Are our churches too inward-looking? Evidence from their accounts

Givers of money to evangelical churches, a question for you: is your money – God’s money if you like- going to where it should under the New Covenant? That is, looking outward from ourselves.

Below are two samples of evangelical churches. Canberra evangelical churches[1] in the first and church members of Missions Interlink (“the Australian network for global mission”) in the second.

In each there is a column ‘Missions’. This column shows the percentage of the church’s spending that goes on ‘Missions’.

Canberra Protestant ‘evangelical’ churchesTotal spent[2] MissionsMissions are called / comment on the result
Life Unlimited Church Ltd2.33 million9%Missions’
C3 Church Watson Incorporated971K5%‘Missions’
Crossroads Christian Church Inc1.14 million2%‘FIEC, Bible college scholarship and global support’
C3 Church Monash Inc892K7%‘Missions’
Australasian Church Inc345K8%‘Mission support – in Australia’; ‘Mission support – outside Australia’
Fusion City Church Incorporated458KSee next columnNo direct evidence of any ‘missions’; may be some in ‘General & Specific Ministry 50,627′?
Reformed Church Of Canberra Inc188K0%Understated if missions included in ‘Special Offerings Expended – Australia-Wide’ 19K and/or ‘Special Offerings Expended – Local’ 8K; nothing overseas
Tuggeranong Baptist Church Incorporated372K7%This is ‘Tithe expended‘, so likely overstated; no ‘Missions’ or similar
Capital Edge Community Church Incorporated838K7%‘Missions Payments’
Westminster Presbyterian Church Belconnen243K5%‘Missions’
Christian City Church Belconnen Inc746K0%Understated if missions are included in ‘Conference, programme, and event expense’s 80,971.
LIFECITY CHURCH271K7%‘Global Missions – JAR Turkey Expenses’; excluded: ‘Global Missions Expenses‘ and ‘Local Missions Expenses‘, so may be understated.
Southside Bible Church Incorporated292K0%Unless there is something included in ‘Operating expenses
Calvary Chapel – United Pentecostal Church Ltd932k0%Understated if missions included in ‘Funds collected for UCPA
Canberra International Church IncorporatedStatements not lodgedUnable to calculate
Woden Valley Alliance Church Incorporated407K0%Understated if missions included in ‘Other Expenses’
Missions Interlink ‘Church’ membersTotal spentMissionsMissions are called / comment on the result
CityLife Church10.47 million9%‘Mission expenses’
Clayton Church of Christ1.44 million12%‘Mission related expenses’, so 12% probably overstates it
Crossculture Church of Christ1.87 million31%‘Missions support’, so 31% may overstate it.
Crossway Baptist Church11.45 million15%‘International Ministry Expense’, so 15% may overstate it.
Discovery Church Melbourne2.01 million1%This is ‘Vision offering acquittal’, their Gift Fund; ‘missions is not one of their programs.
Gateway Baptist Church6.03 million5%‘Missions support expenses’, so 5% may overstate it.
Lake Gwelup Christian Church397K14%‘Reach – Partner Support & Other expenses’, so probably overstated
Scarborough Baptist Church287K5%‘Mission/ministry expenses’, so 5% is likely an overstatement

Are these churches outward looking enough? It seems not.

So, let’s get….’Back to the Gospel’.

 

  1. From the ACNC Register. An ‘Advanced search’ on ‘Church’ (Charity name), ‘Advancing Religion’ (Subtype); ACT (Charity Location), ‘Registered’ (Status). Then selected ‘Large’ or ‘Medium’ protestant churches who said they shared the Gospel, and had a Financial Report on the Register.
  2. Total expenses from the profit and loss statement.

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