Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is perhaps one of the best books out there on how to handle personal finances. When Amanda and I read that book together nearly 12 years ago, it revolutionized our financial lives. We were a financial wreck waiting to happen; we were swimming in my student loan debt and had recently acquired a car loan. After reading about the perils of debt, we got out as quickly as possible. However, I have yet to read such a book on church finances. Please believe me when I say that the management of church finances is time consuming, challenging, opinionated, sometimes faith filled, sometimes faithless, and unclearly specified. I have seen God move and work in churches that are millions of dollars in debt and churches that have millions of dollars in the bank. I have also heard of churches closing with thousands of dollars of debt and others close that have thousands of dollars in the bank. After proper time to pray and dream, we believe that God has lead The Table to a simplified financial blueprint. Our financial plan will be 30/30/30/10. We believe that God has called us to give away 30% of all that we bring in, to compassion initiatives and missional communities. This includes funding the fight against human trafficking, investing in future leaders through Camp Sharon, partnering with other churches and missionaries through our state and national church network. We believe that God is challenging us to spend 30% of all donations on operational/ministry costs. This includes developing excellent small group communities, cultivating children and youth ministry environments, and providing first class leadership training. We believe that being staffed with exceptionally talented people is important, so we will designate 30% of our income to staff salaries and benefits. Finally, we believe that being wise financial stewards includes saving towards God's plan for the future so we will save 10% of all our proceeds so we will be ready to say "Yes" when He asks. We do not know how long or how far this blueprint can take us but we know that it is a stepping stone to prepare us for the amazing future that God has for The Table and the community in St. Charles.
We were given our first financial gift in June and it has been an incredible blessing to see God provide through many, many people. At the close of December, over $16,000 was donated to the ministry of The Table! As we begin for our new fiscal year, we wanted to share with you our financial picture for 2014 and our budget for 2015.
Thanks to your prayers and generous support we will be launching our first small group on January 10th. Our strategy for this year will include expanding to 4 small groups by year end. It will also include investing time into future leaders across the state by participating in the Missouri Youth Leadership Institute, sending counselors to Camp Sharon, and attending the Missouri Youth Fellowship. We also look forward to partnering in meaningful ways locally here in St. Charles with organizations like "We Love St. Charles", "The Oasis" a food pantry, and "Youth in Need". If God so leads you, we believe financially supporting The Table is a fantastic way to invest in The Kingdom. There is life at The Table!
Lead Pastor at The Table