You might be wondering, “what good will my money do if I give it to the church?” It’s a good question. You’ve worked hard for your money; you shouldn’t just give it away frivolously. I’m guessing God would like us to be good stewards over the money we earn (Matthew 25:20-21), so knowing what your gift of money goes toward is important. At Hillsdale United Methodist Church we set a zero-sum budget each year based on the pledges we receive from those who attend our church. Zero-sum means no one "automatically" gets money, so we don't waste allocating money to groups that don't need it. This frees up more money for ministry! More than 60% of our income comes from those who pledge to our church. The rest comes from those who give, but don’t pledge, special offerings and contributions from groups that use our building. As you can see, pledging is the most important part of our budget, and the one that has the largest influence on how well we can accomplish our church’s goals.
Some have said when you look at the budget of a church you can see what it prioritizes. We have a simple pie chart that gives you a sense of what our priorities are. About 60% of the budget goes toward salaries, and another 15% toward ministries, but we recognize that much of what we pay in salaries is for ministry. Our youth minister is paid to do ministry with young people! Our pastor leads us in worship and visits the home-bound and sick. These are ministries made possible by the salaries we pay. We pay about 5% toward administration (such as inspections and insurance) and then we spend another 20% on building and maintenance.
This last expense is often a sore point for people. They don’t want to have to pay for building and maintenance. The good news is that here at Hillsdale United Methodist Church you don’t have to! Many years ago people in this church had a vision for a children’s ministry, a nursery school that would serve the community with an excellent educational program for preschoolers. This ministry has grown to be incredibly successful and their income offsets the building and maintenance expenses of the church. Essentially every dollar you give goes straight toward ministries and the salaries that make ministry possible. We are proud of this here in our church, and happy that every gift you give makes it more likely that we can increase the ministries we do in our community. From Bible study to the World Service Fund, from worship to confirmation class, we want to increase our capacity to bless others with the Good News that God loves them and we do too! Your gift to the church allows us to continue these ministries and potentially start new ones. We are always looking for the next right thing for our church and often that means working to meet real needs of people in our church and in our community. We hope you’ll help us do that by pledging or giving a gift today. God bless!