about our 2022 budget
This page is intended for the members, regular attenders, financial supporters, and other invested parties of TRP. If that doesn't describe you, but you have stumbled upon this page (and now you're curious), welcome! We recognize that churches don't have a great track record when it comes to finances. In response, we want to be very transparent with how we spend people's hard-earned and sometimes limited resources. We know that they expect us to make wise financial decisions for the betterment of TRP, our larger community, and the kingdom of God. It's humbling. Honestly, it's a little daunting too. These numbers were published, originally, so that our folks could affirm the 2022 budget.
If anyone has questions, feel free to contact us.
Below you will find our proposed budget for 2022. We want to highlight two things to provide some context.
A couple of years ago, we were thinking about investing in a building. Truth be told, we are always thinking about investing in a building, but this time, in particular, the conversation was, "ok, people, do we want to go for it OR do we want to double down and invest our funds in people?" We knew that with our finances being what they were, adding a building would make things really tight. So we chose to invest in people, specifically, the existing leaders of TRP and any new hires we made, in an attempt to provide some sustainability.
We continued with the finance team's increasing salary scale for Josh (our senior pastor). We started paying for Suzi's (our associate minister) seminary. We tried to get Tessa's (our resident creative director/content machine) part-time salary in the ballpark of what she deserves. We hired a kids' director. And last year, we hired Collin as a part-part-time worship leader.
Heading into the budget proposal for 2022, our finance team looked at the numbers and decided that we needed to trim about $20,000 off the budget. When you look at the budget, the only place to find that amount of money is in salaries. So we have proposed some cuts, the most notable being Josh’s salary (down from $52,800 in 2021 to $45,000 in 2022) and Suzi’s compensation (down from $7,230 in planned seminary payment in 2021 to $1,800 non-designated “salary” in 2022).
We also eliminated the kids' director position after Shannon stepped down. We are still planning to pay for some help, but the switch saved us an additional $4,000.
Planned Missional (and Benevolence) Spending.
The proposed budget says we are allocating $0 for missional (non-profits, ministries, other organizations) and benevolence spending. This is a little misleading.
In the past, Christians would give to their church—usually a percentage of their income— and that gift would constitute a large portion of their charitable donations. People trusted their church to use monies received for something meaningful—send some of it to a missions organization, fund a missions trip, build a well, support a local non-profit, pay for an unplanned expense that someone was unable to afford.
It seems that trend has changed a bit in recent years. Now, we give to causes and organizations and people out of our own pocket. We sign up for recurring gifts to be made to NPOs who are out there doing something important in the world. These organizations specialize in areas of need, and they need our support.
Similarly, when an unexpected need arises—someone's house burns down, someone's car breaks down, someone suffers a tragic loss, someone is out of work—we step in and either Venmo that person directly or help to meet some other practical need. We don't write a check to the church, which then writes a check to the family in need. The church has become the hub that communicates the need, and the people respond. And we've seen you step up to give, time and again. A need will be presented, and you meet it in real time.
Writing $0 next to our "missional" fund is not really true. We are generous. We are benevolent. We support great local and national organizations. We meet needs when they arise. We've even helped one of our own to start a much-needed non-profit that provides diapers (and adult incontinence) and feminine hygiene products at no cost.
We are spending money missionally ... we just aren't funneling money through the church to do it, and we think that is kind of amazing.
We hope this doesn't sound self-serving, but when it comes to finances, right now we are the mission. Cutting nearly $20,000 from the budget wasn't easy. We want to keep existing so that we can be a different voice, a different witness on the Eastern Shore.
We are the only affirming church on the Eastern Shore that isn't associated with a mainline denomination (and, honestly, there aren't many of those either). We have a democratized leadership that includes and champions women. Currently, our elder board consists of 5 women and 1 man. It's silly to mention this, but in many areas of church life, that is not the case. We are honest about the Bible, and we try to make sense of it in its context. We make space for questions because we all have them. We even ask people during our services if they have any questions. We don't ask anyone to check their brains at the door. We incorporate ancient spiritual practices, long forgotten or overlooked in many church settings. We care about science and have tried to make good decisions for the safety of our people and our community during the pandemic. We will say, "black lives matter," and we try to live it out in practical ways. We don't reduce following Jesus to a saying or a meme or some cliche. We don't preach about "five ways to manage your finances." We dig deep and we get our hands dirty. As our tagline states, we love radically, think differently, and act justly. That's the goal.
For those of you who are on the fence about supporting us financially, we hope TRP falls on that list of things you care about, that you believe in, that you want to see succeed. And we hope you give.