Take Stock of 2020
The Evergreen Project began precisely to help churches grow for the kind of difficult days we have faced together in 2020. It is the hope of Archbishop Foley Beach and founders of this movement to help churches become “evergreen,” that is, green at all times. You have probably learned a lot about your congregation this year – especially in this area. Now is a great time to pause and take stock of your church and your community. This will help you set the right tone and finish the year well. We are releasing a free resource called End the Year Strong. Visit the Evergreen Project website to download this free resource today. We want to give you a snapshot of this resource in a short series of blog posts!
2020 has been a year like no other. Don’t just plug in the same year-end strategies you have used year after year. Take stock of 2020 and spend some time thinking and praying about 2021.
As we have talked to churches and followed data coming out of groups like Barna and Generis, it is clear that some churches are doing surprisingly well, some are chugging along, and some are in distress right now. This is true in areas of discipleship and mission. It’s also true in stewardship and generosity.
According to recent research this Fall from State of the Plate published by the National Associate of Evangelicals in partnership with Christianity Today:
- 22% of Churches have seen giving increase since COVID-19 shutdowns.
- 42% of Churches have seen giving stabilize since COVID-19 shutdowns.
- 36% of Churches have seen giving decrease since COVID-19 shutdowns.
There have been 2 other extremely unique financial variables in 2020:
- PPP Loan – Many congregations received a PPP Loan from the CARES Act. This one-time loan will not even show up as income initially on a Profit / Loss statement, but it will show up on a Cash Position Statement.
- Reduced Expenses – Many congregations have seen an overall reduction in expenses. Most “tightened their belt” and reduced budgeted expenses early on in the pandemic. There is also a significant reduction of expenses caused by long periods of not gathering in person.
Before you do anything for year-end giving, you need to take stock:
- Is your annual giving up or down?
- Did you receive a PPP Loan?
- Are you in a strong financial position?
- Are people continuing to give regularly or are you seeing a sharp decline?
- Do you need to admonish and encourage or do you need to say thank you?
The Evergreen Project in 2020
Now more than ever, every congregation needs to get generosity and stewardship right. The Evergreen Project is a Provincial Initiative of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
Creating, Collecting, and Curating Resources for a Thriving Church!
The controlling idea behind The Evergreen Project is that of a tree. The Bible uses this rich picture to describe the challenge of standing firm through all seasons – good times and bad times. A tree that can stand firm through all seasons has strong, deep roots. The roots go down so deep that they are nourished by (deep) sources of water even in seasons of drought. It is truly amazing to see trees that grow, prosper, and bear fruit in the midst of incredibly difficult, seemingly defeating, circumstances. That is the hopeful image found in the Scriptures as we look back at Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17 – an evergreen tree.