If you are a pastor or full time ministry staff worker and you have other businesses on the side, this post may be of interest to you.
About seven years ago, our Pastor encouraged the congregation to read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad and the Cashflow Quardrant. Many of us did and as a result we began to seek out multiple streams of income. Several of us have one or more rental properties and/or a variety of other businesses.
What most of us have found is that it is not wise to mix church relationships and personal business. As much as we sometimes want to help out a member of the congregation, we have decided to separate church and personal business. The following examples are some of the reasons that I separate church from personal business. Of course, these reasons don’t apply to everyone but they are not hypothetical examples. I have either experiences or witnessed all of these and some of my friends have experienced them as well.
If you rent a house to a member of your church and they don’t pay the rent, you will eventually have to evict them. You still have to pay the mortgage, insurance, property taxes and upkeep on the house, but the tenant (your fellow church member) thinks you are not a Christian if you ask them to vacate the property.
When you rent property to fellow church members, they seem to forget that what they have with you is a business arrangement.
If you have to evict your fellow church member, sometimes they want to bring the pastor, deacons and board of directors into the equation.
If you have to evict and you are the pastor . . . Need I say more!
Between late rent, evictions and deposit deductions because of property damage, many of these people end up leaving your church.
Once your former tenant leaves the church, they bad mouth you and the church, even though they did not pay their bills.
Your fellow church member think they deserve a discount and are offended if you don’t offer one
Your fellow church member wants their job done free and are appalled when they realize they will have to pay for a service
I own one rental property in my community and another out of state. I do not rent to church members. So far it has been a non issue because when the property is vacant, I don’t mention it to church members. My other business involves a web site where I sell bath and body products and I make gift baskets. I do offer these services to members and I sometimes have to deal with members who want freebies and discounts.
Products and gift baskets are given away at my discretion and I help people pay their rent and other bills with no expectation of being repaid. These are gifts and things I choose to do to help someone in need. It’s not business. To keep the peace and avoid drama, this how I choose to operate.
If you are a pastor/business owner, church staff/business owner, or maybe just a member of the church, this is something to think about. I realize that everyone doesn’t fit into these categories, but eventually you will run across those who do.