Churches in North America today have over $1 trillion in assets that are significantly underutilized. The subtitle for this stimulating book is the topic of our conversation on this podcast — "Why tithes and offerings are no longer enough." Join us for this fascinating conversation about how churches can leverage their assets to serve the community and contribute to their financial sustainability.

More About Our Guest

Portrait of Mark DeYmaz

Mark DeYmaz is pastor of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, in Little Rock, Arkansas and president of the Mosaix Global Network and the convener of the National Multi-Ethnic Church Conference. He is the author of Disruption: Repurposing the Church to Redeem the Community, and Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church.

Episode Transcript

Scott Rae: Welcome to the podcast Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture. I'm your host, Scott Rae, dean of faculty and professor of Christian ethics at Talbot School of theology here at Biola University.

Sean McDowell: I'm your co-host Sean McDowell, professor of Christian apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Scott Rae: We're here with our guests today, pastor Mark DeYmaz, who is the directional leader and lead pastor of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, just outside Little Rock, and president of the Mosaix Global Network, convener of the once every three years national multiethnic church conference. He also serves as adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. He's the author of two incredibly insightful books, the first one called Disruption: Repurposing the Church to Redeem the Community, and the one that we want to feature today, which is brand new, it would just be out called The Coming Revolution in Church Economics.

Scott Rae: It's the subtitle that really caught my attention, why tithes and offerings are no longer enough and what you can do about it. Mark, thank you so much for being with us. Really appreciate you coming on with us today.

Mark DeYmaz: Hey, my pleasure, Scott, Sean, so honored to be with you. I look forward to the conversation.

Scott Rae: Now, tell us a little bit about when you planted Mosaic Church, because as I read in both of your books, you did something that was pretty outside the box when you and your team planted the church. You went into the under-resourced areas, set out an abandoned building, things that most people don't do when they're planting churches. Tell us a little bit about how mosaic church got started.

Mark DeYmaz: Well, I had been a youth pastor for 18 years, and the final eight of those years, I was at a large, a very effective, wonderful actually mega church here in Little Rock in the suburbs, a church that when I got there as a youth pastor in 1993, the church had 2000. Eight years later, there were 5,000 people in that church. My youth group grew from 150 to 600 kids, just an explosive time of growth and an otherwise amazing church. Even still to this day, great folks, great people.

Mark DeYmaz: But in the late '90s, I began to look at that church a bit differently and in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Little Rock Central High School here in Little Rock, I took a good look around the church one day and realized the only people of color in this otherwise amazing church were janitors. That began to bother my spirit. I didn't know why at the time. This is 1997, '98. I didn't really understand why that bothered me, but something about that did not sit well and didn't seem right.

Mark DeYmaz: What I did in my case, I had at that time a master's in Exegesis from Western Seminary. I basically in a sense throughout all my notes from seminary as far as the nature of the New Testament church, church planting growth and development at the end of the 20th and into the 21st century. Essentially, I threw out all my notes and did my own work and got into the New Testament, and came to recognize that every church in the New Testament outside of Jerusalem was what we would call today a healthy, multiethnic, economically diverse church, men and women of diverse ethnic economic backgrounds, walking, working, worshiping God together as one and this more than the verbal proclamation of the gospel.

Mark DeYmaz: It was this demonstration of the prince of peace being able to unite these disparate people groups, again, Jews and Gentiles, men and women, rich and poor, to aggregate them in one church. It wasn't so much the proclamation of words, but this good work. Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 2:10, this good work of bringing diverse people together to walk, work, worship God together as one through faith in Christ, this is what got the attention of the first century, the second, the third.

Mark DeYmaz: Ultimately, I began to ask myself the question, "If the kingdom of heaven is not segregated, then why on earth is the local church?" In 2001, in essence with that passion to see heaven on earth as it were to the degree that it was possible in the local church, I stayed in Little Rock, but yes went to a very different area of the city, under-resourced, the 30% people out or below poverty, 66% of kids without dads, highest violent crime in the city, and basically what Christianity would call four, three years later a big dream in Little Rock.

Mark DeYmaz: That was to bring diverse people together to walk, work, worship him as one. Man, I can't even believe it, but I'm in my 19th year now. That's essentially what got us started.

Sean McDowell: Mark, I worked at a church called the Dream Center in LA that had a similar vision to reach out in the way you're describing your church did. What are some of the barriers to creating the church that was not segregated like you described? Did it take time? Did it take relationships? How was this received when you came and seemingly from the outside?

Mark DeYmaz: Well, yeah. I'm familiar with the Dream Center and Matthew Barnett and what's done on there. It's tremendous work. I think generally speaking, you can think about it in a couple of ways. First of all, as a church plant, I didn't necessarily quote "come in from the outside." I had lived in the city eight years. I had relationships across the city, even from my position as a youth pastor, particularly in the black and white community. I didn't come into the 72204 zip code, the great white hope if you would.

Mark DeYmaz: The second that my wife and I understood this is what God wanted us to do, my first call was to two African American brothers here in the city. One of those joined me in this. We put together a diverse team of people. We never launched the church until at least three ethnicities were being paid. In our case, that was black, white and Hispanic. We generated income both through initial ties and offerings as well as donations from the outside to fund five people to launch this as a team.

Mark DeYmaz: I didn't start this as a... I'm actually white, Russian, Jew and Italian, but identify my mother as white.

Sean McDowell: Wow.

Mark DeYmaz: Fearfully and wonderfully made, right?

Sean McDowell: Interesting.

Mark DeYmaz: It wasn't a white person coming into the community and starting this work and say, "Hey, all you diverse people, join me in what God's telling me to do." It was a team of people who came with the credibility established through relationships across the board in diverse ways, and to a community very under-resourced, underserved, and established the church. Now, that's a church planting model.

Mark DeYmaz: In church transition, if your church is let's say an all-white church, there's a whole lot of other obstacles and challenges, but ultimately, it's rooted in trust and transparency, the building of cross-cultural relationships and competence, not imposing your will or your vision on a community, but becoming incarnate with the community so as to understand the needs, the complexities, the challenges, the key players and build friendships, relationships, develop cross cultural competence in order to make the transition and or to plant in a vibrant and effective way.

Mark DeYmaz: This is a big obstacle, Sean, because in the American church, everything is about explosive growth. This kind only comes out through prayer and fasting. In fact, the danger of explosive growth is modeled in the church of Jerusalem. If you're a pastor listening to this conversation today, if 3000 people joined your church tomorrow, you would be freaking out. You don't have enough parking. You do not have enough nursery beds. You do not have enough staff.

Sean McDowell: That's right.

Mark DeYmaz: If that was just day one, think about Jerusalem. What explosive growth does is it leads often more often than not to internal focus. This is what the American church chases is this explosive growth, this kind, multiethnic, economically diverse, socially just and financially sustainable beyond ties and offerings. This kind only comes out through prayer, patience and persistence, and it takes time and. You got to be willing to do it.

Mark DeYmaz: I tell church planners and people making this journey, it takes seven to 10 years to move from survival to stability in this work, and another seven to 10 to get from stability to sustainability. If anybody's looking for a two, three year quick fix, man, this is not the game for them.

Scott Rae: Mark, let me explore some of the stuff on making it sustainable, because you talk about in your book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics, you and your coauthor Harry Li lay out a number of facts that you suggest are forcing churches to fundamentally change how they do business. What are some of those trends that you saw that led you and your team to these conclusions?

Mark DeYmaz: A great question. Well, in the book, just a quick overview, there's a sociological section, which we'll talk about in direct answer to question. There's a theological section where we deal with seven passages in the New Testament that help us understand why we are doing this here, why we're seeing others do it, and why we're calling people to it, and then of course seven directives for how to get it done. In direct response to your question, Scott, here's just a few, so first, a growing burden on the middle class.

Mark DeYmaz: There's a growing burden on the middle class. Every economic person will tell you that today. Middle class is changing. There's things within that idea of burden on the middle class. I'm 57 years old. I grew up a single parent, born out of wedlock, selling Avon on the streets at seven, but the ideal Ozzie and Harriet family 50 years ago, 40 years ago was mom stayed home with the kids. Dad went to work. A single paycheck paid for everyone's bills, and everybody lived to comfortably middle-class life.

Mark DeYmaz: Those days are gone. Whenever I speak to pastors or audiences about this, I say, "How many of you in your household have at least two incomes?" I'm telling you, 99% of the hands go up. If I say, "how many of you have three or more incomes?" I'd tell you, 70% of the hands go up. The days of one paycheck covering and allowing people to live the middle class life. Those days are gone increasing burden on the middle class. By the way, tithes and offerings equate to the single paycheck of the church.

Mark DeYmaz: That's why it's going to have to develop multiple streams of income. There's only a marginal increase in religious giving. For instance, religious giving is stagnant at best, maybe just a little bit, but for instance, the average median church budget fell from 150,000 in 2009 to 125,000 in 2014. Religious giving for instance to things like arts, cultures, humanities, these things are on significant increase where religious giving is not so.

Mark DeYmaz: There's this decline in religious giving or marginal increases in it, but here's a big one. Of course I can share more, but there's a shift in generational approaches to giving. In other words, people that are roughly, I'd say, 55, 60 and older, the number one way they believe the number one thing that changes the world is money. That's not true with Gen X, millennials, and what will be Gen Z. The lower you go in terms of age, they don't see money is what changes the world.

Mark DeYmaz: They see volunteerism and product endorsement. That's what changes the world. As the income, and I can't remember the exact stat, but I'm going to say 70%, 75% of the wealth in the American churches is held by people 55, 60 and older. As that dissipates down to millennials, gen Z, et cetera, who do not share our opinion that money changes the world, who give on impulse, who believed that volunteerism and product endorsement is what changes the world, this too is already and will continue to affect church giving tithes and offerings going down.

Mark DeYmaz: Not to mention the potential of local church or local governments, taxing church property is a way to generate revenue and or if the federal government at some point steps in through executive order upheld in liberal courts to basically take away tax exemption for the American church. We are not at all prepared for any of that disruption and in the economic system that is the church, and that's what the book is challenging and encouraging for people to understand and consider going forward.

Scott Rae: Mark, in light of that, you tell pastors and churches to, "Stop begging for money." They tell us more about what you mean by that. I take it, that doesn't mean that you stop making financial needs known, but you're suggesting a whole different approach to funding what goes on in the local church.

Mark DeYmaz: Absolutely. In fact, the stop begging for money is one of seven directives. We are challenging giving to churches, to pastors, even the Christian organizations as a way to think about the house. One of the directives is, as you mentioned, stop begging for money. I wish I could take credit for that phrase, but I actually said it in the book. You know who I first heard say that? Rick Warren. He said that at the very first peace initiative-

Scott Rae: How about that?

Mark DeYmaz: ... the very first peace initiative conference. I'm going to say I've got a document in the book, but let's just say seven, eight years ago, I heard him tell an entire audience, "You have to stop begging for money." Now, I don't think he was thinking about what that meant in terms of how I take that, but this idea of stop begging for money, in my opinion, has at least a couple applications. One is like this, there's a lot of transactional relationships going on in the American church.

Mark DeYmaz: Pastors don't want to admit it, and they may not even be consciously aware of it, but let's say I've got a member in my church and that person has a lot of money, or they're somehow successful. Well, no matter what my interaction, it could be a Bible study. "Let's go play golf. Let me take you to lunch." At the back of every pastor's head in that interaction is also the knowledge that this person has money. Part of this goes to... That money should be given to the church.

Mark DeYmaz: Part of this goes to the compartmentalization of the secular and the sacred, where the general attitude, again, whether people are conscious of this or not, is that the role of the business person is to make money and give it to me, the person in ministry, who will then put that money to work for the kingdom. Of course as my good friend Helen Mitchell at Biola will tell you, that is not at all accurate. The sacred and secular should not be compartmentalized. It's like Reese's peanut butter cup, right?

Mark DeYmaz: All that's to say is that the transactional relationships are all over the American church, and by understanding what we're teaching in this book, it moves us away from transactional relationships and from this compartmentalization of the sacred and secular. Begging for money is often a guilt trip. It can be subtle forms of manipulation. It can be turning every passage in the Bible into a passage on giving or generosity.

Mark DeYmaz: Another thing that has to do with is the tithe, because the tithe as we document in the book, and I'm not the first to do this, even Leith Anderson talked about this as head of the National Association of Evangelicals. Tithing is not biblically mandated in the New Testament, and any pastor or church that tries with theological gymnastics to demand the tithe as a New Testament biblical commandment is just not being accurate to the sound decks of Jesus.

Mark DeYmaz: In our book, we call attention to that show that this is not a commandment. However, as you both know, it is a principle of scripture that predates the New Testament, the Old Testament. In our book, we give 10 ways, 10 reasons to encourage a tithe of people in the church, but without commanding or demanding it, or if I could say it, like this begging for money. That disingenuous approach to tithing, some pastors who do it will put guilt trips on the congregation, demand it, and it's just not accurate from a New Testament standpoint.

Mark DeYmaz: Again, you mentioned this already, but yes, tithes and offerings, of course to encourage that, to encourage for principle reasons as we talk about in the book. Generosity. Yes. Financial peace university. Yes. Keep doing all that. Do it all. We're just saying going forward, even that will not be enough. You're going to have to add an additional leg to your financial, to your sustainability model. That is how do you leverage church assets, people, money and buildings to bless the community, advance the common good, the gospel of Jesus Christ, incredible ways in the 21st century, but at the same time generate for-profit ROI?

Sean McDowell: Mark, this is great stuff, and it makes so much sense. When you say stop begging for money, as an apologist, one of the things I frequently hear from critics is, "Well, churches are just asking for money," so not only give a guilt trip to those inside, but those outside one more reason to criticize the church. I love the way you're going with this, but let me ask you a question.

Sean McDowell: You maintained the churches are economic systems. Now, in one sense, that's obvious, but in the other sense, I think we feel like, "Is it unspiritual to consider a church an economic system even though it is?" Why is it so hard for people to grasp that?

Mark DeYmaz: Man, that's a great question. I could literally spend the whole podcast on that, Sean. That is such a great question. It goes back to inaccurate understanding of business from the New Testament standpoint. We deal with that in some of the theological passages, but as you just alluded to in our previous question, the church just gets rung up all the time for being run like a business. We go back to the 70s and business principals entering the church, but not so much in terms of making money but just organizations and systems.

Mark DeYmaz: You've got a noncompete clause. You're on my staff. Now, you got to sign a noncompete clause. You can't plant a church in 60 miles of the church. All of these things give the church a bad name and make it seem as if it's all about money, business, whatever. By the way, that's not at all what I'm talking about in this book. In fact, we say in the book, "Could people take what we're sharing and run with it and use it to build their own kingdoms?" We're like, "Absolutely, yes they can," but our book isn't...

Mark DeYmaz: People are already doing that, right? I mean, they're already built in their own kingdoms on erroneous practice of business. We're saying, "But it shouldn't keep the rest of us from being smart economically." There's all this divorce, if you will, of business from the church. George Mueller, man, just pray about it. Just get on your knees and trust God and have faith, but think about it like this. If you were a pastor and I'd say, "How do you guys do worship?"

Mark DeYmaz: I say, "Do you have a worship planning meeting? Are you intentional? Do you figure out what songs and who's preaching and what...?" Oh yeah, we do that. You don't just show up on a Sunday and go, "Oh man, we just show up. We walk around. We wait for the spirit of God to fall. Man, that's how we do worship, or these other things. We're intentional about this stuff." We have got to be... There is nothing wrong in everything about marrying our faith with intentionality in every aspect of the church, including its sustainability because if we keep giving things away for free, we're not going to be here in 10 years.

Mark DeYmaz: There has to be a smart economic that comes into play. One theological passage, I think you guys might enjoy this one. I love this. How does the American church define good stewardship? I'll give you at least three definitions. One is, "Hey, there's a hole in the wall here in this building that God has given us this building, this property. There's a hole in the wall. There's potholes in the parking lot, and we need to fix that because God has given us this building, and we need to take care of it."

Mark DeYmaz: Another way is we've got to practice proper accounting principles. We got to get the ECFA, a stamp of approval. Let's make sure we've got great accounting for donations, tithes, offerings that come in. Thirdly, let's clearly communicate with people the money we receive and where that's going. The American church, by and large, says that's what good stewardship is. Yes, that is all a part of good stewardship, but that's not what the Bible says good stewardship is. The Bible says good stewardship is this.

Mark DeYmaz: You gave me five talents. Here's your five, and I made you five. You gave me two talents, and here's your two, and I made you two. The one guy who sat on his asset. Think about it. One guy sat on his asset, and the master says, "Wicked slave, take that one asset away from that person and give it to the person with five who knows what to do with it." I didn't put this in the book, but I have it on good authority. It's wonky, but the American church collectively is sitting on roughly $7 trillion of assets that are being unused.

Mark DeYmaz: What does that look like? That's a church, for instance, that owns property. They own 20 acres, and it's sitting there doing nothing. That's a church that came and visited me, a United Methodist church, 75 people in attendance, $2.5 million endowment, and the pastor who just arrived at that church said, "The people, the 75, are so proud of that $2.5 million endowment, but nobody's getting saved. The community's not being transformed. They don't know what to do with it." That's why he came here for help.

Mark DeYmaz: The American church may be sitting on as much as $7 trillion of assets. Imagine if we leverage that. If the American church wakes up to leverage those assets, not to build their own kingdoms, but to advance the kingdom of God, the common good, to put people to work, to repurpose abandoned property, help reduce crime, generate economic flourishing in the community, and all that is Matthew 5:16, "God gets the credit. People see Christ, the future of evangelism." In the 20th century, it was words.

Mark DeYmaz: The 21st century, it is works of justice and economics that's going to get the attention of the loss.

Scott Rae: Mark, let me take this and be a little bit more specific. This is great stuff, but your church has a lot of for-profit businesses that are under your umbrella, and you do a lot of creative things with your building to generate income. Tell us a little bit about some of the ways in which you have changed your economic model specifically to become more economically sustainable.

Mark DeYmaz: You bet. Just real quick, it took us 12 years to purchase a building. For the first 10 to 12 years of our church, the more people that joined our church, it costs us money. It didn't bring us more money. It costs us money because of the homeless, the poor, economically challenged, low-income households. That was our clientele, and so it costs us money. Early on, we had to figure out if it's not just going to be me and a couple of staff and a janitor with 150 people, if we're going to actually do great work in the community for Jesus, for the name of Christ, we're going to have to figure out how do we make this thing work beyond tithes and offerings?

Mark DeYmaz: That's what got us into it. Now, to answer your question directly, there's three ways that a church can begin to think about leveraging its assets. One is become a benevolent owner. One is to monetize existing services, and one is to start new businesses. We do all three of those things here. Becoming a benevolent owner has to do with renting your facility. We don't rent our facility at top dollar. We want to give a break to small business that in turn they can pass on to the community.

Mark DeYmaz: It's a principle I talk about both in disruption and the new book, a principle we defined and called benevolent ownership. What does that look like? I rent 50,000 square feet of 100,000 square foot Kmart to a suburban fitness club. We were able to attract a suburban fitness club to this community of 30% poverty because we didn't charge top dollar on the rent. We charged enough to make half our mortgage payment each month.

Mark DeYmaz: That's what they pay in rent, and because our rent to them was so low, they can charge the community $10 a month for tremendous health, the facility, a fitness facility, $10 a month, no contract. That led to 6,000 numbers in the first year. Benevolent ownership is leveraging your property to bring in business to charge rent, but to charge rent that is reasonable and certainly below market, so they pass on the savings to the community and everybody wins.

Mark DeYmaz: The second way is monetize existing services. Every church is already doing things and have line items in their budgets where they're doing things that could be monetized. The simplest example, I do it in the next book, is coffee. In our case, I learned four years ago, I said to our executive pastor, "How much does it cost us to give away free copy on Sunday morning?" He said, "About $200, $250 a month." That's $3,000 a year walking out my front door. Nobody in business gives away stuff for free.

Mark DeYmaz: Even when they say, "Hey, come down and I'll give you..." They go, "Hey, I'll give you $500 off the car. Come on down and buy one of my cars. I'll give you $500 off the sticker price." Well, they're not giving that to you. Sure, they'll take 500 off the sticker, and then they'll charge you 1500 in the back room on insurance and other ways, so nobody gives anything away for free. I took church money, went and bought a microwave, tinfoil squares, Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits for 12 pack for $10.95 of biscuit.

Mark DeYmaz: You sell 3000 of those on a Sunday morning. You make a buck of biscuit. You erase that line on them, and now you have $3,000 to put into youth scholarships in the summer. There's print shops, janitorial, so all the things churches are already doing could be monetized, and that helps eliminate line items on the budget. More tithes and offerings are then going to direct ministry work instead of things like a janitorial service or coffee. Still do janitor. Still do coffee for instance, but you figure out a way to monetize that, puts people to work, creates jobs, ultimately generates income for the church.

Mark DeYmaz: The last, as you mentioned, is start new businesses. Right now in our church among other things going on, you're going to love this. We are starting a two-room massage studio, believe it or not, a two-room massage body studio. Why?

Sean McDowell: I love it.

Mark DeYmaz: Because a guy on our staff, his wife has been a masseuse for 17 years. They recently moved to the area and became part of our staff. I took a dumpy area of our old Kmart. We're in 100,000 square foot former Kmart. I took this dumpy area that would have zero purpose other than to maybe stack files in or something. We created for about $11,000 of church money. We took 11,000, and built out two rooms that are going to be turned into a massage studio. Now, in our culture particularly, you have sex trafficking.

Mark DeYmaz: You have all these reasons that people could be fearful of going to a massage studio, but rather than be fearful of that, we're spinning that because you can come to this church that's very well known in this community, and you're safe. You're going to get a great massage. We're going to work on your flexibility, your muscle, all that stuff at an affordable price out of the church where you can feel safe. Then we're paying thee masseuses more than they would make, let's say, at massage envy or what have you.

Mark DeYmaz: On top of that, the church makes 20% of each massage. It's a win for the masseuse, the win for the community and a win for the church. This is just an example of how you can leverage church assets to start a business. Eventually, we'll get that 11,000 back, and then we'll be in the net profit, if you will, but even if this couple moves away in three years, now we've got offices we can rent to as a counseling suite. We could rent it to lawyers offices here.

Mark DeYmaz: We turned an area of our facility into a business and put a minority business owner, helped her get that business off the ground. It creates at least three jobs, and will not only erase our 11,000 investment, it'll eventually give us net profit. The community wins. The church wins, and the masseuse wins.

Sean McDowell: Mark, this is such good stuff. We're coming near the end of the podcast, and I know people have a ton of questions. Scott and I are looking at each other thinking we want to go for a couple more hours, but one thing people can obviously do is get your latest book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics, where you spelled this out a little bit. Practically speaking, what are one or two things moving forward that people who go to church, people who are on the board, pastors could do to just start moving their church slowly this direction without feeling overwhelmed by the major task it would take to really get to the area and level you would want churches to get to?

Mark DeYmaz: No, a great question. Obviously, the simple thing I tell pastors is you just got to understand what we're sharing, what we're talking about. By the way, I'm not the only pastor or church doing this in America. There's outliers that are doing this, but there's today until this book, there's not been the language and the structure in a sense to generate a movement, and that's what this book will do.

Mark DeYmaz: Now, having said that, with a pastor, when I tell them all the time, sometimes they'll say, "Oh, Mark, you seem so entrepreneurial and blah, blah blah, but man, I'm just a pastor. I just want to teach the word of God. I want to visit people when they're sick. I want to shepherd, and so what am I supposed to do?" I say, you don't have to be the one to do this, if you will. You just have to be the one to understand the why and the how of this, and particularly the why from a sociological standpoint, the theological standpoint. And then you have to empower business people in a different way than you are in your church. Let them run with this."

Mark DeYmaz: For instance, how do pastors put business people to work? Again, we talked about the compartmentalization. If I've got a business person, number one, many pastors in America are already intimidated by business people because it's different world, and they don't know what to do with them except ask them for money. That's the problem as we talked about, but if I've got a business person in the church, and I get beyond all that stuff and I say, "Joe, you're such a great businessman. I know you've got a small business up the street, and it's very successful. And I know you like the church, and we're good friends. You got a big warm heart and smile. Would you be a greeter?"

Scott Rae: That's right.

Sean McDowell: That's it.

Mark DeYmaz: What do I do? What do I just do? I took an entrepreneur and asked him to be an employee in my company, or I can say, "Hey Joe, you're such a friendly guy, and you got two business. You got about six employees. You're doing great out there. Do you think you could... We've got this thing called first impressions, and there's all these moving parts. We're trying to bring new people in and help them get acquainted, get them into new membership. There's all these different moving parts. Do you think you could figure out how that works?"

Mark DeYmaz: What did I do? I might say, "Sit on our board. Be a part of the board." Sure, we need people to figure out first impressions. Sure, we need people to sit on the board, but if I go and ask an entrepreneur, successful business person to do that, you know what I just did? I made him a manager in my company. You know what I want to say to that business guy and what I tell pastors? Listen, you go up to that business guy or gal, that man or woman who is successful entrepreneurial business like, and you say, "Hey Joe, I got $3,000 a year walking out my front door."

Mark DeYmaz: "Do you think you can figure that out? Do you think you could erase that $3,000 deficit, return 3000 of the budget, and who knows maybe double that? We're generating 6,000 gross out of that cafe. 3000 covers the coffee. 3000 is spent on other things. Now, I've got not only 3000 profit net. I've got 3000 back in my budget. I get 6,000 as a turnaround. Do you think you can figure that out for me?

Mark DeYmaz: Whenever I share that Scott and Sean, whenever I share this with business people and pastors, all the business people, they lurch forward in their chairs.

Scott Rae: It sounds like they totally do.

Mark DeYmaz: They lean into, and they're pounding their fist on the table going, "Finally. When are you going to let me, free me up to be who God's made me to be and to partner with you in this church to make it not only stable but sustainable long term?" This is what pastors can do. Just a simple step. Empower these business leaders. Don't tell them what to do. Tell them your problem, and let them solve it because they can solve it in five days what's going to take you five years to figure out.

Scott Rae: Mark, this is great stuff. As Sean mentioned, and I feel like we're just getting a start on this. We'd love to have you come back on with us another time to explore some of this further. This is such good stuff, and we hope all of our listeners who are on pastoral staffs or pastoring churches or in church leadership, we really hope you take this to heart and get started on some of these steps that will help your church toward a more financially sustainable future.

Scott Rae: Mark, thanks so much for being with us. This is great stuff. Sean and I, we wish you all the best from Mosaic Church going forward, and whatever disruptions may come from Mosaic Church in the future, we pray God's best for you.

Mark DeYmaz: Hey guys, thanks so much for having me. Anytime, we love to talk again.

Scott Rae: This has been an episode of the podcast, Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture. To learn more about us and today's guest, pastor Mark DeYmaz, and to find more episodes, go to That's If you enjoyed today's conversation, give us a rating on your podcast app and share it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening, and remember, think biblically about everything.