From the Finance Committee:

Last month we explained the updated dashboard that you will continue to see each month. You can now view this month’s dashboard at this link.

We want you to know any question that is asked of us will be researched before we give an answer. Depending on the question, some may take longer than others to answer confidently. We want to emphasize to you that it’s a team effort. There are a few items we would like to bring more clarity on. Jeff will start walking us through the first item.

The first question we received was how did we reduce expenses by more than $600K per month?

Since the beginning of the year, there has been much spending cut from the budget to better match our giving trends as they developed. There are three main ways this has happened.

First, there were a number of discretionary expenses that were stopped, such as employer retirement plan contributions, support of other ministries, and some facilities and grounds projects. You can see the September dashboard for further detail.

Second, there was and continues to be, a lot of time put into reviewing each and every expense the church has.

Third, a significant number of staff positions were eliminated. We want to be considerate of the families this has affected. We are genuinely grateful for each and every person who has served or continues to serve at Harvest and its ministries.

The second area we have received many questions about is staff compensation.

A number of people have inquired about how Harvest sets salaries and whether the staff is compensated fairly.

In the last week, the Finance Committee has reviewed 100% of the salaries of all current employees within Harvest Bible Chapel and Harvest Christian Academy. We have also reviewed the detailed process in place for hiring or setting compensation for employees.

We believe the current process and salaries show much integrity and are fully in line with compensation standards for similarly-sized churches.

The current compensation structure has ranges of salaries for various levels of positions.

Depending on the position, there is a range considered specific to an individual’s position, ability, and experience. This compensation data is reviewed and compared, regularly, to an independent benchmark study of similarly-sized churches to ensure it still reflects accurately what we should use.

Currently, the highest annual salary for anyone on our staff is $140,000. To be clear, the salary for the three new positions are yet to be determined. The elders have asked the Finance Committee to continue to monitor and examine our salary review process on a regular basis. And this is the first time the Finance Committee has been invited to review this information, but we feel this will be helpful for good stewardship. We are thankful to those on staff that have accepted the Lord’s calling to ministry at Harvest.

The third area we want to clarify is the usage of cash reserves.

Proceeds from the sale of the broadcast rights sold back to TBN were being restricted by our lender. These proceeds were released into a mortgage reserve account to help bridge the 2019 shortfall.

Approximately 90% of these funds are being used to make our monthly mortgage payments, the other 10% is being used to help cover our projected 2019 General Fund shortfall. As we mentioned in our last update, giving is seasonal, but expenses are relatively fixed each month.

The proceeds that relieved this year’s shortfall won’t happen again, so it is critical that we build up our own cash reserves.

Please continue to send your questions to us at [email protected] so we can provide you with answers that are helpful. Our goal is to honor the Lord with the tithes you give to Him. We want you to know that the staff and the Finance Committee are diligently working together to make sure our procedures are appropriate and carefully followed so that we can steward the church’s resources in a way that honors the Lord.

Thank you,
The Finance Committee of Harvest Bible Chapel