3 Buckets & 15%

April 24, 2024 | Written by Kyle Collins

This blog is the final blog in a 3-part series about generosity. We’ve been taking some intentional time this year to share what we believe about giving, the impact your giving has, goals we’ve set, and how you can be a part of it!

If you’re new to Pulpit Rock, you may not know that there is something really unique about how we build our budget and fund ministry as well as invest in kingdom work outside our walls.

Typically, a church has one large bucket that giving goes into and from that they pay everything: facilities, operations, staffing, and each ministry department.

Our church approaches it a little differently: we have 3 buckets that together form our budget.

Bucket 1 – this is revenue from a public charter school that uses our space during the week, and the money we receive from them offsets a significant portion of our facilities cost. It goes to things like utilities, cleaning, repairs & maintenance, and landscaping, as well as staffing costs to flip our building back and forth between a church and school every week. This accounts for roughly 30% of our revenue each year.

Bucket 2 – this is designated giving. We realized years ago that if we ever wanted to be able to give away more outside these walls than we keep operating church inside our walls, we would need to create more ways for people to participate in kingdom investment. 100% of every dollar that is given to Pulpit Rock in these designated accounts goes to supporting that project. It’s special partnerships like our Christmas Offering, Love Your Neighbor, Pando Collective, Human Trafficking and Refugee Relief, Missions and the Emergency Assistance Fund. This designated bucket has accounted for $300,000 – $400,000 per year over the past 5 years, which is incredible!

Bucket 3 – our final bucket is our general ministry fund. It is how we cover most everything else – our church operations, pay staff, fund all ministry departments, and regular support to missional partners. Last year our general ministry fund was $1.16 million, and we’re always seeking to steward it well so we can free up as much as possible to go ‘outside the walls’. At a minimum, we budget 10% from this bucket for that, in addition to 100% of our designated bucket, but one of our long-standing goals has been to increase this percentage significantly.

In this generosity blog series we have talked about our goal to increase giving by 15% in 2024. It’s this third bucket we are trying to grow. I have shared with many of you that our staff have been excellent stewards of a shrinking general budget the past 7 years, but we need to grow it back to a place where we can invest more resources in our kids, student and adult ministries as well as increasingly be more generous with our resources to meet the needs in our city and around the world.

But it begs a question… what happens if we hit that goal and Pulpit Rock’s giving increases by 15%?

  • We could say yes to some new strategic ministry partners. We have 20-30 individuals and organizations that reach out to Pulpit Rock for monthly support every year.
  • We could provide more funding to our Kids and Student ministry areas to invest in families – fun environments, equip leaders, create connection, and appreciate our volunteers.
  • We could increase budgets for our ministries that serve adults – Men, Women, Marriages, Whole Care – providing new opportunities to cultivate community and expand our ability to walk with people in all seasons of their lives.
  • We could begin to plan, prepare & fund some needed building improvements – smaller things like updating bathrooms to larger needs, like making our facility more accessible and upgrading HVAC and electrical systems.
  • We would be better positioned to respond to the reality of increasing costs in Colorado Springs as an organization and for our staff. Working with a budget where expenses increase and revenue is flat, or even decreasing, is doubly challenging. This would help us move the needle in the right direction.

So now you might be wondering – what would it actually take to hit that number?

A 15% increase to our general ministry fund would represent $14,500/month (or $174,000/year).

There are many ways we can break that number down, but let’s look at it in a couple of ways:

It could be 40 new givers who give $350 a month.

It could be all of our current givers increasing their monthly gift by $75.

If either of those things happened in 2024 we would hit our goal.

Our strategy to reach that goal?

It’s just to be honest and transparent about where we are and to trust God and the conversations you’re having with Him. We believe he’s eager to talk with us about our finances – so our encouragement is to regularly have that conversation with God and then do whatever He says – and to experience the joy of following where He leads!

No pledge cards or commitment Sunday. No passing the plate. We won’t tell you to give a certain percentage. There is no heavy-handed ask coming or a new series on giving…

If He does lead you to set up a monthly gift to Pulpit Rock or increase your giving or even start giving to a designated account you can do that at pulpitrock.com/give.  

And if you ever have questions about giving at Pulpit Rock, our budget or how your money is spent you can reach out to Adria Robinson at arobinson@pulpitrock.com.

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