20 Jacob made a solemn promise: “If God is with me and protects me on this trip I’m taking, and gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, 21 and I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone that I’ve set up as a sacred pillar will be God’s house, and of everything you give me I will give a tenth back to you.”
Giving generously of our income and resources is a foundational part of our faith and discipleship. The Bible makes multiple references to giving as being one of the strongest indicators of the state of our heart. Giving to God requires trust in God to lead those who receive it to use it where there is need. In our denomination, that is decided by our Church Council and overseen by the Finance Chair.
This year, our estimated operations budget for the church was $112,000.
As of the mid-point of the year, we have spent $51,625 and received $50,172 in tithes and donations. The bad news is that we spent more than we anticipated due to a couple of unforeseen costs. The good news is we are under budget in many of our categories and have some surplus funds in our General Fund account. Pastor Nick and the Church Council are doing all they can to reduce operational costs to help with capital improvements and ministry costs discussed below:
As you may have heard or noticed, our HVAC units are getting to the point of needing to be replacement both for maintaining the building’s health and overall safety. We are currently in the process of receiving bids from contractors that explore all the various options from simply replacing the we have to doing a full renovation of our system’s ventilation, adding extra ducts, and placing two additional units in the sanctuary to help keep it cool. We are budgeting $40,000 for this project, which is on the high side of the bids, to cover any extra costs that may arise.
In addition to that project, we have been gradually making changes to heighten building security both inside and out. This requires the modification of doors and windows from their current state to more modern fixtures. Any funds left over from the HVAC will go toward these improvements.
In addition to these expenses, we still have another half year of operations and ministry costs to go. This includes our apportionments that go to the Tennessee Conference. These funds we send annually go to ministries that do not have a steady income stream or any income at all, including missional work done nationally and internationally, our institutes of higher education, campus ministries, our UMC camps, homelessness and poverty initiatives, funding clergy health plans, and many other good works associated with our denomination. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these costs, Pastor Nick will gladly speak with you about them.
Also included are funds that go toward our ministry at Charlotte-Fagan from staff salaries to buying curriculum to tuning the piano and paying our utility bills.
Our campaign goal for the year is $________________.
While we appreciate donations and gifts, the best way for our church to grow is to give regularly through year-round tithing. This helps in planning missional ministry work and preparing for future costs rather than hoping we will find donors in times of emergency or large project costs.
If you feel led by God to give regularly of your tithe but are unsure how to begin, below is a basic calculation of giving percentages arranged by income level. And don’t feel pressured to start at a level that feels uncomfortable. This is a discipline, and discipline takes time. Lean on the wisdom of 2 Corinthians 9:6-7:
“…the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver.”
|Calculating Monthly Tithe|
|Annual Income||10% Tithe||5% Tithe||3% Tithe|
If you have questions about giving from your “net” vs. “gross” income, what the Bible says about tithing, and other questions, you can click here to learn more.