By Pastor Bill
Would you be surprised if I said that I’m feeling very good about where we stand regarding our 2016 Spending Plan? Many might be surprised because what do we see? Week after week we look at the numbers and see this large deficit. We’ve been running about $30,000 behind our Spending Plan goal for most of the year. And it’s in those words “most of the year” that I find reasons for optimism.
The truth is we had a very poor month of January, some low offerings but most critically, a Sunday where we cancelled services and thus received no offering at all. We were four weeks into the year and found ourselves $29,763 behind our spending plan goal.
Have you seen the most recent figures (through July 3rd)? We are currently $28,021 behind our spending plan goal. Do you realize what this means?
While weeks 1 through 4 put us well behind our goal, for weeks 5 through 27 we have not only been meeting our goal, but slightly exceeding it. The truth is, since week 5 we have been doing very, very well.
I don’t want to be accused of being a Pollyanna (excessively optimistic). I realize that a $30,000 deficit is a big number. I realize that we are one or two low offerings away from making my optimism appear faulty.
But I like to look at the big picture and what I see is the fact that the Lord has been very, very good to us, and that for the last 5 months He has seen fit to allow us to meet our weekly/monthly goals.
I realize there is concern among some in our congregation because it appears that we are really struggling with our giving. The closer look at the facts reveal otherwise. Our giving has been quite strong for some time now.
Most importantly, as we saw in Daniel chapter 4, we would be foolish to say, “Look at what we’ve done over the past 5 months!” Everything we have, everything that we accomplish is a gift from God. Let’s remember to thank Him for His goodness to us in the past, and humbly ask that He will continue to show us favor in the days to come. Pray that we will have the opportunity to participate with Him in the work He is doing through the Five Forks Church, in this community, and around the world.
Facts and Figures:
We need to average $22,040 each week in order to meet our 2016 Spending Plan goal. Here are the monthly averages so far:
Finally, through Week 27 of 2015 our total giving stood at $574,358. Through Week 27 of this year our total giving stands at $567,059. $7,299 less than last year. We might say that giving is down. But what does a closer look at the facts reveal?
This year we lost an entire week’s offering due to snow. Yes, it is made up to some extent, but never in full. Second, in 2016 we held a major fundraiser and our congregation gave over $30,000 towards the Belize Mission’s Trip this year. And so while giving to the General Fund is down compared to last year, it appears to me that overall giving is actually up over last year. I’m optimistic! And trusting the Lord.
Thanks for reading!