Saturday, August 30, 2014
MH Financial Update, "We have done much this year to prepare for a decline in giving, such as two rounds of staffing reducations ... but now we find ourselves in a tougher financial situation than we expected. The drop in revenue has exceeded what we have been able to cut in expenses"
For those who can't read the text via the image:
We praise Jesus for his grace and faithfulness in caring for Mars Hill Church for 18 years. In January 2014 the church was in the great financial shape. God continued to be faithful, through your gifts, to also help us end the fiscal year strong this past June. Thank you for your support and service, as many have learned about Jesus and countless lives have been changed by Jesus’ work through you.
It is your continued support that is needed now more than ever. While we were able to end the fiscal year strong, giving and attendance have declined significantly since January. Specifically, we have seen a substantial decrease in tithes and offerings these past two months, due to the increase in negative media attention surrounding our church.
We have done much this year to prepare for a decline in giving, such as two rounds of staffing reductions and the cancellation of various events and projects, but we now find ourselves in a tougher financial position than we expected. The drop in giving revenue has exceeded what we have been able to cut in expenses. This has required us to now consider further ways we can reduce expenses, such as additional staffing reductions. The reality is that just because we are a church does not mean we can defy economic gravity—we can only operate the ministries and programs our members and attenders provide the resources for. We simply cannot spend money we do not have; this is true for any church.
Please pray for your church as we make some tough, but needed, financial decisions. If you consider Mars Hill your church home, now is the time to pray, serve, and give. As we head into the Fall we need your support now more than ever, and we are trusting in Jesus to continue his good work through you and Mars Hill Church. [emphasis added]
As always, you may can make a gift and manage your giving online at marshill.com/give.
Update on Paul Tripp & The BOAA
As we have shared before, Paul Tripp recently resigned his membership from our Board of Advisors and Accountability. To the best of our knowledge at the time, this was due to his intent in helping Mars Hill as a paid consultant.
Paul later released a statement, adding additional comments that he did not believe the structure of the Board that he joined was healthy, and that we should add accountability from local members of the church. Paul’s concerns were not made known to the Board as a whole before he resigned; however, we agree there is wisdom in adding local members to this board and we were already in the process of doing just that.
We have now become aware of new comments and concerns that Paul Tripp has voiced about Pastor Mark and Pastor Sutton within the last week to a small group of current elders at Mars Hill. These elders then posted these comments as a letter in an unsecure place, and the letter has since been posted online by various critics and media sources.
Paul Tripp’s comments to our elders were never made directly to the Board of Advisors and Accountability, as we have minutes of these meetings. We are deeply disappointed that Paul did not bring these concerns to our full Board or to the Executive Elders directly.
The concerns brought forth by these elders and the comments from Paul Tripp have been heard and are being taken seriously. Their letter, as with past letters voicing accusations toward Pastor Mark, will be processed in accordance with our bylaws. This means the accusations will be thoroughly examined and a report issued when the review is complete.
As for the Board of Advisors and Accountability we are pleased to announce that the vacancies created on the Board were filled with local members of our church who meet the ECFA guidelines for independence. Pastor Matt Rogers is a local Seattle business leader and has been serving as a volunteer elder at Mars Hill Church Bellevue. He will also serve as the Chairman of the Board of Elders which will provide increased accountability in areas of financial responsibility, staff and elder transitions and church culture. The other vacancy on the BOAA has been filled by John Phelps. John is a successful businessman and longtime member of Mars Hill. We are excited for these men to provide local perspective and accountability on our Board.
The stuff about Tripp and the BoAA is not particularly relevant to comment on for this post because that's already been discussed extensively elsewhere. It's worth mentioning (again) to verify that Throckmorton has clearly been given content that matches with materials that have been disseminated through The City, and Mars Hill leadership has of late conceded that material has been leaking from The City, sometimes or even often as soon as it appears in certain places.