Dear Everyday Church family,
Welcome to the second finance update of 2022. Remember our goal in these updates is to give information, but also to remind us of our church values when it comes to our finances:
The aim of these values, is that over time, and through consistent expression through real action, these values become our default culture. We are getting there in terms of our church culture and hope that you are seeing a similar culture develop in the handling of your personal finances.
We are all so aware of the challenges of this season. As COVID finally begins to ease we experience the uncertainty caused by war in Ukraine. Obviously the impact on the people of Ukraine is so much greater than anything we are experiencing. However, we are being impacted by the instability that war brings across the nations and the specific impact on the cost of living.
How do we navigate these challenges? The answer to this question will depend on our individual circumstances, but our key financial principles can help us.
Being honest with God and with others can be hard. If it is tough for you right now please be as open as you can. Often our culture or upbringing has taught us to not talk about money. However, this can mean that when we are struggling we suffer in silence. A combination of embarrassment and pride can lead us to feeling totally isolated, and isolation can so easily to poor decision making. Find a friend you can talk to. Remember we do have a Church Family Fund to help people in difficulty. If you need help speak to your Life Group Leader or to someone on your Venue Leadership team.
Am I budgeting well? Do I have someone who is able to ask me about my finances? These are key aspects of handling our money in a biblical way. But the other key area of biblical accountability is to remind ourselves what scripture says about the provision of God. God’s promise is that he will provide. It is so easy to worry about money – especially when times are tough. But the bible reminds us time and again that God is a generous God who provides for us as we seek his Kingdom. Being biblically accountable is about reminding one another about the promises of God when it comes to provision.
It is easy to retreat from being generous. Developing a value of generosity is always a battle. So much of the world’s narrative on finance is about saving and placing our security in our bank balance. Whilst it is important to be wise and to budget well, the overwhelming emphasis of scripture is to be generous towards God and towards others – especially those who are struggling. For those of us who have been blessed with more than we need in this season, let us remember to keep being generous. We cannot out give God, and God promises to bless those who are themselves a blessing to others.
How is 2022 going?
Generally negative numbers in a budget are never good news. You will see from the budget column that we were predicting that we would see a deficit. By the grace of God and because of historic generosity at Everyday Church, we could afford to budget for a deficit this year. You can also see that we are close to our predicted budget deficit at this point in the year. So we do not need to panic.
However, we are aware that our income is below our budget and that our costs are going to increase this year as energy prices increase and as we appoint key leaders, most notably a Wimbledon Venue Leader.
If you would like to join us as a leadership team in facing up to these challenges can we invite you to keep partnering with us in the following ways:
Pray – We are encouraged to pray for the practical things of life – our daily bread. Join us in praying back to God the promises he gives us that he is our provision.
Keep giving generously – It is easy to forget about our giving, especially if we give via a standing order. This might be time to check that our giving is still honouring God.
Keep giving strategically – Have you completed a gift aid form? Last year we missed out on over £30,000 from individuals who gave but hadn’t signed up for gift aid (remember if you are a UK tax payer the government will add 25% to anything that you give. This can be backdated for four years!). Signing up for gift aid is easy and does not commit you to a particular level of giving. You can request a gift aid form from our finance team firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form which is part of the giving envelope in your venue.
I recently preached on the feeding of the 5000. I am always impacted by the generosity of the small boy in that narrative. He could easily have thought that his offering would make no difference. However, his generosity plus God’s power met the needs of thousands of people.
We can sometimes feel that our offering, our gift, doesn’t make any difference. Hear me when I say it makes all the difference. In God’s economy every gift is used to bring transformation.
Thank you for your generousity.