I have set my alarm for 5:00 AM every morning for the last 26 years and lived in the same house for 22 years. I enjoy a small bowl of Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips with salsa every Wednesday night and have enjoyed that as a snack for as long as I can remember. And, I prefer to watch Survivor while eating my special snack. I would probably still be using my iPhone 5C if it supported all of the latest upgrades. As you can tell, I like routine and finding or creating stability. 2020 was anything but stable, especially when it came to finances. Many of you have asked, how is Sunridge doing financially? I love that question because the people who ask are usually invested in our mission – meaning they financially support what God is doing in and through Sunridge. The quick answer is giving is down, so we adjusted our budget. On top of the budget cuts, we took advantage of the PPP included as part of the CARES Act. If you are not familiar with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), it helped small businesses keep staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without going into too much detail, this government loan came with a promise of forgiveness if the recipient met the defined criteria. To be honest, I was skeptical. Even Dave Ramsey was advising against taking on this loan, and you know how I have nothing but love and respect for Dave. But after much prayer and seeking wise counsel, I began the process of applying for the PPP loan. In April 2020, Sunridge received the funds. After a lot of refinement by the government, they finally established the application for PPP forgiveness. In January 2021, 100% of our loan became a grant.
Current FYTD giving vs. spending
The Sunridge fiscal year runs from October through September. The current fiscal year operational giving (not including agape) vs. the total spending (including non-expense items such as mortgage principal) through February:
Positive cash flow $12,298
These numbers are very encouraging. However, as Sunridge prepares to reoccupy our facility on April 18, 2021, expenses will ramp up accordingly, consuming this buffer.
Comparative stats showing giving prior to pandemic vs. during pandemic
Projections based on current giving
Based on the most recent donor analysis, fiscal year giving is projected to total $1,304,200, $190,380 under the current budget of $1,494,580. As you can see from earlier statistics, FYTD spending is well below the budgeted amount, providing a safe buffer with the giving shortfall. When we begin the 2021-22 budget process in June 2021, if giving trends remain as is, drastic cuts will be necessary.
As I pour over these numbers, it can be easy for me to lose sight of the big picture. I find it helps me to ask myself, why do I give? Do you wonder about that? Let me help; it is not to support the Sunridge facility. It is not to support the Sunridge staff. It is not so that we can finish church projects. We give to worship God. We give because we should desire to be a part of God’s work in and through the Church.
Jed, our Executive Pastor of Ministry, recently told me about The Voice translation of the Bible. When I read Luke 16 through The Voice, I thought it was very impactful. Look at how verse 9 reads, “Learn some lessons from this crooked but clever asset manager. Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships, to provide opportunities for being generous and kind. Eventually, money will be useless to you—but if you use it generously to serve others, you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination.”
Andy Stanley said, “Until Jesus is first in your finances, Jesus isn’t first. You’re not a follower. You’re a user. And Judas tried that.” What a powerful statement.
Research shows giving among believers is around 2.5% of their income. If most followers of Jesus gave half of a “tithe” (5%) it would double the average. Imagine the impact that would have on the church and our ability to help people find and follow Jesus! Giving is not a salvation issue, and you cannot buy your way into heaven. The truth is, God loves you and He does not need your money. But, how you manage God’s money could be a great determiner of what is important to you.
How to give at Sunridge
If you are ready to financially support Sunridge, click the button below to find out all of the safe and secure ways you can give.