Thank you for your interest in the finances of Calvary Church. As Elders, Deacons, and Calvary Staff, we feel a great responsibility as stewards of the resources the Lord has provided. The early Church was encouraged by Paul to give to and through the local church (I Corinthians 16:2) and Calvary Church has a rich history of wisely disseminating those gifts in a Godly manner.
One way in which we exercise our fiduciary responsibility is to provide a simplified chart of the finances of Calvary Church in the For the Record section of our weekly worship folder. We intend this chart to provide an accurate, transparent account of the current financials of Calvary Church. Admittedly, we understand that with the limited space for explanation, this method can lead to other questions. Below we have attempted to address some of those frequently asked questions.
How is the annual Budget (Projected Offerings) of Calvary Church figured?
The fiscal year of Calvary Church runs from September 1 - August 31. As early as January, the Elders, Deacons, Pastor Staff, as well as various Committees (Staff Advisory, Operation, Finance, etc.) meet and pray to seek God’s direction for Calvary in the coming year. In a combined effort, each of group plays a role in approving a final budget for the year that is driven by the ministry direction the Lord has set.
How is the weekly Projected Offering figured?
The Projected Offering is based on historical giving. This figure is based on taking an average of the percentage of the budget that was collected during each week over the last five years. This weekly average is then averaged with other weeks in the current budget cycle month. This percentage is then applied to our current budget to give the weekly Projected Offerings or the amount needed to keep on budget. After attempting a variety of methods, this seems to be the most accurate way to communicate the weekly financial need to the congregation.
Sometimes the For the Record section shows a (deficit). What does that mean?
A deficit in the For the Record means that our Actual Offerings (current giving) is behind where we historically need to be in order to reach our Projected Offerings or budget for the year. The Deacons and Staff diligently monitor expenses, and a deficit in our Actual Offerings does not mean we are spending money that has not been received. It does, however, mean that if annual expenses are what they are projected and any deficit is not erased, ministry adjustments would be made in proportion to any deficit.
What if at the end of the fiscal year Actual Offerings are more than Projected Offerings or expenses are less than Actual Offerings (surplus)?
We consider it a great blessing when the Lord allows a surplus at the end of a fiscal year and take steps in seeking God’s counsel on how to apply these additional resources. The Finance Committee, Deacons, and ultimately Elders seek God’s will in using these funds. In the past, these unbudgeted funds have provided for unforeseen expenses and also provided for additional ministry which would have not been possible without this God-given surplus.
For the Record shows a balance for Open Door Project. What is Open Door Project?
The east wing addition which houses the gym, chapel, and youth space was added to the original facility in the early nineties. The funding for this addition was partially through a mortgage note. Through the generous gift of a church member, God provided a way for Calvary Church to pay for this addition in total and remove the mortgage note. This was an overwhelming blessing to Calvary Church. In response, the Calvary Church Board approved a new annual project. The focus of this project would be on missions and on those ministering outside Calvary’s walls. Leadership encouraged the congregation to take the portion of their offerings originally designated to paying off the mortgage and apply them to this project. This Open Door project (ODP) was opened in 1994. Through the years, God has used the Calvary family to reach the least-reached, poor, and oppressed people of our community and our world. ODP has been used to proclaim God’s glory in China, Central Asia, the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa, and in ministries throughout Michigan, totaling over $6 million. The For the Record figure reprsents the amount congregants have designated to ODP for our current fiscal year.
If you have more questions we would encourage you to attend our Annual Congregational Meeting, which is the second week of September. During this meeting a more detailed annual report is provided by the Calvary Church Treasurer. In addition, please feel free to contact our Finance Department (956-9377) or contact one of the Deacons in person or by email at