Toonie Talk: General Church Operations
Thank You for Giving!
Here at CrossRoads, we are so grateful for you all who give from your funds to the work that God is doing here in Central Alberta and around the world. Your generosity becomes overwhelmingly clear to us on days when we do a building fund offering (in October 2014 you donated $655,000 as we talked about our building fund offering) or a Christmas Compassion Campaign (in December 2014 you gave nearly $312,000 in support of our partners in Central Alberta, Rwanda, Haiti and Uganda)!
But your giving goes beyond the building and our compassion campaign. Each month we see the generosity of our CrossRoads family represented through your tithes and offerings. In the coming year, we want to share a bit with you about our financials here at the church and how they get used for ministry. We have lots going on at CrossRoads, so we’ll walk through different ministry areas, show you their budgets, and talk with ministry leaders about how they use what has been given in ways that we hope are drawing people into relationship with Jesus and compassionately impacting our world.
So, let’s get to some of the details! For the 2014/2015 fiscal year, we have a total budget of $5,459,000. We know that this is a large amount of money—an unfathomable sum for many churches around the globe. So we want to share with you how this money is used, how we decide budgets, and how we filter our vision and the way we follow Jesus through these financial decisions.
General Church Operations
This month we’re going to take a look at our general church operations. We’ll start by giving you an update on our building mortgage. At the end of January 2015, our mortgage is approximately $3,750,000. We’re able to continue paying that off thanks to your generous contributions to our building fund offerings!
For the 2014/2015 fiscal year, we have a total of $3,560,728 budgeted for our general operations. This goes to a lot of basic things that it takes to run a church and a building—electricity, office supplies, Internet, proper licensing, repairs, snow removal (we live in Alberta after all), printing, etc. The biggest chunk of our general church operations fund, however, goes to employing our staff.
We will actually explore more specifics of staff salaries and benefits in another article later this year. But just so you know, out of our general church operations budget of about 3.5 million, a little more than 2.6 million goes to salaries and benefits for the 46 people we currently have on staff. Employees often take up a large chunk of any organization’s budget, and we’re no different. We do know that for a church the size of CrossRoads, our staff size is comparable to other churches around North America. We’ll introduce you to more of our staff and our responsibilities in the coming months!
The rest of the budget for general church operations goes to many of the things mentioned above. This fiscal year we’ve budgeted $16,000 for event expenses, $10,000 for auditing and professional fees, $80,0000 for building/maintenance fees (there’s a lot to keep up, especially with the new youth wing), and $175,000 for utilities (keeping the lights on).
We also keep a 10 percent contingency budget—if, for some reason, we weren’t taking in enough to meet our monthly budget, we have money set aside for general ministry and the building so that we could keep things operating for awhile.
So those are the big chunks of our general church operations. You can always see detailed reports of our budgets and spending in the reports put out in January and June for our general meetings.
In the coming months, we will look at the budgets and goals of many areas of the church: staff, worship ministry, children’s ministry, young adults, missions, etc. We want you to know that we understand that your giving is heartfelt and entrusted to us to use in a responsible way for the glory of God. We think deeply about how to spend the funds and where they should be used as we seek to do ministry locally and globally.
One last word about our general church operations. We see a lot of people come through the doors of CrossRoads Church. On a Sunday, we often average about 2,500 hundred people who come worship Jesus with us in the sanctuary and learn about Him in our children’s ministry. During the Christmas season, we have many schools who come do evening concerts here—thousands of kids and parents stream through the building in the weeks before Christmas. On Christmas Eve this past year, we had four services and 4,300 people who came to rejoice in the birth of Jesus!
It’s easy to skim past the sums, but each of these numbers represents a person—someone who either knows Jesus and wants to grow in Him, or someone who has yet to meet the Saviour who came to redeem. So as we look at dollar amounts and totals and budgets, we want to keep in mind that God has invited us to walk with Him in the story He is telling. As His followers, we all have the chance to share His truth, love and grace with everyone who comes to a Sunday morning service, a Friday evening Celebrate Recovery meeting, a 56ers campout, or a meeting with you in your homes in a small group community. Jesus invites us to be His hands and feet, and we want to do that well with our tithes and offerings.