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Bethlehem Blogs

December 4, 2019

Financial Update #1

Jon Grano

Pastor for Operations

This past summer, Bethlehem’s Downtown, North, and South campuses each hosted a six-week Sunday School class based on Ron Blue’s “God Owns It All” curriculum. In that class, Ron highlighted five biblical principles of money management:

  1. Spend less than you earn.
  2. Avoid the use of debt.
  3. Save or build margin for the unexpected.
  4. Set long-term goals.
  5. Give generously.

With four weeks remaining in Bethlehem’s fiscal year, we encourage everyone who considers Bethlehem to be their home church to “give generously” so that 2019 ministry expenses will be met. The staff has done a good job of keeping expenses below our congregationally-approved budget of $10.6M, with 2019 expenses expected to range between $10M and $10.2M, but this has required deferring several important budgeted initiatives.

Since giving on December 1 brought us to $8.4M, please join us in asking God for the $1.6M–$1.8M needed between now and December 31 to cover our 2019 expenses. Going even further, let’s pray for the provision of the full $2.2M to meet our year-end budget target. Consider making a generous investment in the many ministries that define Bethlehem as 2019 comes to a close.

Current Financial Data

To help inform your prayers and year-end giving decisions, contributions to Bethlehem’s 2019 “Fill These Cities: 25x’25” general operating fund through December 1, 2019, are summarized here:

  • 2019 YTD contributions: $8,424,318
    This year’s contributions are 4.4 percent below 2018 year-to-date contributions of $8,816,332, and 8.7 percent below our 2019 “Fill These Cities: 25x’25” year-to-date budget target of $9,225,000.

Contribution Details

  • Use the Bethlehem Online Giving page to set up one-time or recurring giving via e-check or credit card. You can also view your giving history, recurring giving schedule, and Contribution Statement.  
  • If you have questions about contribution options, including donations of stock or yearly “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMD) from an IRA account, contact Bethlehem’s Financial Secretary, Steve Walmsley (612-338-7653 x463).

Thank you so much for your generosity so far in 2019 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 experienced God’s grace in 2019, please join us in praying for hearts of cheerful generosity as we respond to that grace in this final month of the year.

Note: This post was updated on Friday, December 6, to reflect our full year-end budget target.