On Sunday evening at 6:00PM, our Finance Committee will recommend our 2015 Budget to you to be adopted on November 9. Our deacons have already heard this budget presentation, and our staff are eager for you to hear this report.
Our vision for 2015 is to use our resources so that people will Come to Faith in Jesus, Grow in Christ as Lord, and Share their Faith with others. To do that, we are using our budget to baptize people in Jesus’ name, launch and sustain approximately 40 Life Groups, train people to grow at Connections Weekend, teach people to share their faith on mission, reach people with the gospel through Word and Deed, and to remove our dependence on the “rainy day” fund for the purposes of operating expenses.
Inside the budget, you will find several new items. In the missions budget, we have asked for new resources for Love Tallahassee, an initiative that funds the outreach and mission projects and training for Life Groups. We are asking for resources for a Strategic Planning Process. The last full strategic plan that we adopted dates back to 1991. It’s been a long time since we’ve assessed where we are and where God is calling us to in the next 3-5 years. The budget allocates resources for an outside consultant to assist us with our process. We are also increasing our debt service to accommodate the needed repairs we are making to the sound system and other projects we foresee on the horizon. We’re requesting resources to transport students on the Youth Choir Tour charter bus. On paper, we’ve been dependent on the rainy day fund to balance our budget. In 2013, we did not need to use this fund. Our giving far exceeded our budget expenses. We expect the same to be the case in 2014, but we did apply the rainy day fund on paper in our budget planning. We did not do so with the 2015 budget plan.
To pay for these ministries and priorities, we are asking for our church family to increase our giving to the budget in tithes and offerings by approximately 10% in 2015. We think this is a reasonable, conservative request considering our church’s current financial resources. This past year, God has continued to bless our church financially. Our giving has increased over 16% in the past 12 months, a combined 26% over the past 24 months. This year’s budget goal is approximately 10% higher than last year’s budget in tithes and offerings but only increases our spending by 3%. The difference between the two figures is because we will no longer be using the rainy day fund for budget planning purposes.
I am so grateful to the Chairman of Finance Committee, Bill Gardner, John Rice, Vicki Bitton, Amy Parks, and Erin Westberry for their assistance in preparing these documents. I look forward to seeing you Sunday evening as we discuss these ministries.