As I reflect on the 2020 year in both my life and in our church, the scripture that has become imprinted on my heart is Romans 5:3-5:
“…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
2020 was a year of “suffering.” So many in our community suffered physically. Many suffered financially. Most suffered mentally and emotionally. Too many, including me, had moments where we suffered spiritually as we wrestled with faith questions and our faith realities.
2020 was a year of “perseverance.” I now understand why perseverance is experienced most and needed most during times of suffering. And I watched thousands in our church family, and dozens of churches and pastors across our city, persevere together. I learned that Jesus’ church and his followers have grit, have fight, and are willing to “Press On” to follow Jesus even in the midst of suffering.
2020 was a year of “character.” I’ve heard that suffering both reveals what your character is and shapes what your character will be. Our church’s character is stronger, better, more focused, and tougher now than it was in the years before 2020, because of what we went through together, not in-spite of it.
2020 was a year of HOPE! What you will experience in this year’s Annual Ministry Report is the hope of Jesus’ church working in the world, regardless of what the world throws at it.
I want to thank all of you who participated in even one day of our church’s mission in 2020, and I want to thank all of you who gave even $1 to support the vision and mission of what God has called us to do. I also want to invite those of you who may be experiencing this ministry report after the fact to join us in our mission to help our community experience Jesus, His love, His mission, and His transformation in our soul as we follow Him in 2021 and beyond.
This ministry report is all about Jesus and how he used Journey in 2020. It’s also about how Jesus used 2020 in Journey to make us more like Him. Celebrate with us as you read how God used our church and its people in 2020 to “see people far from God become passionate Christians who make a difference in the world.”
When it comes to finances at JCI, we take the words of Jesus very seriously! In Matthew 25, He teaches a very important lesson about financial stewardship, specifically addressing the way money was handled. We want to be on the receiving end of hearing, “well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” In other words, we believe that money follows ministry and not vice versa!
One of the financial principles that our church put into practice in 2020, long before the pandemic was a reality, was our “90%” rule for managing our finances. Simply speaking, this rule means that we never budget more than 90% of the previous year’s revenue. This will always provide intentional cash flow regardless of growth in order to invest money into a building project, reduce our debt, or launch new initiatives.
In addition to this sound practice, we have a Finance Team that meets regularly throughout the year to keep us accountable on expenses compared to our revenue. This team receives our complete financial statement directly every month that prepared by an outsourced accounting firm. This team provides great oversight to help us steward the financial resources in a way that will honor Jesus.
As you review the Annual Report, here are some key highlights of how I believe God is rewarding us with more “responsibility” in 2020:
- Our general giving was up over 4% from previous year, during a global pandemic and during a building campaign.
- We finished the year under our budget in expenses.
- In the past two years, we were able to inject nearly $800,000 of operating cash into the building project.
- As of December 31, 2020, we have collected $5.8M of our 10.7M pledge for the Difference Maker building project.
- We have paid cash for our land purchase, architect fees, and all construction up to this point, saving interest of on our loan that we will take at the end of the project.
- We invested $442,500 into Global Impact, Community Impact, and Church Planting, surpassing $2M in our history to date.
We hope that you will join us in celebrating all that God has done! You can see below the percentages of where we spent money in 2020 by category. If you place your cursor over the graph, you will see an actual dollar amount that was spent in each category. If you have any questions regarding finances at JCI, I would be honored to talk to you and answer any question that you may have.
Pastor Scott Courtney
Missions – $442,500 | Facilities – $357,000 | Capital Investments – $282,500 | Labor – $1,170,000 | Operations – $698,000
Volunteers – $67,000 | Weekend Worship $245,000 | Spiritual Growth / Leadership Development – $136,000 | Communication – $72,000 | Administration – $178,000
Invested Into Local and Global Missions
People Served on Global Impact Trips