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December 19, 2022

Financial Update #2: Informed Challenge

Jon Grano

Pastor for Operations

As Bethlehem’s fiscal year comes to a close on December 31, this second “Financial Update” of 2022 is intended to inform and challenge us to reflect on God’s grace and faithfulness to us as a church, and respond with joyful generosity.

Going into December, contributions to Bethlehem’s ministry budget totaled $6,851,688 through the first 11 months of our fiscal (calendar) year. With estimated 2022 ministry expenses of $8,850,000 ($600K below our congregationally-approved 2022 budget of $9.45M), we needed $2,000,000 to be given this December to cover this year’s anticipated expenses.

In the first three weeks of December (through 12/18), you’ve already contributed $650,000 toward that goal, so that our remaining financial need in the next 12 days is $1,350,000. This is undeniably a large amount in a short period of time, but not beyond what God is able to do— and, we pray, will do—this December. See this chart of December giving from the past five years and consider how gifts in these amounts would relate to our anticipated expenses of $8,850,000 in 2022.

The previous chart showed 2017–2021 giving that included contributions from Bethlehem’s (former) South Campus. Since South Cities Church launched on December 1, their December 2022 contributions are appropriately used to fund their church ministry, not Bethlehem’s. This chart shows three projected scenarios if current Bethlehem members and attendees (at the Downtown and North Campuses) contribute the same amount (or more) in December 2022 as they did in December 2021. Note that it takes about a 50% increase over December 2021 generosity to cover estimated 2022 expenses of $8.85M.

Each person’s financial situation is likely different this December than last. And God is not constrained by our scenarios or projections—he promises to supply what we need (Philippians 4:19), not what we want. But he also encourages us to ask him for good things (Matthew 7:7–11), and covering our 2022 ministry expenses seems like a good thing.

As you prayerfully consider how you can participate in supporting the needs of the church through your financial resources in the next 12 days, please contact Financial Secretary Steve Walmsley if you’d like any assistance or have any questions about giving to Bethlehem. All 2022 contributions in checks or cash must be brought to the church or postmarked by 12/31. All 2022 online contributions must be transacted by 11:45pm CT on 12/31 at Use the Bethlehem Online Giving portal to set up one-time or recurring giving via eCheck (lower cost to Bethlehem) or credit card—you can also use the Portal to view your giving history and recurring giving schedule.

Thanking God for his generosity to Bethlehem through you,

Jon Grano
Pastor for Operations

See the Financial Update #1: God-Dependent Generosity, posted December 6.