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’ churches Total spent[2] Missions Missions are called / comment on the result
Life Unlimited Church Ltd 2.33 million 9% Missions’
C3 Church Watson Incorporated 971K 5% ‘Missions’
Crossroads Christian Church Inc 1.14 million 2% ‘FIEC, Bible college scholarship and global support’
C3 Church Monash Inc 892K 7% ‘Missions’
Australasian Church Inc 345K 8% ‘Mission support – in Australia’; ‘Mission support – outside Australia’
Fusion City Church Incorporated 458K See next column No direct evidence of any ‘missions’; may be some in ‘General & Specific Ministry 50,627′?
Reformed Church Of Canberra Inc 188K 0% Understated if missions included in ‘Special Offerings Expended – Australia-Wide’ 19K and/or ‘Special Offerings Expended – Local’ 8K; nothing overseas
Tuggeranong Baptist Church Incorporated 372K 7% This is ‘Tithe expended‘, so likely overstated; no ‘Missions’ or similar
Capital Edge Community Church Incorporated 838K 7% ‘Missions Payments’
Westminster Presbyterian Church Belconnen 243K 5% ‘Missions’
Christian City Church Belconnen Inc 746K 0% Understated if missions are included in ‘Conference, programme, and event expense’s 80,971.
LIFECITY CHURCH 271K 7% ‘Global Missions – JAR Turkey Expenses’; excluded: ‘Global Missions Expenses‘ and ‘Local Missions Expenses‘, so may be understated.
Southside Bible Church Incorporated 292K 0% Unless there is something included in ‘Operating expenses
Calvary Chapel – United Pentecostal Church Ltd 932k 0% Understated if missions included in ‘Funds collected for UCPA
Canberra International Church Incorporated Statements not lodged Unable to calculate
Woden Valley Alliance Church Incorporated 407K 0% Understated if missions included in ‘Other Expenses’
Missions Interlink ‘Church’ members Total spent Missions Missions are called / comment on the result
CityLife Church 10.47 million 9% ‘Mission expenses’
Clayton Church of Christ 1.44 million 12% ‘Mission related expenses’, so 12% probably overstates it
Crossculture Church of Christ 1.87 million 31% ‘Missions support’, so 31% may overstate it.
Crossway Baptist Church 11.45 million 15% ‘International Ministry Expense’, so 15% may overstate it.
Discovery Church Melbourne 2.01 million 1% This is ‘Vision offering acquittal’, their Gift Fund; ‘missions is not one of their programs.
Gateway Baptist Church 6.03 million 5% ‘Missions support expenses’, so 5% may overstate it.
Lake Gwelup Christian Church 397K 14% ‘Reach – Partner Support & Other expenses’, so probably overstated
Scarborough Baptist Church 287K 5% ‘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.