they always impress me

one of my favorite churches in the nation is the ring community church in baton rouge. they won’t like that i am blogging about how awesome they are, but that’s okay because they will get over it.

i love these guys and girls and every time i get to spend time with them i am more and more amazed by all that they are doing with CHRIST. this week while i’m studying at nobts i’ve gotten the chance to spend a good it of time with some of the ringers (basically the ring’s pastor, josh, has been nice enough to give me a place to stay for the week and this has meant that i get to spend a good bit of time with josh and meg). while talking with them this week i accidentally learned that they spent 25% of last year’s giving on taking care of people’s needs within their community. they’ve been buying cars for people in need, fixing up houses, buying groceries, etc. this is above and beyond their missions giving. 25% of the budget is HUGE. they still have salaries, rent, printing, and more to pay but they believe in matthew 25 so much that they give generously. i don’t know of another church giving that much. if you counted all the extra money they are giving for missions (which i know is at least another 10% probably more) that 25% would jump much higher.

to give you an idea of how big this is most churches spend about 70-80% of the money they have on buildings and salaries. having a place to worship and people to lead it is expensive. some churches spend much more than 80% on these two items. that doesn’t include the programs that go on at a church, the copying and office needs, the equipment needs, toys for kids in the nursery, sunday school or small group literature, and the many other things that are a part of doing things in a church. most churches are lucky to give 10% to missions and a little something extra to help those who come to them in need. now do you see how impressive 25% plus a minimum of another 10% for missions is?

the coolest part is that they didn’t tell me this in a manner of bragging or even on purpose. we were talking about giving and their budget and josh said “yeah, we kind of spent more than our budget was supposed to be, but that’s okay because $40,000 of that was because of spending $34,000 over and above our people in need fund.” that’s when i asked how big their budget was just so i would understand what that $34,000 overage meant. they hadn’t even thought of it being 25% of their budget (in other words $40,000 of a $160,000 budget). it was no big deal for them, which, of course, makes this all the cooler. i’m sitting next to josh right now, he doesn’t know that i’m blogging about how cool i think they are and probably wouldn’t like it if he did know i was doing it, and he just said, “yeah it’s kind of cool that we actually gave more to meet these needs than i get in salary.” he’s right.

i hope more of us can be like this church. i hope tapestry will show them up. 😉

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