For several reasons, your church has taken steps to reduce its expenses. This has resulted in some changes to the budget and the elimination of a few staff positions. Please know that the departure of staff is very painful. We have a wonderful staff and they have done a wonderful job for the church.
Let me explain why this has taken place. There are three reasons. The first is the economy. Everyone understands that the economy has affected almost every aspect of our lives. We hear that Sprint or Ford are laying off and we seem to understand. It is more difficult when it is our church.
The second reason that we needed to make changes to our budget is because of our building campaign. Significant monies that would likely have been given to the general fund in the walk to the manger last December, have instead gone into the building fund. The other thing that happens in capital campaigns is that you explain to your folks that capital giving is over and above. But there are still many who simply take what they gave to the general fund last year and give half of that to the building campaign. That can place considerable pressure on the general fund.
The third reason that we have amended our budget is because of the rise in our conference apportionments over the last five years. Because of some changes in the way that apportionments are calculated, ours have gone up by $30,000 per year for the last 5 years. That is an increase of $150,000 hard dollars to the budget that we have worked to absorb. Our apportionments were artificially low because we grew so fast. When we moved into the building in 1999 our apportionments were 25,000. Today they are $230,000.
The fact of the matter is that we were staffed successfully for a church in a thriving economy with apportionments of $60,000. In order to operate in our new reality, some changes needed to be made.
We could have done nothing, and just waited until there was a disaster. [I have seen churches do that.] Then I could get up in the pulpit every week and ask for more money. We did not want to do that. That is not good leadership. The budget team, the staff parish team and lead staff chose to act proactively to manage these issues and keep us in a position where we can lead the church as you would expect.
I thank you for your faithful support of your church. If you have any questions, please call or email me.
It’s a beautiful day in God’s world, be sure to see the good.