One of the discoveries I made last week in Kenya was the expanded role of elders in PCEA churches (Presbyterian Church of East Africa). Because most pastors are responsible for multiple congregations (my friend Jimson Bore has 9) the elders take on significant leadership roles that include leading in worship, preaching and (and this is what I found most intriguing) fund raising.
Here’s what that looks like at one of the churches we visited.
The church has an annual operating budget of 2.250M Kenyan Shillings (KS) and 9 elders (about $29,000 US). Each elder is responsible for raising 1/9th of the budget – 250,000 KS from the portion of the church families assigned to them. In their vestry (where the elders meet) there is a list on the bulletin board ranking the 9 elders in the fund raising success. The list is updated as contributions come in and there’s a bit of competition to not be at the bottom of the list. This practice is evidently repeated at churches all across the PCEA.
So I started thinking…
Grace has an operating budget of about $5.3M and 38 elders that would only be around $140,000 for each elder to raise….
We likely won’t be heading in that direction – but it does make me wonder how to better share the responsibility for the operating budget with all of leadership.