life. We need to know where the money is coming from, where it’s going, and if things are in balance. Are our communications about finances clear, transparent, and coming from a prosperous consciousness? Good financial stewardship inspires confidence and greater giving.
Balance is important in our decision-making processes as well. We must balance our heads and our hearts. Love and wisdom together make a strong business partnership. Information about the “facts” of our ministry can be useful when placed in the proper perspective with the spiritual Truth of what we know.
Finally, make time for balance in your life as well. Our ministry and our lives need to be nurtured and have space to grow. Appreciate how far you’ve come and the gift of the present moment, and honor how Spirit is inspiring you to move forward. Balance is the key to success in church as a spiritual business.