Sovereign Grace Ministries has published their financial report for 2013. I’m no accountant, but it looks like SGM is facing some hard times.
I am also not a prophet, but I predict that if you are still attending a Sovereign Grace church you should prepare to face some intense badgering over the course of the next 12 months aimed at getting you to increase your contributions. Sermons on tithing, pledge drives complete with the pressure to sign a pledge card, and perhaps your leaders will even take it up a notch and utilize some of the techniques so successfully employed by money grubbers such as Ed Young – sign a card to enable your church to automatically electronically transfer money each week from your account directly to the church!
Here, from the SGM financial report, is the reason I can make my bold prediction:
“SGM has experienced a net cash outflow from operating activities in the years ended August 31, 2013 and 2012. SGM has been adversely affected by the economic downturn, by negative publicity from litigation, and by the departure of approximately 25 member churches from the association. Contributions are down 63% from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2013.
The outflows over the last two years were funded by cash and other assets accumulated through reserves collected over the prior seven years. Reserves were used to fund previously planned church plants and international ministry so as not to abruptly impact these programs. In response to the reduced revenue, operating expenses have been reduced by 46% for fiscal year August 31, 2014 as compared to fiscal year August 31, 2012. Employee compensation and benefits has been cut by over 53% for the same period. Management and staff positions have been reduced to minimum levels. As much as possible, greater reductions to supporting services have been made in order to preserve program expenses. Renewed fund raising campaigns are planned, after a year with little or no fund raising efforts in the midst of other challenges. The budget for the year ending August 31, 2014 shows a net cash outflow of $329,400.
SGM has been in a process of evaluation and reorganization, which has left the association smaller, but SGM management believes strengthened and well positioned for the future. The governance has been significantly revised and formalized. A new Book of Church Order defines how member churches function together and in relationship to the central office of SGM. All SGM churches will be represented and involved in Regional Assemblies of Elders and a Council of Elders. An expanded Board of Directors, as well as the Executive Director, will now be voted on by the Council of Elders. In addition, an expanded Leadership Team is in place. The leadership is well informed regarding the financial challenges, and is working hard to reduce expenses and stabilize revenue as quickly as possible within the parameters of the new polity.”
Drink up boys and girls!