What impact do our pledges have on the mission God has put before us?
Our annual General Fund Budget provides for the core work within the church. This covers needs like staffing for church oversight, programs for equipping and Central Teachings, work with students and adults, costs related to our office functions and facilities, and a host of detailed things that help the church meet objectives. Funding for missions domestically and internationally also stems from this stewardship of God's financial resources.
Historically, pledges to the General Fund cover about 95% of the budget of the church, and so we will move ahead with whatever budget is derived from what is pledged based on that target. Without this security of covering the proposed budget by at least 95% with pledges, our current and possible ministries will be affected. We will not be able to carry out proposed ministry work, like that presented at the annual Vision & Stewardship meeting. Pledging is the way we determine at what level we move ahead with expanded and new work.
In some prior years staff raises, biblical counseling team training and key local missions work were all deemed valuable initiatives by members of Xenos. But due to lack of pledges to cover these important areas, we were unable to move ahead with funding them. With staff raises as one example- We know our pay rate at Xenos is below that of various other churches of a like size in the midwest. We would like to acknowledge our staff’s faithfulness through this by affording raises that allow them to better support their families and God’s kingdom. God certainly takes care of us and it is a clear privilege to work for the church, but we also need to pay the worker their wages (James 5:4). This year we include a raise in what we need to fund, based on pledges.
In 2015, we also seek to grow our reach with indigenous workers who are able to go into their fields language-ready, culturally attuned and able to live on a fraction of what a western missionary needs. These workers are ready to be sent out into the harvest, just as many of us have prayed to happen. Your pledges go, in part, to cover the funding of these workers, allowing God's reach a chance to extend deeper into dark areas unreached by the gospel.