What Your Gifts Will Do in '92

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Money is a cultural symbol that allows people to express what they value. A twenty dollar bill is hardly worth more than a sheet of notebook paper in itself. But we have all agreed that it will have authority to represent a certain value. So you can exchange it for an oil change, or two large pizzas, or a missionary care package. Currency has virtually no moral significance. The only thing that counts is what we value. What we do with our currency witnesses to that. If the ministries and missions and personnel represented in the following budget is what you value, you will witness to that with your gifts. If it is not, you probably won’t.

The happiest church is where the people love (value!) what the church is committed to and what it spends its money on. I pray that your heart and our budget are coming close to God’s will. Read on and pray.

On Wednesday, January 29 the congregation approved a 1992 budget of $1,263,346. This was $95,000 less than the budget proposed last December. Still it represents an 18.7% increase over last year’s income. It is aggressive and mission driven.

New this year is a division of the mission budget into three parts. This reflects the new structuring of the old mission board into three Ministry Groups: “Evangelism and Home Missions” ($86,026); “Urban and Social Ministries” ($44,924); and “Foreign Missions” ($301,670). This last amount includes about $104,000 for Baptist General Conference missionaries. The Home Missions amount includes $43,808 for BGC and Bethel and Minnesota Baptist Conference ministries. The total mission part of the Budget (money directed to causes beyond our own people) is 34% of the total budget.

The Christian Education budget is $34,050. This includes materials, curriculum, events, training, family week, drama, camping, etc. for children, youth, and adults. The old C.E. Board is also being restructured into three groups corresponding to children, youth and adults so that each can have the specialized leadership needed.

The Music budget is $17,539. This includes music literature, instrument maintenance, supplies, leadership training, and guest musicians when we have an orchestra or various ensembles beyond what we can staff with our own musicians. The total is 1.3% of the total budget.

Office expenses amount to $70,800, and hospitality costs come to $4,500. Property and Transportation maintenance costs $141,200. And underlying all this ministry is the compensation of the pastoral staff and the office and custodial staff at $554,437 (=43.8% of the budget). This includes some new office help as well as a proposed part time minister for seniors beginning in the summer and a proposed full time associate for young adults beginning half way through the year. The salary increases were zero for 1991 and approximately 5% for 1992.

I believe in this ministry. I look at the mission lineup and say, “This is not just a church, it’s a mission agency.” I plan to invest virtually all my money here that I don’t have to spend to educate and nurture family. I hope many of you feel this way.

From one cheerful giver,

Pastor John