Getting Ready for 2021
End the Year Strong is a new resource from the Evergreen Project! You can download it for free on The Evergreen Project website. Getting ready for 2021 is vital for wrapping up 2020. Start looking ahead now. Spend some time praying and dreaming! In May of 2020, Tim Keller did a webinar with Francis Collins through BioLogos. Tim Keller said that after this pandemic, “All churches are going to get replanted.” The aftermath of this pandemic requires innovation and creativity – like a church plant. As you look towards the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, don’t just hunker down.
- How can your congregation move forward in mission?
- What opportunities might there be coming out of the pandemic season?
- What ongoing needs will there be in your community?
Don’t just look back at this past year. Don’t just look at your immediate financial need. Pray about what you feel God is calling your congregation to in the months and years ahead. Figure out what it would look like for your church to be strong for the days ahead and ask your people for their prayers and for their help.
What Every Rector Needs to Know
We believe that the Rector of a congregation must know the specific financial facts and health of the congregation he or she is leading. The Rector does not have to have a degree in finance or accounting to run the parish, but there are some key things the Rector must know to understand the financial health:
- The Budget: Money needed on an annual basis to supply the church with adequate financial resources.
- The Buffer: Money on hand, in reserves, or available to be committed to resource the church to accomplish the program.
- The Burn: Money committed to being spent every month.
- The Balance: Money needed before the end of the year to pay all the bills.
Taking Another Look at Your Buffer for 2021
Usually, churches are focused on the Balance as they approach the end of the year. That is vital to end the year strong, but this is a unique time to take another look at the Buffer. Coming out of 2020 is the perfect opportunity to see if you are taking the right approach to saving for “a rainy day.” Did you dip into these reserves during the past year? Has 2020 shown you that you had too much in reserves or not enough? If we had another unforeseen crisis, could your congregation survive and thrive. Revisit your philosophy in this area as you think about the sustainability and future of your church.
Take a look back at 2020 giving patterns. This was actually a real-time rainy day! It should inform how much or how little is wise for your organization to have in savings. It can be hard to motivate people to give towards savings when everything is going well. I think this is a unique time where we can highlight the need for a proper amount of savings and reserve funds. Building that back up (or getting started for the first time) could be a key emphasis in your year-end giving appeal or planning your 2021 budget.
Now is the time to make sure your team is on the same page! The Rector & the Vestry can help! Visit LeaderWorks for a special deal on these books for your team – 13 copies for $130!
The Evergreen Project
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.