September 8, 2016
September marks the start of a new budget year at our church. So, as an Elder Team, we wanted to update you as to where we currently stand financially at Bridgeway.
First, we have re-formed the Finance Team. They have helped us create some new financial guidelines and advised us in our 2016-17 annual budget. As an Elder and Finance Team, one area we're concerned about is missional giving at Bridgeway. Last year, only 2.3% of our budget went to missions, and that has to change. This year, we are committing to tithe 10% of our income to missional giving and will let you know how and where your tithe is changing lives locally, regionally, and globally.
Second, we continue to run a deficit of about $15,000 per month. The budget that we conditionally approved includes deficit spending over the next year. We recognize this is not sustainable long term. Over the past several years, we have tightened our belts as much as we can through trimming budgets, restructuring loans and reducing our personnel costs. We are also working to cut down facility costs through potentially releasing our office space to another tenant in the coming months. Regardless, when personnel is 47% of our budget, and operations/facilities represents 36% of our budget, there is only so much we can do before difficult decisions need to be made, and we are at that point. We are in the process of working through a staff restructuring which will not be complete until a new lead pastor is named.
During this difficult financial time, we would encourage you to read Judges 7, and see how God used Gideon and the faith of a small army to defeat the Midianites. Like Gideon's army, we are a small army with big faith, and we believe God is preparing to use us in powerful ways. Be praying about your part in this army and how God might be calling some of you to step up during this time. We encourage you to join us for our next Core Gathering, September 18 at 6:00pm. We will provide more information on the budget, and have a Q and A time to address your questions.
Lastly, be encouraged. We serve a God who is able to do more than we can think or imagine. Despite the financial situation, we are convinced more than ever that God's hand is still on Bridgeway, and continues to change lives through our ministries. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in his church!
- Darrel Cross, on behalf of the Elder Team