Stewardship and Giving to God
Finance committees, have you begun to plan your stewardship emphasis as you go into the fall? This is the lay members' responsibility and the clergy simply help this by teaching every Sunday all year long through their worship time. Every church should help their folks examine how God is blessing them now.
The stewardship committee should encourage every member to respond to God’s generosity by increasing their giving back to God. Teach generosity and tithing and challenge your members to work toward tithing their personal income and if they are already tithing, encourage them to begin to give more by giving additional gifts to God above their 10% tithe.
Tithing and giving to God is not a part of the local church budget process. It is responding to God’s giving to us. Once the committee has an estimate of a giver’s promise to God, then the committee can begin the financial planning for 2024.
The Local Church Budget Process
It is that time of year that we begin to think about our 2024 local church budget. Please be responsible in your planning for 2024. Review your spending this year and compare it to this time last year. I believe you will find inflation has crept into your church operations. Control those expenses the best you can, but be sure you allow for cost increases, and do your best to remember that mission and ministry will also face cost increase. Allow for that to happen so that you can continue doing the work God is calling your church to do.
In the 2023 session of annual conference, the local church conference members and clergy voted to approve no increase in mission shares. The amount you were apportioned in 2023 will be the same for 2024.
The direct invoice pays our employer’s share of pension and medical insurance for our pastors. Remember that we do this in a connectional way. Each church pays based on what it can afford to pay their pastor. It is a percentage of the compensation package and is also based on the status and time served by the pastor. You will find the rate has not gone up for 2024. When you properly fill out the 2024 Clergy Budget Compensation report for charge conference, that local church cost is determined for you on the back page of the form.
Medical Insurance Opportunities
Great News for our current and future participants in the medical insurance programs. The rates have not increased for 2024. They are exactly the same as they were in 2023 and as a matter of fact, they have remained the same for many years. We have a great affordable plan.
The amount that you can contribute into your flexible spending account for childcare has remained the same as in the past, $5,000. The health flexible spending account is available to the PPO participants and the health savings accounts are available to the high deductible participants. Watch for more information on the website on clergy medical benefits
Open enrollment is for all ¾ time and full-time clergy, whether you participated in 2023 or not. The effective date of changes is January 1, 2024. Please consider our plans, but remember these things: