Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Dear West Salem Foursquare Family and Friends,
Will you take a few moments to read this communication? It contains a number of key updates for our congregation, specifically regarding our ability to meet the expenses of church ministry in these difficult times.
The first half of 2012 (January – June) has been amazing in light of our mission in Making More and Maturing Disciples.
We have had an average attendance of 1231 people at our three weekend services. In the last six months 112 people have given their lives to Jesus and 37 have been baptized in water. Praise the Lord! There has been an especially sweet point of growth in our kids and student ministries. Each week, we minister to over 305 children in our age-appropriate classes. They are having a blast and we’re hearing stories of many of them responding to Jesus in salvation. Our Student Ministries (ALIVE) is busting with over 125 middle school and senior high youth converging on our campus each and every week.
Earlier this year we had the privilege of planting a new Foursquare church in Dallas, Oregon. Nearly 100 people joined with Darrin & Stacey Hausler and were sent out of WSFC to start a vibrant work in that community. As well, we also had the opportunity to send Jake & Rachael Poetzl to Burlington, Washington and Kevin & Deana Pruett to Waldport, Oregon to senior pastor the Foursquare churches in those respective communities. This reinforces that we believe the health of a church is NOT in it’s seating capacity but in it’s sending capacity!
This year we began a monthly point of connection for new individuals called HELLO. We have had so many people join us and tell stories of how much they LOVE our church. They have found an authentic place to connect, grow and serve. As a matter of fact, even as I’m sitting at a local coffee shop to write this communication piece, I’ve been approached by two folks to tell me stories of how their friends have just started attending WSFC and LOVE IT! I hear testimonies regularly confirming that we have a GREAT church!
West Salem Foursquare is doing great in so many areas, but one area in which we are not excelling is our weekly giving. Our average gift amounts have been consistently trending down even though attendance has been leaning towards growth. I believe this may be a result of the economic pinch, but I also believe that personal debt and lack of a biblical understanding about the blessing of stewardship are impacting giving in significant ways. Our Lord Jesus wants each of us to “grow in wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9) and exercise our faith so that we may “excel in the grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7)!
Over the nearly 20 years since our church came into existence, we can track seasons of financial challenges. Any growing church will experience this, especially with the building and maintenance of a facility such as we have. Since becoming the Lead Pastor nearly four years ago, I, along with our team, have been working diligently to reduce spending and operate within our means. We want to live in a way that is lean, so that we can give in a way that is generous.
We have paid off large amounts of debt, streamlined ministries, reduced staffing (from 35 to 17 people), issued payroll cuts, and, in all ways, controlled spending, while continuing in Making More and Maturing Disciples.
However, the problems we are experiencing cannot be fully solved without sufficiently increased giving. This must be the willful effort of many not just a few.
This year our expenses have been reduced to $127,000 a month, but, on average, our income per month from tithes is often under $112,000. Will you join us in aggressively tackling this deficit each month so that we can continue to do the work that God has given us to do together? I am asking that you, as a friend or member of West Salem Foursquare, would prayerfully consider giving a one-time tax deductible offering this week, and that you would biblically partner with us in your recurring tithes and offerings. If you have yet to begin tithing and generously giving, then please consider doing so this summer so that we are able to stand on much more stable financial ground going into the fall months.
There are a number of convenient ways to give. Every weekend the giving buckets are passed and secure boxes are available along the back wall of the auditorium. As well, you can mail checks to 3094 Gehlar Dr. NW • Salem, OR 97304 or set up an automatic bank withdraw or employer deduction. Lastly, you may visit wsfc.org/give to give online.
Denise and I, along with our staff, council and elders, are very grateful for you. Together we are accomplishing great things!
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