How Our Church Did This Month
The final numbers came in for our church finances in September and it was the lowest giving we’ve had in over a year and half. We operate on $40k a month budget. That’s a stripped down budget, consisting only of low pay for four people and our rent and utilities.
Rent ----------------- $11,918
Utilities ------------- $2,133
Staff ----------------- $22,025
Insurance ----------- $3,055
Missions (A29) ----- $1,050
Total ----------------- $40,181
Our financial team and elders worked really hard on this budget this time last year to try and set a budget that would be conservative and still allow us to save. You can see here that for most the year it worked and was just about right. Most of the months in the year we either made it or exceeded it and were able to put some cushion into savings. But hitting as low as we did last month only bringing in $27k, drained $13k of the $17k we had saved up.
I love you all and don’t want to scare you. It’s part of my job to help us feel safe and secure. At the same time I have to be honest and tell you the reality of the situation. Church is a body and a family and when one part of the body hurts we all hurt and the Bible tells us to bear that burden together. So here’s the burden, the reality is, if we have another low month this month like we did in September then one of two things happen- either we can’t pay rent and lose this building or none of the staff team gets paid.
Both of those are really, really serious situations. The church isn’t a building, it’s a body of people and at the same time this building is a blessing. There’s so much we’re able to use it for, of course Sundays to gather and minister to children and then in the week we have leadership development, mom’s Bible study, mercy ministry dinner feeding the homeless, youth group on Friday night…there’s tons of ways we’re able to use this building to reach and minister to people.
When it comes to our staff, Pastor Ryan Buss, our Worship Director, Ryan Leech, Tate Miller, our Office Administrator, and myself, a team I simply believe is the best we’ve ever had. We gel and work so well together. If we let go of everyone but me it still wouldn’t be enough to cover that low of a month again and I don’t think I can pastor a church of our size without the help they provide.
First, I’m sure the question on many of your minds is “what happened?!!” Here’s the good news…when this happened a year and a half ago it was the result of planting another church out of our church and letting our worship director at the time go and a bunch people left as a result. The good news is a bunch of people have not left our church this time. Our attendance numbers are actually up and we’ve just covenanted a bunch of new members. There is so much fruit and exciting things that are happening. Some of you are new and your coming in and you can probably sense that. There is a lot of life, new life, new babies, new Christians, all kinds of cool stuff going on. We’re actually in a really good season as a church in terms of our church life.
As we’ve looked into it, what happened is there’s a number of faithful members who either lost their jobs and couldn’t give or had to give significantly less last month due to varying circumstances. Which I actually want to note. So many of you give so generously and so faithfully it just astounds me. I’m overwhelmed and can’t believe how much some of you give and it just makes me so proud and honored to be a part of such a generous, God honoring, gospel minded group of people.
Now, there’s another group of us who come regularly, and even some official members who don’t give at all, which is confusing. So hear my heart on this. I think we’re supposed to give financially to a church not just because it’s how God designed and what He says to do in the Bible, though those are good reasons.
I think above all we’re to give out of gratitude and partnership. We give because God has given us life and breath and has given us salvation in giving us His Son, so we give generously and joyfully to partner with God and His mission of spreading that good news in the world and in our city. Which is exciting. It’s exciting to partner together in this work, reaching people and doing something with our money that counts for eternity!
So I feel burdened and I say this honestly as your pastor. We don’t give to get, giving to church isn’t a money making scheme. However, at the same time, how can any of us expect God to bless us in anything we’re doing with our lives and our money if we’re not honoring Him and caring for His family with what He blesses us with? That just doesn’t compute to me and it makes me really worried about hearts and spiritual life with God.
Sometimes maybe the thought is, “Well I don’t have much to give.” That’s okay. What matters is our heart behind it. We’re supposed to give at least 10% (Mal 3:8-10) of our income, but even if you can’t do that, every little bit helps and you would be surprised, this little bit and that little bit and this little bit…it all adds up...to about $13k last month.
I want to tell you a quick story. There’s a member of our church who lost his job a couple years ago. He was looking for work for months and we we’re praying together and talking together all the way along. I remember telling him, “Hey man, don’t worry about giving.” But he was adamant and told me he wasn’t going to stop. Things came down to the wire and he had one month left before he had to move out…and then he got a job. That was a couple years ago. Now he’s working for this great company and keeps getting promotion after promotion, even hiring people now to work for him!
Now I’m not telling you to give even when you don’t have anything, but I am saying that I believe God honors our regular faithful giving to Him and His work.
I’m calling all of us as a church to pray. We believe God is not done with our church but has great things in store for us. God is our provider and so pray that He will move upon people’s hearts and through that provide for us.
We have a member meeting on the last Sunday of the month after service on October 28th. Please be there. Members need to be and if you’re not yet a member and want to come you’re welcome to. We want to hear from you and may have some hard decisions to make. And we want to ask everyone to re-submit giving pledges so we can build a good budget for 2019.
We’re going to take some sovereign medicine and rest in believing that God is in control and has a plan He is working on in and through this. You see the hard thing about God’s sovereignty is we often can’t tell what He’s doing in the moment. A lot of times we’re able to look backward afterwards and see what He was up to but it’s hard in the moment. We believe God is at work and is doing something good through this.
God has complete and total control over all things…over all the things of our lives and all the things of our church, so we rest knowing that God is sovereign. He’s on the throne. He is ruling and reigning and He’s got it. God cares. God cares for you and He cares for our church.
If you have family or friends that would be willing to help The Resolved Church in our time of need, please share this blog with them!
So this Fall, we have enacted what we're calling the 50 / 50 / 5 Vision. We're praying for:
50 new people
$50K monthly budget
We know this is a realistic goal but we need your help, prayers, and partnership to make it happen!
Would you join us in the 50 / 50 / 5 Vision and close the year out strong for God's Kingdom and His glory?