Stewardship Resource

Income Was Lower Than Expected

Happening  Happening
  • Author: Mike Zaske is a pastor at the American Lutheran Church, Worthington, MN.
  • Updated: 07/11/2008
  • Copyright: Mike Zaske

The council in this congregation was stressed by the monthly report which indicated a lower than expected giving level.  The concern continued until a broader review of giving told a quite different story.

Before you jump to conclusions, have another look!


>Income Was Lower Than Expected
Reported by Pastor Mike Zaske

At our October (2005) American Lutheran Church (Worthington, MN) council meeting, we were examining our year-to-date financial report. The report indicated that we were several thousand dollars behind budget in our general giving--but, thankfully, we were also several thousand dollars under the projected expenses. Thus, when all was said and done, we were within a few thousand dollars of being 'in the black.' 

As expected, the fact that general giving was not meeting projections raised some concerns.  Immediately, some council members wanted to investigate why our members weren't being as generous as we had predicted. Were they upset about something? Was the economy to blame? 

The debate went on for a few minutes, and then an insight emerged: Last January, our congregation raised over $16,000 for tsunami relief. In October, we had raised $10,000 for hurricane relief.  If we took these 'offerings' and added them to the amount of general giving collected so far this year, our total general giving was easily some $25,000-plus ahead of projections.

Suddenly, the 'concerns' we had been debating just disappeared like a morning mist when the sun rises higher in the sky. There was no deficit! The Spirit was clearly at work in our midst. "God has blessed us, hasn't he?" someone remarked. Everyone nodded and smiled.                                              

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