by Tim Page on December 10, 2021
June 17, 2022
At the core, giving financially to the church is part of our life as “disciples” – people growing in our walk as followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible exhorts us to joyfully participate in the life of the church in this way. As the saying goes, God does not want something from us, he wants something for us when he invites us to give to his work. When we give, it grows our trust in the Lord as our provider. It reminds us of his generous provision to us. Everything we have is ultimately his. We are simply returning a portion back to him to celebrate his goodness and to thank him for all of the ways in which he provides.
While that is all true, it is also important for you to have confidence in what you are giving to. We don’t give to the church because it is perfect or because it is a stock that is worthy of investment. That being said, it is helpful to know a bit about what your generosity is used for. As your Executive Administrator and Head of Staff, I have the joyful privilege of overseeing every penny of our $4.15 million ministry budget. Friends, what you make possible through your generosity is truly wonderful. Year after year, the ministry that happens at Central and through Central is transforming lives, communities and the world by the renewing power of Jesus Christ. None of it is possible without your generosity.
There are many (many!) different ministries within our overall annual budget, but we like to think of it as “one mission.” From preparing our sanctuary for worship to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in a far off land, every single dollar of our budget is a missional dollar. There are three core components of our mission: Worship, i-Mission (our internal mission), and e-Mission (our external Mission).
This portion of our mission is the heartbeat of who we are. Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, our team invests a tremendous amount of time and energy into creating a worship environment and experience that allows you to experience the grace of God both personally and corporately. Pastor Clay is passionate (and meticulous) about planning sermon series’ that go deep into the Word of God and relentlessly point us to Christ. Our recent series in the Book of Daniel was so encouraging and inspiring! Matt Mazzoni and our music ministry team prayerfully prepare music that augments our worship and draws us deeper into the themes of the sermon and liturgy. Our facilities team, led by 40-year veteran Dwight McKinney, keeps our campus and sanctuary in great condition, allowing us to be blessed by the beauty and ancient wonder of our sanctuary as we worship. And our Technology team is increasingly busy to not only provide a high-quality audio experience during worship on campus, but also online. Their work through the pandemic has been essential in keeping us connected through such a challenging season of isolation and distance. Worship accounts for approximately 20% of our annual ministry budget.
Short for “internal mission”, this is the ministry that we do within our church family. From discipleship to care ministry, there is robust activity within our i-Mission team throughout the year. One of the most exciting aspects of our i-Mission is the recently-developed Shepherding ministry. We have dozens of people throughout the church serving as shepherds. Pastor Charles Godwin facilitates this ministry along with our Flock Oversight Team (FOT). What a gift this ministry continues to be as we navigate the ongoing complexities of pandemic life. Our Family Ministry team, led by Karen Brown, is exceptional. They plan and execute a tremendous amount of ministry programming throughout the year for kids in our nursery all the way through students in high school. Our new Director of Women’s ministry, Julie Geisz, has hit the ground with vigor and our many women’s groups are flourishing as she partners with them. Pastor Mike Farley continues to launch new growth groups – small group communities where deep life-on-life discipleship is cultivating growth and flourishing. Tina Duke partners with Pastor Charles to coordinate a growing number of our Care Ministries – Divorce Care, GriefShare, CancerCare, Mental Wellness, Recovery Ministry, and more. These ministries are teeming with participation and they are helping people to connect with our church family in deep, meaningful ways. I-Mission accounts for approximately 30% of our annual ministry budget.
This is the “external mission” piece of our ministry, and it is also robust. We are increasingly involved in a wide range of ministries down the block and around the world, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in word and in deed. Pastor Ben Tzeng leads our e-Mission team, and this year has been a busy one as we stand in the gap of Pastor Randy’s retirement. He is missed! But Ben and the lay leadership team are doing an amazing job keeping our Missions ministry active and fruitful. Through their work, we continue to support and encourage nearly 100 Central-funded missionaries and mission agencies near and far. From Thrive to the Micah House, from Kenya to Ukraine, our Missions ministry reaches far and wide. Kate Spielman is a key part of the e-Mission team, and one of her primary ministry areas is the “Sunday Morning Experience.” She and a large team of volunteers invest significant time and talent into making Sundays on our campus a welcoming and invigorating place to be – especially for our guests. Pastor Cole Lescher is part of the e-Mission team as well, and he is focused primarily on ministry to college students and young adults. This demographic is so important in our ministry, and Cole is doing a tremendous job in serving them as well as inviting new guests into our community. Our external mission also includes essential support to our beloved Central Christian School. E-Mission accounts for approximately 35% of our annual ministry budget.
Quietly and seamlessly behind the scenes of front-line ministry, we have a very talented team of ministry support staff that keep Central’s ministries running fruitfully and efficiently. Lisa Roth and our business office team continue to streamline our business processes and procedures, making ministry more and more efficient each year. Jeff Brown and our Communications and Technology team continue to develop creative solutions that enhance our ability to minister in the “virtual world” online. Julie Kraus and the Hospitality Ministry team have done an incredible job in recent months to bring food back onto campus, safely. As Julie likes to say, “it is so great to hear joyful fellowship around the table in Fellowship Hall again!” Ministry Support accounts for approximately 15% of our annual ministry budget.
This summary is not even close to comprehensive. There are many ministries not mentioned here that we do through these teams, all made possible by your generosity. You are part of a special ministry, dear friends. This December, please join us in meeting the $900,000 goal. Every single dollar is a missional dollar. On behalf of your Session and staff, thank you for partnering with us!