Financial Update
October 25, 2023 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Deep Thoughts

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Financial Update

Looking towards Year-End

“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.”

-1 Corinthians 9:24 NRSV

It’s been a joy watching the Rangers’ incredible post-season run to the World Series. My guess is that they won’t stop trying to win. As one former World Series champion put it, “this is when the real players kick it into a level they haven’t played at all season long.” In other words, they’re going to run in such a way to win.

To go along with each player’s contribution, it was also noted that “GM Chris Young and Manager Bruce Bochy have really built and prepared this team for the long haul.” It’s not just about increased effort, it’s also about training and preparation.

The same principles go into building a spiritually and financially healthy church. Creekwood’s Leadership Board has navigated difficult and unknown times for 3 years, and have made difficult AND effective decisions to prepare Creekwood to be in a positive financial and spiritual situation currently and for the long haul.

Now, we need you to ask what level you’re playing at.

Going into November, we expect an operational deficit of approximately $58,000 behind expenses. Adding in the known expenses of apportionments to the North Texas Conference and larger United Methodist Church that have not yet been paid and we will owe for November, the deficit grows to approximately $149,000.

That is certainly a large number, but if we look back at this point in 2022 we were at a total deficit of approximately $210,000 – meaning we are $61,000 more prepared this year thanks to your generosity than we were last year. An increase in worship attendance, membership, student ministry, and more is also to thank for our situation.

I want to challenge us to play at a post-season level.

I want us to come out of 2023 with a surplus in giving to expenses.

The Leadership Board and staff are doing everything possible to keep expenses down, and there are many people giving many hours to the church at this point in our current staff transitionary period.

But we would like to begin budgeting better.

  • We would like to plan out for capital improvements instead of asking for more money.
  • We would like to plan for greater missional output into our community instead of asking for more money.
  • We would like to plan for expansion of ministry and staff without asking for more money.
  • We would like to plan for dreams we have and dreams we haven’t thought of, methodically organizing resources to achieve them without panic.

But we need everyone to think of what level they are playing at?

I have been asked several times, “If you were going to set a goal for each family to give, at a minimum, what would that number be?” While I always respond with the Biblical 10% of income goal, the calculations show that if every person or family willingly gave $3,500 a year then we would be well set up financially for the current season. (Using a baseline of 325 giving units).

If every person or family gave $3,800 annually then we would have more than enough in missions to cover our current commitments, the youth mission trip, and make an ever broader missional impact in our community.

Just imagine what a World Series level of 10% per person/family could do.

If you have made a pledge for the year, you should have received your giving statement showing what you still have left on your commitment. If you have given at all, you should have received a statement of your giving. Pledge cards for 2024 will go out in January, but for right now let’s finish 2023 with a goal to win.

I encourage you to give generously through the offering plate, set up your own bill pay, set up an auto draft with us, set up an online recurring payment through Shelby NEXT, give stock, give through your mandatory allotments on your IRA if you’re of that age, or any number of ways you can be generous. You can start with the button at the bottom of this page.


David Lessner