In Touch – May 11, 2012
Posted on May 11, 2012 by under Touché,

How Ya Doin’?

This Tuesday I will be in the Bronx for lunch. How do they say it in the Bronx:” How ya doin’?” I thought it a good question to ask at HRC today.  We are looking at a new matrix to measure transformation in the church (in fact there is a Willow Creek Webinar about this on Thursday but the traditional way the church looks at how it is doing is through the lens of the two ‘B’s’: butts and budgets.  In other words, how many people are in worship and how is the financial support of the ministry going? I give you a quick update on these two today.  Maybe next week we will have a better tool to measure transformational discipleship, but for today, here goes:

Breaking the Five Hundred Barrier: In January I shared we had set a goal that we wanted to average over five hundred people in weekly worship.  For the three months since January our average is over 500 people in worship.  Our total for the year including January is 498 (so we have been very close for the year).  This has been helped by the weekly worship of Odyssey, which is averaging close to one hundred people, as well as the return of our youth service, which currently is happening once a month.  We currently have six different worship opportunities in a month.  This is good news and encourages us to continue to live into the challenge to make weekly worship a priority during the summer months and beyond.

Budget: Our deacons, especially Mike Reynolds, are doing an excellent job at staying on top of our finances.  We are tracking well in our expenses (we are below budget in spending), but our income is not meeting our goal of a two percent increase.  We are in good shape financially in a difficult economy, but I believe it is time to set our vision higher, as it seems that we are coming through a tough economic time and things are looking better.  Our giving, at this point, is up one percent for the year and our challenge for the next couple of months is to see that raised up to four percent.  This is especially important because we plan next year’s budget based on the income for this year.  Since we are now on a fiscal year budget that means we will be using figures in these months to set the budget for 2012-2013.

Direct Giving: We have a stewardship team that is taking shape and will look at ways to make it easier to connect our discipleship with our dollars.  I hope you have noticed that we are giving a Direct Giving option to give directly from your bank account. Direct Giving is an easy option that keeps your vision for giving consistent throughout the year.  This helps with summer time vacations and other times when you may not bring a checkbook or forget your envelope.  We will look at other ways that we can encourage faithfulness in stewardship, but right now I encourage you to take advantage of Direct Giving through the church or through your financial institution.

As Mike Reynolds says: We are blessed,