A Note from Pastor Rick: A “Now” Word About Finances
As I write this update I have just come out of staff meeting where our staff team was recounting and celebrating all the wonderful and amazing things the Lord did over this past weekend with Jeff Collins and the Breath of Heaven team. A healing of chronic neck and back pain, a healing of gluten intolerance, a healing of dairy intolerance—and that is just one person! I personally watched the Lord do a significant deliverance of a demonic oppression for one person I helped to pray for. Another person opened her heart to receive Jesus. One of our seasoned leaders had an angelic visitation during one of the meetings. Pastor Kevin had his “mail read” by one of the prophetic ministers who was here, as he received major words of encouragement about his calling and ministry here at Wellspring. Those are just some of the stories! It was a glorious four days.
I say all that to say this: for me the most significant time came during one of the worship sessions when Jeff shared some stories about God’s faithfulness and generosity in abundant provision in seasons of great need. I will come back to that experience later in this update. First, I need to share some important information about our current financial situation at Wellspring.
At the close of September we are running about $60,000 behind in our giving. That is behind, as in $60,000 behind our actual expenses for the year. Not a good situation to be in. As some of you may recall, we trimmed our budget for the year 2019 to a core operating budget. So there is almost no wiggle room with this amount. Our expenses are running at 98% of budget and our giving is running at 90% of budget, resulting in a $60,000 deficit. We are holding our expenses very tight, but still our giving is not keeping up.
We are not in danger of bouncing checks. We have some cash reserves. Some of those are restricted and designated for specific ministry or facility expenses. Some are unrestricted. But our policy and practice has been to fund the annual operating budget from current giving and not from reserve funds. Also, we have currently put a “freeze” on any and all expenditures that are beyond essential. That will help some.
For historical context, we have been in this kind of situation before. Last year we had about a $50,000 deficit at the end of September and we ended the year in the black due to a very strong response from the congregation over the final three months of the year. This year we have need of $60,000. The need is real and it is pressing.
I am not, however, in a panic. In fact, I am confident in the Lord’s provision and in the congregation’s faithful support of this ministry. Having served here for 33 years, I have seen the Lord provide through times of recession, through times of taking big faith steps, through good times and hard times. I believe He will do it again.
Now–back to my personal highlight of the Breath of Heaven meetings. We were in a time of praise and worship and Jeff took the mic and went to the platform to share stories of God’s amazing provision he has seen over the years. Jeff was not calling for an offering; he just felt prompted to relate these testimonies. He did not know of our current financial situation; he just felt prompted to tell of God’s faithfulness. As he did so, a very tangible and weighty presence of the Lord’s goodness filled the atmosphere. This presence rested upon us for several moments as we were invited to ask the Lord for our own needs—financial and otherwise—and for Kingdom dreams and desires we are seeking from Him.
I cannot remember all of the details of the stories Jeff told, hence I don’t share them here. Besides, they are Jeff’s stories, not mine. But I do recall my own sense that a window or portal had been opened in the heavenly realm during that time. It was like we could grab onto Jeff’s faith and experiences of God’s faithfulness and be taken through an open door of access to the same level of provision. I began to cry out to God for many things—some financial, some related to ministry dreams and mandates that the Lord has placed within me. One of the things I spoke to God about is the $60,000 we need at Wellspring. It felt like I was on an escalator of faith, ascending to God with these requests, carried along by a presence and power beyond myself.
I invite you to join me on that escalator! I believe God will meet our budget needs and I believe God will provide the resources we need for the ministry initiatives and expansion that His dreams for us call for. Will you join me in believing and in praying to a faithful God to meet these needs? And will you carefully review your giving and see if you are up-to-date on your giving commitments for the ministry here at Wellspring? And will you please seek God if He would have you trust Him to give a bit more between now and the end of the year? Thank you!
We don’t like to talk about money a whole lot at Wellspring. But I believe we will have a great story of God’s provision to share come January 2020. That will be a story to celebrate and to inspire all of us as we seek to head into the coming year with 20/20 vision!