At Parkview we talk much about the Great Commandment (to love God and others) and the Great Commission (to make disciples of the nations.) We believe that for a church to be faithful to both, its focus must be on the community we are called to serve. We also believe that a budget reflects the real priorities of a church. To that end, the pastoral staff and stewardship team have envisioned a ministry plan for 2021 that reflects a desire to be engaged not only in our city but also around the world.
In 2019, we created a very aggressive budget ($1,196,818) that would accommodate additional staff. Through the generosity of our Parkview family, we came within 0.6% of budget, short by just $8,231. On the expense side, we were able to pay an additional $139,000 down on debt from operating surpluses. We maintained a similar budget in 2020 ($1,196,753) and even through the uncertainties created by a global pandemic, our church has displayed a kingdom generosity that has us on track to exceed our 2020 budget by about 2.5%. So far in 2020, we have been able to pay down an additional $105,000 on our debt. We hope to use additional operating surplus dollars to pay down even more debt this year.
At the end of 2018, the balance of our debt was $2,163,391. By the end of 2019, with the help of a generous estate donation, the balance of our debt had been reduced to $1,739,933. As of September 30, 2020, our debt is $1,482,686. Because the interest on the loan is paid out of our operating budget, every dollar given to the building fund is used to pay for the materials and labor that were invested in our campus expansion. We believe that investing in our building fund is a tangible demonstration of our church’s desire to reach the next generation with the gospel of Jesus. My prayer is that we will use this last quarter to give to the building fund at levels that will allow us to start 2021 under $1.4M. We continue to pray that God would work in us and grow our church in such a way that our debt will be completely retired within the next 4-5 years.
The 2021 ministry plan provides for a 1-2% increase for our ministerial staff to help offset cost of living and increased health insurance costs. Our support staff, including our hourly employees will receive a 4-5% increase. We are able to accommodate these increases without increasing the overall budget because of budget adjustments made in projected interest costs as well as projected utilities.
Parkview will continue to support the Cooperative Program (CP) at a rate of 12% of tithes and offerings. CP dollars are used by the Florida Baptist Convention here in our state and by the Southern Baptist Convention around the world to fund missionary endeavors geared toward fulfilling the Great Commission. We have also committed to our support for local missions through our local network of churches, the Christian Service Center and the Pregnancy Care Center.
We are ready to put 2020 behind us and press toward the prize of the high calling in Christ in 2021. We are thinking through how to safely conduct next generation ministries with programs like AWANA, Upward Sports, and Children’s Church, all designed to partner with parents to raise children within a gospel-centered framework and worldview. We will continue to disciple our students and challenge them to live for Jesus on their campuses and within their spheres of influence. We will continue to saturate our weekly worship gatherings with prayer and Scripture and develop music that will usher us to the throne of grace. Thank you for prayerfully considering and generously supporting this 2021 budget plan.