The rare resource

The following is an excerpt from a strategy & mission committee meeting, called to discuss a critical issue around lack of resources.


“I’ve called this extraordinary meeting today because we’ve come to the point where we have to face some difficult realities. We have done what we can over the past couple of years to address our significant resourcing challenge, but we haven’t been successful. I want to acknowledge how each of you have done your best, taken risks and explored new ideas. It is disappointing that none of these efforts have raised enough extra resources. I’m not sure what the future will hold, but I do feel confident that at this time in the process, we need to look carefully at the landscape and make some collective decisions about the way forward.

“I’m handing you each a printed copy of the current statement from our resourcing account for this financial year. This provides a good summary of our current situation. I’ve also included some data from the last 20 years for greater context.”


  • Resourcing conversations often centre around the financial, but what other resources are vital in the life of the Church? Which of these would you consider rare, or have you seen as scarce?
  • The Statement of Account above, is just an illustration, but it does contain certain trends. What trends do you see happening in the illustration? What might the impact of these trends be?
  • Considering the trends in the illustration, what kinds of focus areas would you recommend investing in?
  • What trends have you noticed across your current experience of Church life? What would you recommend investment in, for the next 5 to 10 years?
  • If you could keep track of a particular aspect of the Church’s life, with a qualitative index like those described above, what would you like to track?
  • What other resource held by the church would it be worth keeping track of as part of our overall resourcing picture?

Wisdom from the pews

“Hope, creativity and initiative are vital resources. Participants in missional work, as well as those in formal roles are regularly making decisions about growing and stewarding people’s hopes and enthusiasm, more regularly in fact, then they are with financial resources. ”

“Individual participants needed encouragement, support, and inspiration to continue being hopeful and to take action. In some places, there is an abundance of practical resources but very little hope.”

“In some instances, innovators or pioneering projects take on big changes, or challenge the status quo to a large extent. This naturally results in resistance which can be difficult to navigate. An alternative is to work strategically, deploying creativity and initiative in places where there is less resistance to change, or beginning with smaller steps and building up. This protects both the enthusiasm and wellbeing of the participants as well as prevents frustration, impatience and disruption that can break down relationships.”

Going deeper

Dewitt Jones a lifetime photographer for National Geographic on a world of possibility

Dewitt Jones is a photographer for National Geographic and in this Ted talk explores how your lens on possibility can broaden your view and uncover incredible treasures. “There is more than one right answer, we can choose to live in a world of scarcity, or a world of abundance”

Funding ministry via tentmaking - Reflections from Rev Sarah Agnew

Rev. Sarah Agnew reflects on alternative models to funding ministry.

“Tent-making or bi-vocational ministry is not simply one ‘one-size-fits-all’ replacement model for an older ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of ministry practice. It will not suit every pioneer leader, for each pioneer leader, however many characteristics we may have in common, is unique in personality, circumstance and experience”