We are right the middle of a sermon series called, "Stewardship & Generosity," and it seems like an especially appropriate time to let you all know how we, as a church, handle our finances.
It might interest you to know that Good News Church functions on 79% (or less) of all the money that is donated to us. For years now we have committed to the practice of giving away 11% of all the money that is given to us (to causes of mercy and missions… more on that later in this article). We have also committed to saving at least 10% of our income, meaning that we don't use it for typical operating expenses but set it aside for later use. For instance, much of the money we saved during our first four years as a church helped us to be able to put a large down payment on the building that we eventually built and use now.
So, after you take out 11% and at least 10% (note: there have been times when we've saved more than 10%) that leaves 79% or less of our income for operating expenses. We think this is a wise practice and is even wise for you to consider when handling your own personal finances. Your numbers might be different than ours (ie: you may give away more or less than 11%, and you may save more or less than 10%) but the practice of bumping down your lifestyle to be only a portion of what you take in is a very good habit to get into if you haven't already.
One last thing I wanted to explain is who we give our money away to.
As a church, we believe that two of the best causes to give money away to are:
- Compassion for the poor
- Funding the teaching of the Bible/gospel.
So, we try to split up our "giving money" toward those two kinds of causes. We often use the term "mercy" for the first kind of giving, and "missions" for the second kind. And, of course, some causes we support might do both at the same time (ex: Share the Love Ocala).
Here is a list of the organizations that we supported in 2017 (this includes places that we supported monthly and one-time gifts):
- Interfaith Emergency Services - provides for the poor in Marion County
- Share the Love Ocala - summer camps for neglected and abused children
- Wear Gloves - ministry to the homeless in downtown Ocala
- Child Evangelism Fellowship - sponsors Good News Clubs in Marion County public schools
- Unlimited Discipleship - local ministry that helps with counseling and discipleship for strong Christian marriages
- Tampa Muslim Outreach - trains believers to reach out to Muslims with the gospel
- Reformed University Fellowship - serves international students with hospitality and the gospel
- Barnabas Aid - assists persecuted Christians in hostile countries
- Acts 29 - plants churches that are similar (in style and theology) to ours
- Compassion International - shows compassion to children in third-world countries
- Women's Pregnancy Center - shares the gospel and helps pregnant women choose life
- Love, Inc - ministry that helps the poor in Summerfield, FL
- Women's Prison - we give supplies (Bibles, a microphone, Christian literature) for the chaplain to use with inmates
- Joni and Friends - a ministry for handicapped people
- Jackson's Ridge African RFK - A Royal Family Kids Camp in Africa
- Only a Servant Ministries - Missionaries serving Mexico and Haiti
- The Joy FM - A Christian Radio station (you'll notice there is some crossover between our music and theirs)
- First Baptist of Sutherland Springs - the Texas church attacked by a gunman in November (many of their people were murdered)
- Convoy of Hope - Relief organization; We gave to them to help with Hurricane Harvey
- Harvest International - Missions organization; We gave to them to help with Hurricane Irma
- Samaritan's Purse - Relief organization; We gave to them to help with Hurricane Harvey and Maria