$3,000 a Week

Many of you are praying for CVC and for me personally. Thank you again.

Our weekly budget is $9,000 – this is the amount of money we need to bring in with our offering to pay all of our bills – mortgage salaries, lights, ect… This does not include program money (we are on a budget freeze), and it does not include paying off money we owe to people. 9K is the “bare-bones” budget number.

This is the public number that we show everyone. We print it on the back of our bullitein each week.

We also print the number of last week’s offering. We tend to average around $6,000.

That’s a $3,000 gap.  Each week.

last week’s offering was closer to $5,000. That number will get printed on next week’s bulletin.

I talked to leadership about some steps to take – they are in prayer now over what I’ve shared.

I’ve been asking questions like –

What’s the right thing to do in this situation?

How do Christians act when faced with this information?

If character counts the most when character is most needed, how do we act according to strong character?

This is just the public info – there’s more going on behind the scenes. One thing has been evident – a need to be more open and transparent and a need to communicate in new and different ways. I’ll continute to be transparent. This story is still evolving.

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12 Responses to “$3,000 a Week”


  1. 1 Lewis September 3, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I can tell you this, covering up money doesn’t bode well. That’s from experience. I’m not saying anyone in your church is doing that at all since I don’t know the situation. But when a church can’t be honest with itself about money and money issues, it’s a sign that there’s a deeply negative stronghold existing in the church.

  2. 2 klampert September 3, 2008 at 9:21 am

    now take a third of that and youve got my church…

    I think people should give what they should give…and then faith comes in. I think it is ok to tell people things are tight, but some churches are just not well off money wise. Good thing God has a plan

  3. 3 Mike September 3, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I hate to say it, Billy, but if you are bringing in half to two thirds of your minimum, your leadership needs to make some hard choices.

    We went through this a few years ago. We had to cut a lot of things, including staff. I’t stinks, but there it is.

    Lewis is right in that transparency is key. Your people need to know what’s up, and how short you are. But… coming up week after week and talking about financial shortfalls will ring hollow unless you are running very lean to begin with.

    The problem really comes when your at where you are now – trying to keep the lights on and the water flowing and the roof over your heads at the expense of ministry.

    You really need to ask some hard questions. Are you in too much of a building? Do you have too much staff? Is your congregation being faithful with their tithes? (if you practice tithing, and you should.) Is the church faithful in IT’S tithe? Are you actively going out and bringing in people?

    You may need some outside help and advice. There are ministries that specialize in this kind of thing.

  4. 4 janowen September 3, 2008 at 9:35 am

    we are in a similar place ……….and it’s tough

  5. 5 Billy Chia September 3, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Mike,
    “if you are bringing in half to two thirds of your minimum, your leadership needs to make some hard choices.”

    – this is a bit of an understatement 🙂

    The hard choice making has been going on for a while now and it continues…

    You’re questions are ON POINT. They fit right with the flow of “How do we act with solid Christian character?”

    Jan, Joel,
    If we can do it you can too! Our God is HUGE. These issues are a small matter for the awesome, mighty power of the King of Universe.

  6. 6 Mike September 3, 2008 at 11:32 am

    “You’re questions are ON POINT. They fit right with the flow of “How do we act with solid Christian character?” ”

    The key to the whole deal is “stewardship,” my brother. I think you’ve pretty much nailed it that that’s what you need to be talking about. How are you doing with God’s resources? Sounds like you are asking the right questions.

    I emailed you a specific ministry I’ve had experience with…

    Mike

  7. 7 Eric Atkins September 3, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Many churches publish their intakes each week. It would be interesting to see a study that charts the total amount of money per person over time to see how it is affected by world events. Like say…over a period of 20 years. I think it would be a powerful tool to help communities plan for the future.

    Maybe one day I’ll start a community that will have no debt, full budget transparency, and no professional Christians. 🙂 Ideally, everyone in the congregation would be or be on track to 100% debt reduction so that their purchasing power would be greatly increased. I believe the financial state of a community is directly reflective of the financial state of the individual. If the individuals are living below their means, then the community will be able to live below their means but above their dreams. I believe even a small church would be able to financially impact the world in more ways than some mega churches can.

    Being a financial slave to a company stops a Christian individual from reaching their full purchasing potential. And the same goes for the church community. Imagine if 90% of a congregation were debt free, had full ownership of their assets, and took ownership of specific ministries and goals.

    I think a church community needs/wants something to buy into. A dream. A vision. A special purpose. I think people want to be successful and I think if they had vested interest in the community, there will be no budget crisis.

    Unrealistic dream? Perhaps. But, that’s probably only because of the way the modern church has decided to function in today’s society.

  8. 8 Mike September 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    “Many churches publish their intakes each week. It would be interesting to see a study that charts the total amount of money per person over time to see how it is affected by world events. Like say…over a period of 20 years. I think it would be a powerful tool to help communities plan for the future.”

    Planning is important. Too many churches (ours included at one point) rely too heavily on the “faith” budget. That’s all well and good, but there needs to be some reality in there.

    If a church has a hundred faithful members who are faithfully tithing, and the average family income is a eight hundred bucks a week, then expecting ten thousand a week in the offering plate is unrealistic. Honestly, eight thousand is unrealistic, as no church is at 100 tithe. A realistic number is probably half of that. Saying “God will provide the rest” is not just irresponsible, it’s poor stewardship. (I’m not saying that’s what Chase Valley is doing, it’s just an example.)

    A church that budgets $200,000 one year and gets $150,000, and then budgets $220,000 the next year “by faith” is being irresponsible.

    While the money is God’s, economics are Caesar’s. And we need to render unto Caesar what is his. We need to use realistic accounting and forecasting practices, and have people on the board or stewardship council who understand that.

    Billy, I pray you guys come through this time. I think you will. You seem to recognize the issues at hand and to be taking appropriate steps.

  9. 9 Billy Chia September 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Eric,
    I love the God-sized vision man 🙂 In that area unrealistic is the way to go!

    Mike,
    I love the well-thought-out stewardship principles 🙂 In that area realistic is the way to go!

  10. 11 Randy Miller September 4, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    A couple of thoughts:

    Financial issues are only the symptom of a deeper problem. Possible problems might be: lack of financial integrity, poor stewardship, poor accountability, lack of vision

    Financial issues are simple to solve: either you get the people in the pews to give more money, or you get more people in the pews that give money or a combination of both.

    I’ll continue to keep you in prayer…

  11. 12 Chris Stout September 15, 2008 at 9:15 am

    This was in our bulletin this week:

    “Currently we are $4,100 behind schedule to meet budget to pay our facility payment on Oct. 1. Our missionaries have not been paid for September-we usually pay them on the 1st. August payroll was paid one week late, and we are already $2,700 behind schedule to meet payroll on time for September. Our staff has not had health care benefits paid for the past 4 months.”

    That last part really hits me in the gutt. Being in the military, my family doesn’t pay a dime for health. I pay a small fee a month, less then $20 for it. Two of our pastors have young children and ministry is their sole income.

    Someone said, we have hard choices to make, and pointed out the building, etc. How can we justify moving into a cheaper building when we’re at capacity on our current and opening doors to more? I’ll have to post about it.


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