God provided very generously for His work in 2014! The Church’s regular income for the year increased about 5 percent over what was received in 2013. We thank God for the special blessings He has abundantly poured out on us to accomplish His work!
Grateful for Growth
In the last two years, we have been able to employ additional ministers in the field, add new equipment and personnel for the television studio, upgrade our computer software with more efficient programs and air the Tomorrow’s World telecast on additional stations in the United States and abroad. Tomorrow’s World magazine circulation is approaching 500,000. We are particularly thankful to be able to assist a number of our international congregations and media programs with grants for their activities and growth. Church Administration is working to train and employ additional ministers throughout God’s Work. There is a great need for additional laborers in God’s fields. Christ said, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
Those who labor in the fields of the Lord of the harvest include not only those who pastor congregations; this also includes those who provide the financial resources for God’s Work. It is a great blessing to be used by God to support what He is doing in the last days of this age! So we wanted to take a moment, even ahead of the regular annual publication of our outside audit (scheduled to be conducted in late March or early April this year), to thank the brethren for their faithfulness and generosity in giving.
Estates and Accounting
In the last couple of years, God’s Work has been particularly blessed by the estate donations it has received. Those who can make such donations are indeed leaving a lasting legacy that can do great good for those whom God calls and to whom He wants to send a message of witness. So we are very grateful for these donations as they come. Of course, this brings some accounting challenges, as those of you familiar with generally accepted accounting principles will recognize. For instance, our auditors last year required that some estate donations that were made in 2013, but not yet received in full until 2014 or even 2015, would be booked as “income” for 2013, because they were considered to be “receivables.” As a result (as you may remember from the article accompanying the 2013 audit, published in the September-October 2014 Living Church News, p. 20), this had the effect of “overstating’’ our 2013 income. Also, some estate receipts in 2013 were held over so the funds could be spread out for additional TV stations in 2014 and 2015. This had the effect of increasing our stated 2014 expenses and creating an operating deficit for that year. So, even though we were blessed in 2014 with about a 5 percent real increase in regular income over 2013, the auditors’ statement for 2014 will show a paper decrease in income of about 9.1 percent in total income, largely because of these generous estate donations. The good news is that the reported income decrease and operating deficit will be due largely to established accounting rules.
Of course, we must continue to be good stewards of the tithes and offerings God provides. As always, we keep a close eye on expenses and are constantly looking for ways to save. For example, by taking advantage of changes in paper and mailing options, each 36-page Tomorrow’s World magazine costs less to print and mail today than the 32-page editions cost in 2013! Similarly, we strive for productivity in our television outreach, pruning unproductive television stations like unfruitful branches. And we continue to identify additional cost-savings.
People often include charitable giving in their estate planning, and the estate donations received by the Church in 2013–14 were a particular blessing for God’s Work. Those special donations enabled us—among other things—to establish a dedicated fund to expand the Tomorrow’s World telecast onto a few additional stations as long as the special donations would allow. The ability, for instance, to air on BET for a while was a blessing, and we are confident that God will open new doors for the telecast. Please join us in praying that God will provide a way for us to keep preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God on all of our current stations, and even more as He wills!
—LCG Business Office