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Finances may be a touchy subject, but not with us.
Everything we do in regards to finances is done according to how we believe the Bible instructs us to be stewards of money. Therefore, we're completely transparent with all partners about how we're handling the finances in the church and we ensure that every cent is accounted for and is spent in the best way to expand the Kingdom of Heaven and reach the lost.
Our finances are divided into three main sections: our finances, our accounts, and gifts of generosity.
Tithes: Tithes are 10% of one’s gross income, before taxes and other expenses are deducted. We believe that the Lord commands us to tithe 10% of our income. These are used as our main source of income and used for ministry, salaries, general expenses, small maintenance expenses and regular events. The regular, systematic giving of tithes enables there to be stability in the church’s income and expenses and helps us to budget and plan ministry properly. We encourage people to tithe according to a tithing number, the details of which are kept strictly confidential.
Bring one-tenth of your income into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way, says the LORD of Armies. "See if I won't open the windows of heaven for you and flood you with blessings. – Malachi 3:10
Missional partnerships: In addition to tithing, we encourage every disciple to develop life-long partnerships with missionaries and mission organizations that are reaching the lost. You can contact our Missions Co-ordinator, Jade, to find out more about supporting a missionary/missions organization on a monthly basis. Several people have been supporting missionaries and organizations for many years. Over time, many people have also increased the amount of money that they give monthly or have added additional organizations to the ones they have been giving to. Through missional partnerships, people can also support those in the church who have answered the Lord’s call to full-time ministry. They are the church’s intern student pastors and rely on the generosity of church members to fund their studies and personal expenses. The shortfall for their income is given from the church’s main account.
You Philippians also know that in the early days, when I left the province of Macedonia to spread the Good News, you were the only church to share your money with me. You gave me what I needed, and you received what I gave you. Even while I was in Thessalonica, you provided for my needs twice. … My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:15-19
Free-will offerings: Throughout each year many needs and opportunities arise which fall outside of the normal church budget. We also give people an opportunity to give the Lord a free-will offering or a thank-offering. These are not offerings which we are specifically commanded to give, but which are given in appreciation for all that God does for us or in response to specific blessings which we have received. For example, after a period of fasting, we encourage people to give a free-will offering from the money they’ve saved on food during the period of fasting. Another thing we have done is put up a “Jesus Well” in India for R7500 from people’s free-will offerings. Please allow the Lord to lead you in this area and give as He lays things upon your heart.
LORD, I will give freewill offerings to you. I will praise your good name – Psalm 54:6
I will give you a thank offering. I will call on the LORD'S name – Psalm 116:17
Pledges: Pledges are specific commitments that people make to contribute to a specific need. For example, each year we identify specific areas of the church premises that need maintenance or renovation. Usually this is a fixed amount. People are then encouraged to consider an amount that they will pledge towards the whole amount needed for the renovation. Pledges can be a once-off amounts or monthly amounts for the number of months you feel led to contribute for. In this way, we have been able to keep our church premises in a good condition.
With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood … Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple – 1 Chronicles 29:2-3
The church has 3 accounts. The details of the accounts can be found in the church bulletin.
Main account: This is where tithes and certain free-will offerings are deposited. The bulk of the church’s expenses are also paid from this account. The church also “tithes” 10% of its gross income to missions and missionaries from this account.
Missions account: This account is used for local outreaches, mission trips and other efforts to reach people. It is also a holding account for money raised for mission trips (e.g. where money from fundraisers is kept). Giving to this account is via free-will or thank-offerings.
Building account: This account is used for all the maintenance and development of church premises and equipment. Any building-related expenses or purchases above R2 500-00 is usually paid from this account. Usually money for these projects is raised via pledges, but people also give amounts to this account on a monthly basis. We have also been blessed on several occasions where people have given substantial amounts to offset large renovations such as the construction of a jungle gym play area, the repair and painting of the church roof or installation of outside security lights.
Gifts of Generosity
Developing a 'spirit' (attitude) of generosity: When it comes to finances, people have different ideas. However, at R.B.C. we try to manage our finances according to the guidelines of God’s word. We believe that even though God blesses us with many things, all that we own belongs to God, and that we are stewards of what God owns. We try to encourage people to not just give money, but to share God’s character of generosity. God wants us to excel at giving (2 Cor. 8:7); to honor Him in the way we use our wealth (Proverbs 3:9); to give by faith (2 Cor. 9:5), and to do so cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:6), systematically (1 Cor. 16:2) and generously (2 Cor. 9:6). Many people can testify to God’s faithfulness to them as they have sown wealth into His Kingdom. You can’t out-give God! We also run a “Financial Management” Workshop that equips people with skills to manage their personal finances well. The workshop runs every second year, but the manual can be ordered from the church secretary.
Transparency: In terms of transparency, three to four times a year, members receive a financial report giving details of how much money has been received and also a list of expenses. The church sets an annual budget for each year that is adjusted according to the growth of ministries and to compensate for inflation. This is discussed at our Annual General Meeting and then becomes the budget for the next 12 months. Members may request a copy of the church’s financial records at any time