I remember the first time George Johnson gave the staff a budget update at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church in Miami. It was mid-September and I had been at the church for less than two months. It seemed like the perfect church: high attendance on Sundays, effective ministries, big budgets, and a large staff. Maybe 15 or 20 of us were now sitting around listening to George’s update of what the church finances would be like for the rest of the year.
“We’re about $50,000 dollars behind on income,” George said. “but we should make that up by the end of the year.”
I was glad George was confident because I was freaking out.
$50,000 dollars in the hole?!?
That was more than my salary as the Middle School director, more money than a full-year of college (at the time!), and seemed completely insurmountable. I was certain we’d have to turn off the lights and the air conditioning (a big deal in Miami), cut our budgets, and as the low man on the totem pole, I was definitely going to be fired. My only consolation was that, if we had to, Miami wasn’t the worst place to live on the streets
You know what actually happened?
We made up the $50,000 by the end of the year. Not in September, or even October. We made it up in November and December, and ended up going into the New Year with a reasonable cushion.
Church giving is like that. It’s seasonal. I have been in leadership at four different churches, ranging from 150 regular attendees to 2500 regular attendees. The budget numbers may have been different, but every church has depended on the same seasonal cycle: a strong November and December that would put the church decidedly into the “black” going into the new calendar year.
I am so thankful that this is the first time in Restore’s history where we do not plan on closing the year with a large deficit. That is a testament to God’s goodness and the continued faithfulness of those who financially support the church.
BUT–and you knew this is where I was headed–it’s only going to happen if we have a strong season of giving during November and December.
If you have been faithfully giving, please continue to do so! If you have the ability to give above and beyond what you normally give as we close out the calendar year, it will help us close out the calendar year strong and allow us to recoup our “cushion” that allows us to make it through the lean seasons without having to continually mention finances, just so we can pay the bills.
Thanks again for your faithfulness as we do life together in community at Restore.
Why not give a one-time gift now? Online contributions can be made at donate.restoreworship.org.