One of my favorite gospel narratives is when four friends tear the roof off a house to lower their paralyzed friend down in front of Jesus so he could be healed. There was no other way to get their friend close enough to Jesus because of the crowd. It’s not covered in the story, but I’m sure they had to pay for or fix the roof.
At Richwoods we have two buildings where we can bring our friends to be closer to Jesus. Fortunately, both buildings have easy access through the front doors and, to my knowledge, no one has attempted to put a hole in either roof. These buildings are important to the mission and vision of Richwoods, even though we are very clear our ministry is all about helping people find and follow Christ, these buildings facilitate much of our helping. It’s important to keep each campus facility healthy to continue to pursue the calling God has given us as a local church.
At our Knoxville Campus, we have been nursing a roof that is at least five years beyond its expected lifespan, and our Parkway Campus has a roof with shingles that will need to be replaced in the next two to three years. The Finance Team (made up of a couple of staff members, two elders, and six Richwoods attenders) put the cost of replacing the Knoxville roof in our budget this coming fall. They also put in the budget a “burst fundraiser” to cover the cost.
Burst fundraisers can be effective, but they also put a strain on our general operating funds as people designate funds to the project that cannot be used for general ministry expenses. We ran into this problem in the summer of 2015 when we had a burst fundraiser to cover the cost of the Knoxville parking lot. Thanks to your generosity, we had plenty of money to pay for the lot but we ran very short in our general fund for several months. Our cash balance was actually negative for at least two months. Because of this experience, the Finance Team is openly sharing what is coming up this fall to address the income needed to cover the roof cost without the need to raise the estimated $140K in a burst campaign.
As a policy moving forward, the elders require at least two weeks of average weekly income in our cash balance at all times – that figure is currently $75K. Combined with the cost of replacing the roof at $140K, the total we need to have in our cash balance by the end of October is $215K. You can still designate a gift toward the Knoxville Campus roof, but I believe we will be financially healthier as a church if we are able to hit the goal of $215K in our cash balance.
In order to hit this goal, I ask each of you to consider where you are on the “Generosity Ladder.” For some of us, it’s a matter of giving to the church for the first time; for others, it’s giving on a regular basis. Every gift given drives our hearts toward greater dependance on God. Every gift is similar to the action of the paralytic’s four friends who eventually had to cover the expense of replacing a roof.
I encourage you to prayerfully consider your giving this summer as we head into a season of vacations. We have several ways to give when you are not present. Our online community, rCircle, has a tool that allows you to schedule automated gifts to the church. I personally like the text to give option, it’s easy and I can give anywhere I have a cell signal. For all of the ways to give, visit richwoods.org/giving and try one out the next time you’re on the road.
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.
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. Combined with the cost of replacing the roof at $140K the total we would need to have in our cash balance by the end of October would be $215K. The cash balance is as of the Friday prior to the date of this posting. Figures in the graph are in thousands ($K).
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.