My Prayer: Father, use me until I am used up, then call me home and may I hear "well done good and faithful servant". Amen.
The vacuum cleaner breaks down. We're actually having a special offering for it... but at $3-500, I think we should have planned ahead and budgeted for it.
Perhaps it is reasonable at this point to conclude that everyone has done an admirable job of expressing themselves. I don't think Dwayne expects to come away from this discussion having convinced everyone else to go to their District Assembly and vote to amend their finance committee report.
Nor do I think Jon expects Louisiana to have a second Assembly to rescind the previous action because he's convinced everyone that the action shouldn't have been taken.
To me, this is a good time to congratulate one another for their participation and see if there's any more developments on the new FtM approach.
We had some big early supporters (non-Nazarene) who were concerned that 10% the money they were giving us to help start the church was actually going to other people. We let them know that this was just the way it was going to be, that we believed God wanted us to be an others-focused and mission-focused church, so we were going to give away 10% of everything that came in.
It didn't stop them from supporting us. They still gave generously. Who knows -- they may have given more generously because they liked that we were committed to being that sort of church.
Under the FtM plan, we still plan to, as you said, pay our budgets in full and know that monies raised for special purposes will go 100% to that purpose. We just know that if we have an extra $10,000 come in for a special need, that we're going to be more generous than we'd originally planned toward WEF and the others. Like I said, the new plan doesn't change this at all. The old plan just pushed the increase in denominational expectations into the next fiscal year. The new plan keeps it in the current one.
I'll pray along with you that the new plan doesn't negatively impact giving! Hopefully God will give us wisdom to know how to explain it to our people in a way that makes sense to them and encourages them to be even more generous with the resources God has entrusted to them!
Congratulations Dwayne,this is a good time to congratulate one another for their participation and see if there's any more developments on the new FtM approach
Thanks for jumping in. You picked a tough first topic. Anything dealing with denominational issues tends to be touchy and working with money of course, well, that goes without saying. I understand the issue better because of your statements, and it will help me as a district finance committee member to be better prepared for our district assembly than I otherwise would have been.
I hope that every local, district, and global entity processes these changes in such a way that the mission each is advanced rather than hindered. It is clear to me that you have this same heart. I hope to hear your input on other matters as well.
Scott C, what do you think about inviting Dwayne to have the last word in the thread and then tie a bow on it?
Again, thanks for your participation... and for sharing your perspective on the topic... it's nice to hear directly from the individuals involved, rather then trying to ascertain what took place....
I certainly hope that our vigorous debate on this topic won't hinder your participation on other NazNet topics. I'm really a nice guy, once you get to know me.
I, as you can tell, love a good discussion and debate. That being said, I do not want to be the one to prevent anyone else from having the opportunity to express themselves.
I will end my discussion with something I know we can agree on.
Let's pray that the decisions made by laymen and pastors at the local level to the decisions made by the BGS will be guided by the HOLY SPIRIT, and these decisions will have a positive impact on the operation of the local church as well as the demonination in its world wide ministry.
I know we all love the CHURCH(Body of CHRIST) as well as our demonination, and only strive for the best for both.
We may disagree on this matter, but we can agree that it is GOD's will which we seek. May HE enlighten us all so that we can work for the betterment of HIS Kingdom!
Hey Scott C. -- It's WHO DAT!!!!!!
If this thread was an album and I was drawing the cover art, it would be a picture of a bunch of CPA's poring over the new formula for figuring Adjusted Gross Income on form 1040.
Just one more thing... I was reminded last night of another salient detail in the transition to the new formula.
While the new paragraph (38.5) wasn't introduced until GA2009, GA2005 took action that authorized the BGS/GB to create a new tithe-based funding formula for implementation in 2007. While it was a couple years late, the new FTM plan, as first introduced (but not implemented) in the fall of 2008, was a result of that action in GA2005. Because it came late, it was easy for everyone (including me) to confuse it with GA2009 business. But in reality, FTM was a result of GA2005.
This didn't come about because the BGS/GB decided we needed a new formula. It came about through several assemblies worth of resolutions that sought a new formula.
There is no mercy from above.
There is no grace offered to those who fall short.
There is punishment awaiting those who don't measure up.
The poor widow will give her mite and be scorned for it.
The wealthy will tip and be praised for it.
The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer.
All will be the same in the church as it is in the world....and life will go on.
And let's remember that unlike the UMC Mission-share system, there really are very few consequences to churches for failure to pay budgets.
Whatever church is the equivalent of the poor widow and gives its all, will be celebrated far and wide as a 100% church, perhaps the first in history. In fact, your post makes me think. This is not so far fetched. If I remember correctly, this is what charlie shedd's church did. http://www.amazon.com/Exciting-Churc...667374&sr=1-29 They committed to giving away a dollar for every dollar they spent, which I think by our new funding formula would figure out to a church being a 100% church.
Organic churches would be especially well set up for this approach. If we ever manage to move away from professional salaries and big buildings, we would have a real shot at this. It would require a very mobilized laity and tentmaking clergy.
It's my day off. the ADD is in full blossom. Here's another little irony at work here.
it is my observation that many of our smaller churches are actually populated by more affluent people on average than our larger churches. Average per capita giving statistics may support this. So the churches we look at as poor widow churches may in fact be those in the cushiest situation in terms of money and property per member. And the larger growing churches who raise more money collectively are often full of folks who are on average less capable of giving. These churches are serving way more people on way less money and property per member.
Just make me wonder who the poor widow is and who the wealthy one is, when it comes to churches.
While I'm sharing: I think of this little ditty: "Doom and despair, agony on me. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." I have kinda quit sharing this one, because my wife thinks I am talking about her...
Funny, my wife liked me for my sense of humor 24 yrs ago. Now it just annoys her...112
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
~ Stella Adler ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It takes a great deal of maturity to accept that trying to eliminate all risk eliminates life.
~ Susan Lapin ~
On the other hand, you may be right about the per capita giving. I see that more as related to "social loafing." People in smaller churches tend to see themselves as more responsible for the survival of the church and are, thus, willing to dig deeper. If something needs to be done, they realize the only way to get it done is to find funds for it, probably from their personal resources. In contrast, those in larger churches can more easily look around and say, "There are other people who can contribute here. It doesn't all depend on me. I'm surely not the only one who can see how badly this needs to be done."
Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of where I'm going to find the extra time to do all the breakouts that are now required) but the new apportionment actually removes the ability of the District from messing with the global apportionments. In my state, the local church paid the P&B and education portions to the District based on that income reported that the District required (which excluded special offerings, building fund money and pass through funds) WEF funds were always paid directly to Kansas City, and it was determined by last years total income. Now the P&B and Education portions are paid directly to Kansas City (and appropriate University) and the District is only paid their portion. If the district choses to expand or limit the what they require reported it only effects the district and not global apportionments.
If the District moves to limit the amount reported to Kansas City that's an issue whose validity needs to be taken up with the District representatives, not the local churches. They are doing what they've been told they can do. (they meaning me) BTW: Our district makes no distinction in the apportionment. Anything reported to Kansas City or Trevecca is based on total income, no exclusions.
BTW: Just for an fyi. This is the first year in many that we actually had to dip into the operating funds to meet our WEF goal. Prior to this year (it's been a tough year all the way around) we always received more than our share through special offerings and designated funds. The verdict is still out on whether this is going to be a positive or a negative until we see how it actually impacts us in the pew but I will say this: Theories are great but saying that it should be for the greater good of the church is one thing, but if the guy in the pew percieves it as losing control of his "above and beyond the tithe" contributions, who wins if it stops. To me it's like my brother in law. He had been unemployed for about 4 months and received a job offer making $40,000. He turned it down because he used to make $60,000. I asked him how much he was making now.
I'm glad we spent the $40,000.00 to have our parking lot repaved two years ago and the $26,000 for a new bus last year because I'm afraid that under the current situation our elderly people would still be walking through a mine field to get into the church and the kids in our bus ministry would now be walking. It's been mentioned that we eventually paid those expenses because they were part of the formula for figuring our next years WEF goal, but the KEY is that we didn't have to pay them TODAY!!!!!
Just my two cents worth.
I like the fact that our apportionments are now based on current income instead of last year's income. Previously, if you had a great year followed by a tough year, income-wise, you'd be saddled with higher apportionments (based on the good year's numbers) during that tough year. Now, if you're having a tough year, your apportionments scale down to match. If you're having a great year, they scale up. And, of course, we still have until the end of the church year to get them paid, if we need to fall behind for a month or two due to lower-than-expected offerings.
Just two more of my cents.