. . . posts on faith and life
I was talking with Steve earlier today and he shared some very interesting things that sent my mind going in several different directions. Let me start this way. With the tithes down we already know that significant cuts are coming. CoG departments have been instructed to reduce their current budget by 5% and their projected budget for the next fiscal year by 20%. I’m sure these budget cuts will help departments sustain themselves, but there might be other ideas that the ministers have about cuts that help the overall organizational sustainability. I wonder why there is not more of an open discussion between administrators and ministers on this issue? Would it not be wise, from an organizational standpoint, to let your ministers come up with some ideas about how we should downsize in order to make ourselves a more efficient organization? Can you imagine what a pastor would encounter if s/he made all of the budget decision by her/himself? Yet, that’s exactly what the administration is doing by not consulting it’s ministers on more of these items.
For example, Steve was talking to a well-respected pastor the other day who expressed concern that we were “a small locomotive” carrying around a whole bunch of “extra boxcars.” He felt that we needed to cut some of that extra weight free in order to find organizational efficiency. So, Steve asked him what would be an example. His response was something like this: “Well, for example, consider International Evangelists. We support those positions with a package that costs $50,000 per position. The reality is that those positions are unnecessary, the current guys hardly ever leave the country.” This person is someone that has both the experience and information to be very believable in both the stats and assessment that he offered.
Now, from a broad point of view obviously $100,000 is not going to revolutionize our current spending structure. But what could we do with $100,000? Put in the right hands that same money can do quite a lot! Plus, this is just one small example. There must be hundreds of ideas like this one that are worthy of consideration. And what would the sum total of those be?
National evangelist are a bit of a different story…perhaps. They do not receive a salary per se. But they do receive a package that includes expenses and benefits. And, while I do not know how much the package costs the organization, it’s certainly possible that it approaches the same figure as mentioned above. There are six of them. So, now we’re talking about eight evangelists all together. The number starts approaching $400,000. While that’s still modest when you consider our annual operating budget, a lot could be done with $400,000.
I think the unwillingness on the part of the administrators to have a public discussion on these issues with ministers is one example of how the mistrust is not only going “up the ladder,” but “down the ladder” as well. In other words, it is a sign that the administration does not trust the ministers. They are afraid to let the ministers decide which budget items should be kept and which ones should be cut. I believe that if the next administration does not show a willingness to let the ministers discuss these types of possibilities then the discontentment among the ministers will be much worse in four years than it is even now.