I don’t know how you feel about gift cards, but to be transparent, I’m conflicted about them. I get the idea behind them, it makes shopping easier, they allow the receiver to get what they want, they reduce the amount of wrapping paper used around Christmas, and so on. I just have a hard time buying one to give. I admit this is my own hang-up, I think it comes from the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts.” I want the gift that I give to communicate more than I was thinking about it — I want the gift to demonstrate I care enough to put some effort into it.
Where am I going with this? I’m just admitting some changes in our culture of giving are difficult. One change we continue to see is in how people give to the church. In giving to the church we have moved from cash to check and now the latest trend is to implement a digital transfer either with online banking or using an app on a smart device. I’ve made that transition without any internal conflict, which I find is in a strange tension with my conflict with gift cards.
This past weekend’s sermon hit that one of the ways we worship is to open our treasures. Jim talked about the gifts given by the three wisemen, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gifts given not only had significance and thought behind them, but they had great value. Obviously we don’t give these types of gifts anymore to the church—times have changed, and we will continue to adjust to them as we help people find and follow Christ.
One transition we have made in this month is with the company that handles our digital merchant transactions. We have moved to a company called PushPay which offers all of the services we had before, plus several other new features, one of them will be an app for phones and tablets that will be launched in January. With PushPay, giving digitally has become even easier. I would encourage you to give it a try by clicking the link on our web page, or texting the word “pushpay” to 77977 to download the free PushPay app.
As the year comes to an end with Christmas and New Year’s falling on the weekend, as we continue to push towards our Raise the Roof goal, and acknowledging this past weekend that the weather kept many of us at home, we need to continue to be faithful to give out of a sense of worship, praise, and glory to God for all that he has done, and will do in the future. I hope that you will be able to attend one of our five services this Christmas Eve at either the Parkway or Knoxville Campus. We will be receiving an offering then, but if you are out of town visiting family, please consider staying connected with us in your worship with giving and viewing our Christmas Online Worship available from our homepage at richwoods.org.
On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2016 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.
Our goal for year end giving is to raise over $90K beyond our regular giving to cover the cost of our Knoxville roof. 10% of every dollar in excess of our average monthly giving will go to help “Raise the Roof” in Haiti. Additionally our Missions Team will match the 10% up to $10K. We have a great opportunity to raise our level of generosity this season and make a huge impact in Haiti. Would you prayerfully consider helping make this a reality?
2016 Cash Balance
As a policy we must have at least 2 weeks of average weekly income in our cash balance at all times, currently that figure is $75K.
Our budgets are set on a calendar year, submitted by staff and approved by the Elders of Richwoods. Our ability to meet the needs of the people, provide programs, offer ministry opportunities, and so on, are all contingent on the faithful and generous giving of the people who call Richwoods their church home. As a church we do not take annual pledges to set a budget but we work off of our historical giving and attendance patterns to project a conservative budget.
If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email. You can also leave a comment below.