Led by executive director Phil Sparling, who also is pastor of Auburn Grace Community Church, Auburn, Calif., they reviewed the results of a recent survey regarding the financial health of congregations in the Fellowship, particularly in light of Covid-19. The survey showed that about a three-way split between congregations have seen offerings remain steady, increased, or decreased. Of those who saw offerings decrease, about 33 percent saw a decline of six to 10 percent, while 25 percent saw a decline of 11 to 15 percent. Slightly more than eight percent saw the biggest decrease of 26 percent or more.
More than 61 percent noted they did not anticipate needing to make adjustments to their current budget, while another 19 percent are monitoring the situation closely and will likely make adjustments. Another 19 percent are already making adjustments.
Of those who are making adjustments, 46.2 percent have reduced program expenses, with another 23 percent who are shifting priorities. Another 14.4 percent have reduced both staff and program expenses.
The group reviewed plans for the next meeting, scheduled to be face-to-face in January in Southern California prior to the Fellowship Council meeting. They also reviewed plans for Access2021, which will be held July 27-29, 2021, on the campus of Grace College. It will follow the same schedule as Access2020, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Participating in Thursday’s meeting were representatives of Encompass World Partners, Eagle Commission, Grace College and Seminary, Assist Church Expansion, Inspire Charis Pastors Network, CE National, and GraceConnect, along with staff from the Charis Fellowship and members of the Fellowship Council.