Dear First Church Family,
$6,722,694 — that is how much First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth spent in 2017 in our continued efforts to serve our members, the community, and the world around us. The substantial increase in expenses over 2016 is directly related to our deliberate endeavor to grow our congregation and ministries, and we are blessed to be able to continue these efforts in 2018. Over the last several months, you have heard from Dr. Tim Bruster, our Senior Pastor; Mrs. Nancy Fisher, our Director of Stewardship; and Mr. Sid Johnston, Executive Director of the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, about various aspects of the funding and growth associated with our church. However, the answers to several important questions, to this point, remain unanswered:
- How do our finances work?
- What are our goals as a church?
- How do we plan on reaching our goals?
It is the Committee on Finance’s goal, starting today, to provide you with clear, transparent answers to these questions each and every year. An infographic and accompanying dataset detailing money inflow and outflow as well as whose responsibility it is to steward the money can be found on the following pages.
Did you know First Church has increased funding to our Operating Expenses by 5.4% in the last four years? When 830 new members join, it is our job to make sure the church is adequately prepared to provide for them all. The Committee on Finance has worked diligently in tandem with the Board of Trustees to help raise, manage, and distribute the financial resources available to us in order to support and strengthen the mission and ministry of the congregation.
A discussion of available resources wouldn’t be fruitful unless it included the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation. Since its creation in 1964, the Foundation has supported the church’s efforts to maintain and expand its physical plant. During 2017 it contributed over $2,100,000 and for the past several years, the Foundation has fully funded all building-related costs and capital expenses associated with the FUMCFW campus. Examples of the expenses that the Board of Trustees uses Foundation funds for can be found on the accompanying infographic.
So what are our goals? For the Committee on Finance, the ultimate goal is for every member of the congregation to feel like they have an adequate knowledge of the church’s finances and a sufficient voice in its direction and goals. We have provided this report to you to jumpstart that process. At FUMCFW, the aim is to continue to grow our church so that we can continue offering diverse worship experiences to an ever-growing population in our community and expand our outreach in all ways. Over the last five years, we have increased our expenses by approximately $125,000 per year to lay the foundation for this growth. Our goal, therefore, needs to be increasing congregational giving by at least $125,000 per year!
Since the FMC Foundation essentially funds the operation of our physical campus, every single dollar that is given directly to the church provides the means for the growth of our mission and ministries. For each one of us, achievement of the continued growth of our church is directly related to the increase of the resources we give to it, and that is exactly how we plan on reaching this goal. Our money, time, skills, and effort are crucial to building the framework for this progress. Growth begets growth, but only if there is a willful movement from participation to engagement. FUMCFW needs anything and everything additional you have to give — no amount of time is a lesser asset, no skill is underappreciated, and no sum is too small — and it is of the utmost importance that you know the Lay Leadership, Staff, and Clergy at FUMCFW are able and willing to help assist you in this undertaking.
Finally, in accordance with one of the goals we set above, the Committee on Finance invites anyone willing to donate their time to join us at our next meeting on Thursday, August 23 at 5:15 pm in Room 271 of the Foundation Building. If two sets of eyes are better than one, one can reasonably assume 4,423 sets are better as well. We are blessed to be able to steward the money that is received at FUMCFW, and we look forward to continuing to usher in this season of growth that we are all so lucky to be a part of!
Committee on Finance Chair
Committee on Finance Vice-Chair
Expenses (Including Staffing Costs)
Committee on Finance Meetings
All members of FUMCFW are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the upcoming Committee on Finance Meetings at 5:15 pm in Room 271 of the Foundation Building:
August 23 | September 20 | October 18 | November 15 | December 13
Committee on Finance
The role of the Committee on Finance is to set the budget, see that it is followed, amend the budget quarterly as needed, and inform the congregation of church finances. We meet monthly and serve 3-year terms. We are here to answer any questions you have about this information or anything related to church finances.
Kyle Wagner | firstname.lastname@example.org
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Carol Van Hook
Class of 2020