Friday, July 12th, 2019
Dear Church family,
I wanted to provide another update on the financial situation at our church. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this information, you are always welcome to reach out to me.
There have been some very encouraging trends happening since our last update that I wanted you to be aware of:
Since I began as pastor here, we have had at least 10 new families become regular contributors here at MissionWay! That is amazing news on so many levels! First off, it means that we have many new faces around MissionWay and that our church is growing. We have the amazing privilege and great responsibility to not only get them in our doors, but to make sure we are making disciples as they do so – and regular giving is one of the marks of a faithful disciple and church member. We ask that you continue inviting people to church and letting your light shine in your neighborhoods and workplaces.
Another point of encouragement is that of our goal to raise $50,000 beyond regular giving, we have raised about $22,000 of that since June. That is a huge testimony to your willingness and faithfulness to give above and beyond – so thank you! I continue to be blown away by how much you all love this church and are dedicated to see us thrive. I’m humbled that I get to be your pastor.
With all of those things happening, we have been able to pay our bills and do some necessary “financial catch-up” over the past two months. This doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet, but it means we are absolutely headed in the right direction, so keep going! The fact that we are seeing this happen in the summertime (when giving is typically down) is also a win for us.
The last thing I want to mention is that we are planning a financial meeting for Sunday, August 4th. After our church service that day, we will hang around for about an hour or so to give you guys an opportunity to hear from us how things are going and give you the chance to ask questions and provide feedback. This will be open to all who call MissionWay home to participate in.
In the meantime, keep praying, keep giving, keep inviting. I love you all dearly and love that we get to do this together.
Friday June 7th, 2019
Last week, I sent an e-mail out describing the major financial challenges we are currently facing as a church. If you missed it for some reason, you can find it here. I will continue giving you updates and helpful information whenever possible as we move forward.
This past Sunday, you all immediately responded to the challenge in a major way and I want to say a huge thank you! We received close to $30,000 in tithes and offerings which is far above what we have been receiving in the past. So thank you for your continued generosity and willingness to step in the gap financially during this time.
Since the beginning of the year, our Sunday offerings have ranged between $6,000 and $10,000. In order to meet our already minimalistic budget, we would need an average of about $10,000 each week – a number that we have only hit 5 Sundays so far this year.
In order to make up for those shortcomings, we believe that we should set a goal of raising an additional $50,000 this summer (above the goal of $10,000 per week). That would get us back on track and help to replenish some of the reserves we have had to pull from over the past months. The good news? We have already raised about $12,500 specifically toward that goal and I have had some others express a desire to give above and beyond to that as well. We’ve got a head start on this and I know we can get there.
I know this is not a small ask and I know that many of you are already giving sacrificially and cheerfully as we are commanded to do in Scripture. I tell people all the time that MissionWay is one of the most generous churches I have ever seen, and I truly mean that. I am in no way trying to coerce anyone into giving. I am simply sharing with you our current situation as a church family and asking you to pray about how God would have you involved in this. Many of you are already doing that faithfully and in that I rejoice.
We pray that as we faithfully seek to make disciples, our church continues to grow, and more people become a part of this effort. In the few short months of being here, I’ve already had many conversations with believers who are new to our church and are excited about being a part of our local body. You can play a huge role in this effort by inviting your friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers to church. You never know how God can use a simple invitation to change someone’s life.
We are planning to hold a meeting after our Sunday church service in the coming weeks to further discuss and allow you all to ask questions. We will let you know when that is very soon. Until then, I will continue to provide updates when they are available, and my door is always open if you want to further discuss this with me personally.
Thank you for your continued commitment to God in giving faithfully. I am truly blessed to be your pastor and I believe God will continue to work in our midst.
Tuesday May 28th, 2019
Let me begin this letter by saying how incredible it has been to be your pastor these first three-and-a-half months. Jenna and I have had a blast getting to know many of you and hearing your stories. Every single day, my excitement about what God is doing among us grows, and I can’t wait to share with you the things He has been stirring in the hearts of our leadership teams for the future.
The purpose of this letter is to be transparent with you about one of the big challenges we are currently facing as a local church. God has clearly blessed us with an amazing facility to do ministry in every single week. We love not only the space itself, but the location at which He has placed us in Jacksonville. He is stirring a passion in us to reach the people of Bartram Park, and we have a prime location to do so.
The challenge that comes along with our fantastic facility is the cost of our lease agreement. We are currently having to pay just under $20,000 per month to be where we are. Initially that may seem abnormally high, but the elders have done extensive market research to find that we are actually getting this space at several thousand dollars per month under the current market value for our area. It’s no surprise that with the number of members we have at MissionWay, that is a huge financial burden for our church.
Due to building and administrative costs every month, we are currently having to be incredibly lean with our spending on ministry opportunities. I’m sure that you would agree with me that the Church should never spend more on building costs than outreach and discipleship. On top of that, we are currently having to pull anywhere from $3,000 - $10,000 every month out of our reserve account just to make bill payments on time. We will not be able to sustain that pace for many more months.
That’s why we are reaching out to you. First off, we believe that we need to be transparent with those who call MissionWay home. You need to know that this is currently the biggest challenge we are facing as a church in relation to reaching more people and making a greater impact for the sake of the Gospel. We wanted to not only let you know it is happening, but also ask you to pray about how God is leading you to help.
As I look at the average giving of the families at MissionWay, my heart explodes with gratitude for how generous you all are. We truly have an incredibly giving church! I believe the long-term solution to this challenge is to reach more people in our community, so that our church will grow and giving will increase.
In the meantime, however, we are asking you to prayerfully consider how God would lead you to help us overcome this obstacle. If several families who are led and able would increase their giving over the next six months, I truly believe that would go incredibly far in helping us move past this tough season.
With all of that being said, we are also entering into the summer time. Giving always drastically decreases over the summer months as people travel and are not here. Would you consider setting up an automatic giving transaction through Breeze over the summer, so you don’t miss the opportunity to give? Or maybe you feel led to commit to increasing your giving over the summer time to help fill the gap during these hard months.
At the end of the day, we are confident God will supply what we need according to His will. We simply wanted to inform you and give you the opportunity to be part of what God is doing in this way. Our desire is to reach more people and grow His Kingdom. As more people walk through our doors, we hope to see our resources increase so that we may be a church that gives far more money to missions than bill collectors. Please prayerfully consider how God is leading you.
If you have any further questions about any of this or want more information on our finances, I would be happy to sit down with you and try my best to help you get a clearer picture. In the meantime, thank you for your faithfulness in giving and your desire to glorify God by reaching people and making disciples.