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Bethlehem Blogs

December 6, 2022

Financial Update #1: God-Dependent Generosity

Jon Grano

Pastor for Operations

God’s ways are often not our ways. 

When God called Gideon to save Israel from the hand of Midian, he twice had Gideon send away a majority of the troops, saying, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judges 7:2). God intended to make it clear the victory belonged to Him.

We praise God that he has multiplied Bethlehem’s ministry with the official launch of South Cities Church last Thursday, December 1, and we join them in praying for extraordinary generosity among their people to start their first month and the New Year financially healthy. We also recognize that past year-end “hockey stick” generosity from our former South Campus will not be included this December to help reduce Bethlehem’s current deficit and finish our own year in a strong financial position—a further reminder how dependent we are on God for everything, including generosity. 

With less than four weeks (three Sundays) remaining in Bethlehem’s 2022 fiscal year, we encourage everyone who calls Bethlehem home—whether Downtown or North—to consider their participation in “extraordinary generosity” at year-end so that 2022 ministry expenses will be met. The staff has done a good job keeping expenses well below our congregationally-approved budget of $9,450,000, with expected 2022 expenses of $8,850,000 (+/- $100,000). Your contributions this past Sunday (12/4) brought Bethlehem’s 2022 operating fund contribution levels to $7,007,027. Please join us in asking God for the remaining $1,850,000 needed between now and December 31 to cover our 2022 expenses, and consider making a generous investment in the many ministries that define Bethlehem as 2022 comes to a close. This December, your year-end generosity has the added benefit of allowing both our Downtown and North campuses to start strong and healthy in 2023 as independent churches.

Current Financial Data Summary

  • Contributions through last Sunday (12/4): $7,007,027
    • 14.5% ($1.2M) below 2022 budgeted giving of $8,200,000
    • 10.3% ($800K) below 2021 actual giving of $7,810,868
  • Estimated 2022 ministry expenses: $8,850,000 (+/-$100K)
  • Remaining need to cover ministry expenses: $1,850,000 (+/-$100K)
  • Remaining Sundays in 2022 fiscal year: three
  • Average amount needed each week: ~$600,000

Grace-Enabled Generosity

  • Please join us in praying for $1.85M to be given before the end of the year.
  • Use the Bethlehem Online Giving portal to set up one-time or recurring giving via eCheck or credit card, where you can view your giving history, recurring giving schedule, and Contribution Statement.

Thank you for your generosity so far in 2022 that allows Bethlehem to support local ministries and global missions, disciple the next generation, counsel one another, and grow together in grace to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). As we’ve each been strengthened by God’s grace this year, please join us in praying for hearts of cheerful generosity as we respond to that grace in this final month of the year.