Our local partner NCEASL supports and equips rural church planters in various ways including through providing small grants and training. During the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdowns in 2020, many of the rural church planters in Sri Lanka faced great difficulties in managing their households since the lockdowns and economic recession had affected their congregations as well.
In November 2020, training commenced targeting 150 such church planters, and 17 were trained in the first cohort. The training is done is by PW Curriculum Coaches.
The objective of training was to help them understand the biblical worldview of business, and learn and apply financial management and marketing principles in order to develop their livelihood initiatives-- especially in these critical times when congregations’ and pastors’ incomes are affected. The training was done via Zoom in November and December 2020. The immediate feedback from the seventeen pastors included the following:
- For the first time they recorded household expenses and income, and this helped make informed decisions. One pastor shared details of his income and expenses with his wife for the first time; this has really helped the relationship. Another pastor got his teen daughter engaged in managing the accounts of both their household and his business.
- Learning to keep business expenses and income separate from household expenses has made a big difference, and several unplanned expenses have been identified and have now been converted to daily savings.
- Started to save for short-term goals as well as long-term goals, and learned to have cash saved for emergencies
- Learned to identify the various components of production (variable) costs, as well as fixed costs (overhead) and how to calculate breakeven-point and not simply assume that all income is profit.
- Learned the need to focus on the business with same intent as they focus on their ministries by learning that business is a holy calling too.
Following the training, NCEASL commenced releasing grants to these pastors to develop their ongoing businesses, with the confidence that the pastors can now implement their business growth plans using the valuable skills learnt.
Through the training and the subsequent grant received, these pastors are equipped to generate their own income so that they can feed their families and continue their ministries effectively. We at PW are so thrilled to see how our network continues to grow, flourish, and make real and sustainable impact!