A letter from the Finance Committee & Co-Pastors
Last fall during our “Let’s Talk Money” series, Pastor Abraham said ‘Jesus cares about your money, because he cares about you.’ That is also true about the finances of Mountainview Christian Fellowship, Jesus cares. And, since you consider Mountainview your church home, we know you also care about the financial health of the ministry.
The Church in a Post-COVID World
It doesn’t take a church management guru to know that churches across the nation (including Mountainview) were dramatically affected by the effects of the COVID crisis since the beginning of the 2020s.
Church attendance in all denominations has been in decline for about a decade. The pandemic simply accelerated the pace.
When Pastors Deborah and Abraham arrived last June, COVID restrictions were starting to ease up. And we were hopeful that many who hadn’t yet returned to church would do so soon. Now a year later, there remains many who are able to come back to church, but still haven’t. It’s safe to assume they are staying away for other reasons.
In addition, “regular” church attendance has come to mean something different. In the past, people who identified themselves as “regular” church attenders would attend about 3.2x/month. Today, that has dropped to 1.7x/mo. So on any given Sunday, there are about half as many people as there were previously.
What does this mean?
Does this mean people no longer need church? Do people no longer need connection and community? Has the gospel ceased to offer hope and grace? Of course not. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18b)
But what church looks like, or how we as the people of God share the Good News may look different than what it used to. We will need to rethink our church paradigms and trust Jesus. Yet, I don’t believe Jesus is done with Mountainview Christian Fellowship.
In the midst of these changing times, Mountainview is currently facing a deficit of about $2300/month from what was budgeted at the beginning of the year.
We are grateful that the church has had reserve funds to dip into to meet our current expenses. This letter is not meant to induce panic. Yet, obviously, we can not sustain this level of shortfall indefinitely.
We recognize that many in our congregation are living on fixed incomes, or experiencing underemployment, and all of us are feeling the effects of inflation.
We also believe it takes the whole body of Christ, working together, to accomplish the work of God’s hands in our community and our world.
So, what can you do?
First and foremost – pray. We don’t say this lightly. If we truly believe that we serve the Almighty God of the universe, and that Jesus truly does care about the church expression in Yakima called Mountainview Christian Fellowship; then, we must believe that our prayers can and will change things. If you consider Mountainview your church family, we invite you to pray for God’s provision.
Secondly, continue your regular giving. Also, consider giving automatically either through our website, or your own bank’s autopay feature. That way your generosity to the church remains consistent even when your attendance can’t always be. (PS. Also remember our mailing address is now the church’s physical address, not at Mail-n-More.)
Finally, ask Jesus what your response should be. ALL givers are important whether you give regularly or intermittently, in large amounts or small, and we welcome each gift with gratitude. God may be asking you to step out in faith and begin giving consistently. Jesus may be stretching your faith and challenging you to increase your giving. Whether concerning finances or other areas of our lives, our pastors have always encouraged us to ask, “Jesus, what are you asking me to do?”
As Pastors Abraham and Deborah say every week, thank you so much for your generosity and continued support of the church. We encourage you to pray for one another and connect in all ways possible as we need to encourage and support each other in all things. May God bless you as you remain focused on Him and His direction for you personally and for our church family.