We Methodist, call them our Apportionments, the portion we pay the church pay to the Conference and to the World Service Fund. Most churches, especially the smaller ones, are struggling to be able to pay their apportionments. But even the bigger churches are nowdays feeling the pinch or bite, whichever you want to call it.
The three churches I served before I came here, could not pay their apportionments. I did not take a pay raise for the last three years I was there, challenging them to pay their apportionments; and use what would have been what they would give me in a raise to put toward it. The smallest church closed my last year there.
The church I am serving now, last year paid 80% of their apportionments, after not paying them for years. This year they will pay 100%. We are celebrating. And now that they have done this, they want to continue to do so.
But there is a but. Just like many of the churches they are facing more people on fixed income with rising medical costs, and more deaths of the older generation who are the givers. We are looking at cutting salaries, slicing jobs, etc.
I am wondering are there some ways, some creative ways you may have found or tried to raise funds in order to pay the apportionments? I think the truth is even if in churches everybody tithed, we would struggle. I think the reality is though that not everybody tithes in churches, and it presents a problem to keep the regular bills paid, the salaries paid, and the apportionments paid. So there seems to be another factor at work here too, what about the tithing? What about using our gifts, graces, and talents in other ways to raise the funds for the church? And what about the larger church, the conference, the boards and agencies? What are their responsibility in this matter? Where are they held accountable for their spending? Their tithing?
I would like to hear your thoughts, ideas, opinions, problem solving on this matter, whether you are Methodist or another denomination.