In these unprecedented times, we want to provide practical support to you as well as ministry and prayer support. We have made decisions regarding the topics listed below in order to help alleviate some of the burden you are feeling. These are times when being “family” matters most, and it is an important value of what it means to be Foursquare.
We have heard wonderful stories of how you are being the church, serving local needs, and learning creative ways to gather and worship while being good citizens adhering to governmental guidelines, and caring for one another. Our hope is that the following will strengthen you:
On Friday, we are releasing the 40 percent tithe return back to churches who qualify. The disbursements will total around $6 million. God was good to allow us to plan for these days. The ICFG board has removed all guidelines for the use of these funds during this uncertain season. You are trusted to steward these funds well and use this seed money to help other churches, cover shortfalls, sow generously into your community and help expand the gospel around the globe. We look forward to the stories of God’s miraculous touch on your stewarding of these funds.
Local Church Restricted Savings
In 2018, the Foursquare bylaws were amended to allow a church to use their restricted savings for non-property purposes. Churches may request that restricted funds be available for non-property purposes with the following process: (1) written plan developed by the pastor and church council; (2) plan submitted to the district supervisor; (3) district supervisor approval; (4) loan department disburses funds once documentation of approval has been provided. If you would like to access restricted savings, please contact your district supervisor or administrator for assistance.
We have heard wonderful stories of how you are being the church, serving local needs, and learning creative ways to gather and worship while being good citizens adhering to governmental guidelines, and caring for one another.
IFLF and FFSLF Loan Deferral
In recognition of the fact that many churches’ income has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the board of directors has approved up to a three-month deferral of loan payments for any church in need who has an IFLF or FFSLF loan. If a church would like to take advantage of this offer, please send a written request (email is preferred) to Ron Thigpenn. Any requests for payment deferrals to outside lenders should be directed to your lender. Please copy Ron Thigpenn on the request and the response from the lender so that we may partner together in these negotiations.
Business interruption resulting from pandemics is not covered under the current policy provisions. However, this could change through government intervention, and it will be critical for ministries to keep good documentation (timely completion of your FMCR reports) about their income and expenses before, during and after the crisis in case loss of income coverage is made available by the U.S. government.
Online Giving Setup/Banking Documentation
Churches who are setting up new online giving portals are often asked for corporate structure documentation from the corporate secretary. Please email these requests to April Torres. We are attempting to turn around these requests within four business hours.
FMCR Reporting of Online Views
It is important for us collectively to have quality statistics during this time to quantify the impact of this season. This will be critical to access any potential government aid and/or insurance coverage. Within the next week, a new category will be available to account for online viewing when reporting monthly attendance statistics. Please alert those who complete your monthly church reports on this addition. Those numbers should not be added to your main service attendance, or it will skew reporting.
A Reminder Regarding Gatherings
The ICFG board, district supervisors and officers are asking you to be gracious adherents of the national, state and local recommendations, and are expecting compliance with national, state and local laws. If you are not familiar with your specific regulations, please access the CDC’s resources for community and faith-based leaders. We are called to be good citizens, and our witness of living “under authority” will be our clear and compelling testimony of our care and concern for the world, their health and their safety (see Titus 3:1-2, NLT).
The recommendations are not targeted at the church or our ability to preach or share the gospel. Preach—just do it in ways that the old foundations would not allow. New streams will burst forth with new life. Think creatively. Your districts will be resourcing you with stories about what other churches are doing to give ideas to consider. There are also helps for technology they will share with you. Read through your district’s email communications and check their website.