2019 Year-End Financial Summary
- We are very thankful to God for the generous donations of our people. Even with the decline in attendance due to the St. Thomas replant and Saturday cancellation, our financial needs were met – praise God.
- We finished the year in a good financial position. God provided $1,867,000 to our general fund, which was about $40,000 over our budget need. We have no mortgage and no long-term debt, so are in a good place financially.
- Our 2019 expenses were under budget by about $88,000 which is good, however, that does not include the money we invested in the St. Thomas re-plant.
- We received $500,000 from York Developments in 2018, as part of the sale of our land (this is not included in our general fund donations). We put that in a short-term GIC and earned $11,000 in 2019 on that investment. We will receive the final payment for the sale of our land of $1.5M, in August of 2020.
- We gave RBC St. Thomas $200,000 in the summer/fall of 2019 to update their facility. Much of the work was supplemented by volunteers and some donated products and services, so much was done beyond the value of $200,000. We also gave them $25,000 in December, to ensure they would make budget for year end. We anticipate needing to supplement their budget this year (and likely next year). The elders have approved a maximum of $200,000 more to do this in 2020/21, if needed. These funds are coming out of the sale of our land.
2020 Budget Summary
- For the first time in 20 years, we have reduced our budget rather than increasing it. This is simply a step to be proactive in assuming donations may be less in 2020, due to the 150-200 who left because we cancelled Saturday services (we assumed this would happen when we made this decision), and the over 100 who transitioned to our re-plant in St. Thomas. Because of this anticipated decline, we have adopted a budget for 2020 which is 1% less than our 2019 budget. This will still be a stretch budget for us, so we would ask you to pray with us about this and to give generously in 2020.
- If you would like a copy of our summarized budget, we will have some at our welcome desk over the next few weeks, or you can contact our office.
- This fall, we were approved as an incorporation in the province of Ontario. Since we are now incorporated, this adds a bit more process and internal requirements, and will require an annual financial audit, rather than the financial review we used to do. This will increase our costs, due to the audit, by about $10,000. However, the cost and extra requirements are more than offset by the solid financial protection this incorporation provides for our membership, staff, and elders, and is the wise and prudent thing to do.
- We have looked at the long-term possible changes to this building to allow us to continue to do ministry here. We saw two phases in this. Phase 2 would be to add a full-size gym, along with some classrooms and offices, to the back of the building. The new gym would function as our lobby/gathering place on Sundays. Due to cost, we have no plans to proceed with Phase 2 at this time, and we are uncertain if we will need the space.
- Phase 1 addresses our crucial need which is for a proper gathering place – a lobby – since our current building is lacking one. We also need more classrooms (priority #2) and a few more offices (which phase 1 won’t address).
- Phase 1 would open up the lower floor, at the back entrance to our building to be our new lobby. This would double as space for various ministry events, other banquets or dinners, teaching events, etc. We would lose three classrooms; however, the gym would be converted into two floors providing an additional five classrooms. Phase 1 does not address our needs for office space; however, this is not as crucial as our need for a gathering place or classrooms. In addition, the extra classrooms may give us some flexibility to potentially use one classroom upstairs as office space if needed down the road.
- We put more detailed work (and cost) into this project up front, to examine every issue and reduce our risk.
- We proceeded with having one company price out our Phase 1 work, so that we would have a sense of the approximate cost of doing Phase 1. Their quote came back at $1.32M. This does not include the cost to remove the remaining asbestos in the lower level, which we believe will cost about $250,000.
- With the $1.5M to come from the sale of our land, we believe Phase 1 is financially doable. We would get a few more quotes from other contractors if we decide to proceed and would look at contracting it ourselves.
- Please visit our facility page on our website for more details, and to see the floor plans.
- Our next step is to take the next three to four months to interact and pray about this as a congregation. We will look to make a go/no go decision sometime in the spring. If it is a go – we would not commit to anything until we get the cash in hand from our land sale in August, so the earliest the work could start is in the fall.
- We are prayerfully considering who God would have to fill the role of Kids Ministry Director. Julie continues to provide interim leadership in this ministry in a capable manner, while we recruit to fill this vacancy.
- We continue to search for a Pastor of Discipleship. We planned to hire another pastor in this area and back-fill Jason so we could move him into a focus on family ministries (marriage and parenting) for families in general.
- For now, we are addressing the needs in the area of discipleship in more creative ways and are very excited about what God is doing with these efforts. We think this will greatly impact our church.
- We are working on a trial of having some small groups be more intensely focused on discipleship. Scott Vanderform, one of our small group leaders, is leading this effort, starting with his own group (under Jason’s overall leadership). We are hoping to expand this beyond Scott’s group in 2021.
- We are running two training weekends in February, taught by Ken Gentzler, on an introduction to Biblical Counselling. Ken is a highly experienced biblical counsellor and teacher. We hope that out of this, many will pursue further training through an organization called ACBC, perhaps some working towards being a certified Biblical Counsellor. If you have any interest in Biblical counselling, please come out to these weekends (February 14-15 and February 28-29).
CHURCH PLANTING UPDATE
We are very thankful to God for the work He continues to do at RBC St. Thomas. As of year-end, the new name was officially changed, small groups are starting up, Kids Ministry is hitting its stride, worship services are a blessing to all with a rich time in worship and the Word, they have a fully vetted and installed elders team leading the church, and the staff is healthy (although very busy). God continues to draw people as attendance increases regularly and the people are engaged and worshipping, walking, and working for God. Continue to pray for sustained growth, finances, working toward financial independence, and the startup of other ministries in 2020 (youth, men’s, and women’s).
A difficult, but necessary decision was made in January to shut down the operation of Vertical Church in Melbourne Australia. This decision was recommended by the planting pastor, Adrian, and his core group, in agreement with Norm, as the overseeing elder, and our RBC London elder team. Adrian and his core group have faithfully served God and given their all to launch this new church, but there were a number of factors that worked together to bring us to this hard decision, due to the lack of a reasonable belief that this church could get to a sustainable size. These factors included the very secular and hard soil of Melbourne Australia, the lack of additional cohort churches to partner with us in GCC, the necessity for several moves of location for this young and fragile church (finding viable rental space for a church is very difficult in a city like Melbourne) and each of these moves, although at times brought new people, also caused committed people to drop out due to travel distances. We thank God for the fruit that was produced by God in the nearly two years this church did gospel ministry as lives were touched and God was glorified. Please pray for pastor Adrian as he begins the process of looking for new full-time employment and pray for his core group as they all process this loss and change.