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First Things, November 2014

November 9, 2014

Measured by our membership, we are a small church. But in many ways First Church operates like a large church. Our building allows us to generate a much larger income than we receive from member pledges. Our rental income allows us to hire more staff and operate more programs that other churches with our membership size.

Most 60-member churches can employ only one person, probably a half-time minister. We have two nearly full-time office staff, a half time custodian, a pianist and a Music Director, as well as a full-time minister.

But there is a trade-off. Generating rental income from our building requires work. Finding tenants. Writing leases and contracts. Collecting rents. Keeping up with building repairs and maintenance. Keeping the building clean and secure. Dealing with city inspections and responding to legal requirements.

The larger staff we have is made possible by our building, but building-related work also uses up a lot of our staff time.

My hope is that over the next few years we will be able to re-balance the financial picture of the church. I’d like our church membership to grow to about 120. Increased pledges would make us less dependent on rental income. Getting caught up on deferred maintenance will lower our annual expenses and require less attention from the staff.

You can help in two ways. Help us find tenants who can rent our available offices and meeting rooms. Non-profit organizations in line with our mission are the best tenants. Help us welcome Sunday visitors and follow-up with them so that more visitors come back and join us as members.

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