I have an important update regarding our Foursquare Reimagine journey, specifically related to Stake 3: Align 100 percent of the tithe to the field (local and district).
There is only one reason that Reimagine Foursquare would be such an important focus for our movement: Two billion people have yet to hear the name of Jesus and of His plan to rescue them from their sin. The Great Commission is our assignment, and aligning everything we do to that objective is our plan.
Since Foursquare Connection in Dallas earlier this year, significant progress is being made on all Five Stakes. We will continue to keep you updated throughout 2015 and beyond, but I want to alert you to some decisions and actions being formulated around Stake 3. After receiving input from significant leaders and consulting with the board of directors, we are taking a major step toward this goal in 2015.
Reaching the two billion who have not yet heard the name of Jesus is going to take everything we have at the global, national, district and local levels. There is compelling urgency for us to work, partner and resource together to reach our neighbors near and far.
Our initial 3- to 7-year goal (toward aligning the full 100%) has been to return 70 percent of the tithe to the field. We are well on our way to that goal, and additional funds will begin going back to local churches in April 2015.
The following plans are being made for 2015:
(1) Set aside $4.5 million to be returned to the local church for increased missional opportunities for those that qualify. These funds will be distributed to every church that participated in the covenant of tithe in 2014. The first distribution will be made in April 2015 for the tithe received July–Dec. 2014. A second distribution will be made in Oct. 2015 for the tithe received Jan.–June 2015.
The expectation is that these funds will be used to accelerate the mission of multiplying disciples, leaders, churches and movements, and to facilitate congregational and community transformation. An annual report will be completed by each of these churches at the conclusion of 2015 to report how the funds were used.
For 2016, contingent upon board approval, funds will be distributed the following year, after the district supervisors and district councils review the alignment of each local church to our stated missional focus.
(2) Set aside approximately $420,000 to be returned to the local church or district (the funding entity of a church plant) as an additional portion of their covenant of tithe. This is to replenish funds from the source of a church plant’s support, so that more churches can be planted.
(3) Continue to reduce expenses at the central office. An additional $700,000 has been initially identified for reduction by 2016.
(4) Continue to increase revenue on our aligned businesses to ultimately reduce the reliance on tithe dollars to fund central office operations. This is a long-term project, but much is being done in this area. Additional details will be included in future updates. I am amazed that we are making such significant strides in such a short period of time!
In addition, significant dollars are being directed into church planting and leadership development from Foursquare Foundation for 2015 and beyond. We will share those exact numbers after the 2015 annual operating plan has been finalized.
Someone commented that it takes a long time to turn around a large ship. I replied that we are turning around an armada. Coordination and cooperation must occur at every level. Realignment will take effort. But we are doing it—together.
Thank you for your patience, prayer and partnership, which fuel great expectation for the days ahead. The harvest of new souls for the kingdom is worthy of all our efforts and labor.
I look forward to the acceleration of kingdom expansion as a result of our intentional efforts together. I know that we will be able to share amazing stories in the future.
For more information on Reimagine Foursquare, visit reimaginefoursquare.org