Giving: An Important Part of Christian Worship
The giving of tithes and offerings has been a central act and attitude of worship throughout the Judeo-Christian tradition. Giving demonstrates our dependence upon God for our livelihood, and is a beautiful response to our loving Heavenly Father for all the good things He has done for us. We believe that the giving of our tithes and offerings is a high moment of participation in every worship service, when we present a portion of ourselves to God in recognition of His ownership of all things. During this act of giving, the activities of our workweek come in contact with our Holy God who gives strength for honest labor. We see each opportunity to give in Christian worship not as a money-raising interlude but rather an ultimate act of praise and thanksgiving.
Wilmore Free Methodist Church (WFMC) supports the Biblical tithe of ten percent of gross income. We believe this standard is the minimum that a Christian should give to the work of the Lord. We also believe that the Bible teaches that disciples of Christ should strive to, in the words of John Wesley, “earn all they can, save all they can and give all they can.”
Source of Support
The ministries of WFMC are supported completely from the giving of the congregation. In accordance with Christian and Free Methodist traditions, we are not dependent upon any ancillary money-making ventures.
In addition to the programming, facility, and staff costs, WFMC supports many missionaries and missionary organizations, both locally and worldwide.
WFMC seeks to be frugal and wise in our spending of funds, realizing that good stewardship is essential to proper Christian character.
All undesignated financial gifts the church receives are allocated to the general operating budget. This budget includes day-to-day church needs and budgeted ministry needs such as salaries, programming, and physical plant care. The church recommends that members and attendees give to the operating budget at least to the level of the tithe. Offerings beyond that may be allocated to worthy funds such as Missions, Benevolence and others as needs are made known. The allocation of your offering is done simply by writing the fund title(s) and amounts in the “memo” line of your check. Offering envelopes are also available from the church office by request.
Offerings may be designated for missions, serving both world and local mission ministries and projects. The majority of funds for missions come from designated gifts beyond the operating budget. The church’s goal is for the mission budget to ever-increase as a percentage of the operating budget. Currently, for the budget year 2013, our mission giving is 27% of our operations budget. The missions fund supports world and home mission concerns as established by the World and Home Mission Teams. There are occasionally additional opportunities to give for special mission projects.
Financial gifts to missions should be so designated on the “memo” line of one’s check. Tax laws do not permit giving to specific individuals, including missionaries, through the church.
Benevolence / Families at Risk Fund
WFMC is a caring, community-oriented congregation that is ready to help members and those outside the church who are in need. When requests for financial assistance are made of our church, volunteers, in consultation with the Benevolence Team, determine how we may most effectively minister to those seeking help. A small amount of financial support comes from the general operating budget, but most of the funding for benevolence comes from the designated gifts of faithful givers. In 2012, we gave away nearly $40,000.00 in funds to needy local families inside and outside our church.
Building Fund While we are not always in a building program at WFMC, there are always financial needs regarding the growth and maintenance of our physical property. Special contributions to the building fund may be made at any time and so designated on the “Memo” line of one’s check or offering envelope.
Close the Gap Fund Currently WFMC is in the midst of a 3.6 million dollar building project. As of February, 2014, we have raised nearly 2.3 million dollars and are working toward “closing the gap” of 1.3 million dollars, so that we borrow as little as possible before the completion date of September, 2015.
Church-Plant Fund WFMC has a vision to plant and re-generate like-minded churches throughout central Kentucky. As we seek the Lord’s guidance for called and qualified leaders for these new works, we continue to collect funds anticipating the costs of our vision.
Scholarship Fund Some parents appreciate giving scholarships for teens who wouldn’t normally be able to afford such things as retreats and other special events.
Transportation Fund WFMC currently runs two 15 passenger vans and one 33 passenger bus for a variety of ministries. As with all vehicles, they require replacement from time to time, and the church will be shifting to senior-friendly buses in the future.
Matt Cooper Memorial Fund (MCMF) The Matt Cooper Memorial Fund was established in 2014 to help challenged youth and young adults fulfill their potential in Christ in mind, body and spirit. Resources such as camps, counseling, therapies, and special events, including non-traditional treatments, are all eligible for consideration. MCSF funds are awarded by a group of volunteers serving as the fund advisory team. Applications are available in the church office.
Special One-Time Gifts Outright gifts of cash, securities, and tangible personal property provide the church with immediate benefits, and can also be allocated towards designated projects or funds. Talk with one of the pastors if you would like to participate in giving in this way.
WFMC, the Free Methodist Foundation, and the King Trust Co., work in partnership to offer professional financial and estate planning to our church family. It is our desire to cooperate in this important planning process so that individuals can conserve assets and meet financial goals during their lifetime, as well as provide for the needs of their family and church after they are gone.
For more information consult the “Stewardship of Resources” brochure, or talk with a pastor.
A Personal Word from Your Finance Team
The WFMC Finance Team, elected by the Society, is highly committed to the principles of faith and financial stewardship with integrity so that the needs of the church are met without having to pressure people with emergency appeals. We expect that a high percentage of our congregation believe in and subscribe to the Biblical principle of tithing. If WFMC is your church home, we hope that you will look at your income and make a decision on a regular percentage to give weekly, biweekly or monthly. Although we do not present the ten percent tithe as a requirement, we recommend it as a benchmark and a minimum goal for committed members of WFMC. If you are presently unable to give at that level, we encourage you to give at whatever level you are able. We hope that you will then set financial goals to move toward the tithe, not so much for the good of the church, but for personal growth toward the goal of spiritual maturity.
For security and tax purposes, two church members count the weekly financial gifts, and other members then record the gifts. By following this procedure, no giving amounts are known by pastors or the Finance Team members. Finances are handled according to professional standards with several mechanisms for checks and balances. The Finance Team, in cooperation with the church pastors, prepares and monitors the budget process, in consultation with ministry area Team Leaders.