by Pastor John Sproul
The best days of St. Luke are yet to come, and our Lord will provide us with everything we need to realize the vision he has for us.
Cash Flow Zero is an endeavor designed to help us prepare for those days.
The phrase “Cash Flow Zero” simply describes reaching the end of a financial year neither in the red, nor in the black, but having just what is needed.
Think of that miraculous food, “manna,” which God’s people Israel received from him in their desert wandering; they were provided with, and gathered only enough for one day, blessed with not too much, and not too little, but just the right amount.
This is what we will do…
Everyone who calls St. Luke their church home will be invited to give an offering before Easter over and above their usual giving to achieve four important goals:
- Provide the funds necessary to avoid a reduction of our staff;
- Bless our non-pastoral staff with a 3% increase in salary, beginning May 2020;
- Have the funds necessary to provide for those raises in the coming fiscal year 2020-2021;
- Begin the 2020-2021 fiscal year without a deficit.
$80,000 is the offering we will give together
to achieve our Cash Flow Zero goals.
- We give…because God has first given;
- We give…because we are loved, not to earn love from God;
- We give…as a response to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ;
- We give…because God invites us to be a part of his work at St. Luke and beyond.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
— 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
How Cash Flow Zero will work:
At our Initial Commitments Event held at St. Luke on Monday, March 16, 6:30-8:00 pm, all are invited to enjoy special hors d’oeuvres provided by Angel Food Catering, followed by a brief presentation and desserts. That night, we will give an offering – or decide to give an offering online – which will inspire the rest of our congregation in the weeks to come so that they too will commit to the goals of Cash Flow Zero. Childcare will be available; we will share how you can RSVP your attendance and your childcare needs.
On Commitment Sunday, March 23, everyone who has not yet given an offering or commitment will be invited to do so during worship, by giving a gift that day or committing to do so before the end of March.
Our Celebration Sunday will be held on April 5, when in worship we will thank the Lord for equipping us with everything we need to do his will, and moving us to express our gratitude to him.
A few important points…
Our congregation will not hold a giving dinner in May this year as a strategy to “make the budget,” because we want our people to grow in faith, and faithfully respond to God’s grace in every season of the year.
Our most powerful motivation for being a part of Cash Flow Zero will come by each of us being in prayer, as individuals, couples, and families; ask yourself and the others in your life: “What can we do less of, or do without, so that we can do this?”
It’s not about equal giving.
It’s about equal sacrifice.
It’s true that we could probably reach our financial goal with the offering of just a few families…but we want to be able to say, “All of us did this together, by God’s grace and power, and all of us together are walking as one into the future that God has for St. Luke!”
Q & A
Q: Would we really lose staff if we didn’t do this?
A: Yes. Our current budget was created and approved with the expectation that we would have to reduce our staff to “make the budget.”
Q: Didn’t our transition from a multi-site leave us with too many staff for the size of our congregation?
A: If we want to stop sharing the gospel, and be content with our size and effectiveness, we could reduce our staff now, but if we did, we would only be staffed for doing “maintenance ministry.” Right now, we are staffed for growth, and that’s what we’re going to do.
Q: If we’re being wise about our expenses, should we be giving our non-pastoral staff a 3% raise at this time?
A: Yes. We want to exhibit a faith that declares, “God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Our staff have led and blessed us with faithfulness and excellence in the midst of all our transitions, and our expressing gratitude to them in this way will serve to encourage and recognize them as the gifts of God to us that they are.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” — Eph. 3:20-21