Over they years, I’ve had the opportunity to help some Nazarene and Wesleyan churches. I have admired the simplicity of their formulas for how much a church should support the denomination. It is usually just a percentage of operating income…kind of like a tithe. This is the same philosophy of the Global Methodist denomination…just a simple percentage of operating income. Here’s the questions I receive about Connectional Funding:
How does my Church calculate our Connectional Funding?
The basic formula is this: Connectional Funding = Last Year’s Operating Income x Percent
The percent is 1% for the General Church (i.e., worldwide denomination). The Conference percent is set by each Conference. 3% is the average. I put together the below spreadsheet which you can use. There is some guidance for determining what is and is not Operating Income. The video shows better how to use this spreadsheet.
Can we pay online?
Yes! We recently setup a church-giving page here:
Giving ACH is so much easier and cheaper so I strongly encourage churches to try it out. In the future, I’ll do a video and post on using the church-giving page.
Do we have to wait until the end of the year to calculate how much we owe?
The technical answer is that a church should wait until the end of the calendar year. As an accountant, I understand wanting to have the exact number to plug into the budget. You can’t do that if you have to wait until the end of the year. You really have two options:
- Option 1: Estimate the amount…similar to how you might estimate utilities or snow removal. You can later amend the budget if you want the exact number in there.
- Option 2: Calculate the amount based on the most recent 12 months. You’re not going to be audited. If you make that a standard practice, everyone is still being made whole.
Can my church receive a Waiver or Reduction as we are recovering from Disaffiliation?
Again, the technical answer is yes, a church can receive a waiver in this season. I’m going to strongly discourage this though. While many churches are struggling financially, there are many other churches that don’t know what to do with the extra room in their budget. There are churches that are willing to financially help out a sister church in need.
One of the stories I love most about Methodist history is the story about how Class Meetings started. Forgive me if I’m loose with the details, but, as the story goes, people became worried about how much debt John Wesley (founder of Methodism) had accumulated from purchasing chapels. Wesley had been banned from preaching in churches so he had purchased a number of properties for Methodists to gather and Methodist preachers to preach in. One of the early Methodists, Captain Foy, proposed the idea of taking up a collection of a penny a week from each member of their small group. The leader would connect with each person weekly to collect the penny. They ended up also checking to see how the person’s walk with the LORD was going as well. What if a member couldn’t afford the penny a week? Captain Foy’s solution: since he was doing well financially, assign the poorest members to his group. Captain Foy would then cover whatever his members couldn’t afford.
That’s a beautiful story that I would like to reclaim in the Global Methodist denomination.
- Connectional Funding Calculator (Excel): https://jctaccounting.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/connectional_funding_calculator.xlsx
- Is and Is Not Included as Operating Income: https://jctaccounting.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/operating_income_examples.pdf
- Article on Connectional Funding: https://globalmethodist.org/connectional-funding-keeping-the-focus-on-the-ministry-of-the-local-church/
- Global Methodist Financial Calculator (2024): https://jctaccounting.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/gmc_calculator_2024.xlsx