(or How We Spend Your Money – Part 2)


Thanks for giving so we can buy lightbulbs.

I was recently reminded of this truth:
You never notice the lightbulbs until they are not working.

I walked into a room in my home with no windows, flipped on the switch and nothing happened. But I was in a hurry, so I went ahead and tried to get the thing I was after in the dark. Three steps into the room I heard the crunch (and felt the pain) of my son’s Lego being crushed under my foot.

I was reminded in that moment how many little things – things that I never think about – are needed to keep life smooth and functioning in my home.

Things like lightbulbs.

What is interesting about those things is we rarely think about them unless they aren’t working. And we never get excited about them. We don’t talk about the new lightbulbs we just bought with our friends. But they are a truly indispensable part of living.

It is true in our home. And it is true at our church.

There are a lot of little things that are indispensable for our church, but most of us probably never think about them. And those of us who do think about those necessities probably don’t get too excited about having to pay for them.

As Executive Pastor, I have this unique role at our church. My family worships at Pulpit Rock through regular giving. And I also get to sign off on all of the expense forms for the things that keep this place running … like lightbulbs.

I don’t know about you, but when I give to Pulpit Rock I picture kids coming to Jesus, leaders being developed, and international missions. But through my role, God has broadened my picture of what it takes to be a healthy church.

We exist to help people journey with God. And we can’t do that without lightbulbs.

On our staff, we lump all that stuff together under the category of “Operational Expenses.” And while it may not always be the most exciting stuff to talk about – it is absolutely vital to what we do as a church, and it is so important that we do this well.

Let me give you a glimpse of some of what we spend money on in this area:

    lightbulbs, toilet paper, computers, furniture etc.
    In any given weekend we have around 1,000 people on our campus and virtually all of us use some supplies.
    utilities, internet, snow removal, database services, accounting software etc.
    These things provide the necessary framework for ministry to happen.
    We invest in an internal Financial Controller who looks at every expense and process and helps us make wise and cost effective decisions. We also invest in an external and independent auditing service (Capin & Crouse) that reviews all of our financial processes each year. Pulpit Rock has always taken financial oversight very seriously, and because of that, the report is always very good.
    We have a team that focus on facilities, finances, IT, landscaping, office management, and custodial. They are amazing people who serve us all with integrity and excellence. They strike a balance between spending money on needed things, while being as efficient as possible so that operational costs don’t get too high.

*Note: We share these costs with Thomas MacLaren School. The school pays directly for their supplies and services.

Lightbulbs are ministry. We may not typically think of operational things in that way. But if they went away tomorrow we would see it. We can’t have a healthy church that helps people journey with God unless we invest wisely in the area of operations.

If you give to this church – thank you! Your investment is making a huge difference here. In fact, next time you are here, try to notice all the little things that you typically overlook and realize that without your financial investment those things couldn’t happen. And we couldn’t help people journey with God.

If you don’t yet give to this church, let me encourage you to consider investing here – we’d be honored if you’d join us financially.

I am excited about what God is doing in our midst, and I hope you sense it too. I love you people!

Written by Jonathan Cleveland


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