Each year the mission of ACT 3 depends on year-end donations to make the difference in meeting our budget and finishing the calendar year without debt. This is no less true in 2007 than in the past. We have improved our situation by adding more regular donors, including many who use our secure Web site donations feature, but our cash short fall is still an issue as we approach December 31st.
Readers of this blog will include some who visit this site to read and enjoy, or even to find new reasons to disagree with me and the opinions I offer on various subjects that relate to Christian faith and culture. I am very glad that you visit this site and welcome you to gain anything from these posts that you can.
Others who read these blogs become more interested in the mission behind the blogs. This means that some of you would like to be informed of our needs in order to be good stewards. If you are inclined at all to support ACT 3 the remainder of this post is for you. This post is thus a year-end financial report and appeal.
First, we had a short-fall of about $19,000 at the end of November. This exists as one bill, on a single bank ministry card. (Growing interest is what we try to avoid by paying this off by December 31.) This bill includes day-to-day items such as office supplies, postage, brochures, travel, auto expense, health, ACT 3 Forums, brochures, telephone, Web site management, etc. The problem we encounter in paying each of these expenses during the year is common to small missions and for us happens every year. And every year we have had anywhere from $25,000 to $65,000 in year-end gifts (total) from about 50-100 people. This total giving amount has always been enough to bring us back and sometimes has even been large enough to help us grow the work a bit more in the year ahead. My hope is to build more regular giving in 2008 so this is less of a problem next year. But given the nature of seasonal giving to a mission like ACT 3 this will likely always be a simple reality. (Summer, for example, is always a down period for regular giving.)
The good news is this---we survived an overall downturn that began about 2001. Recent years (2006 and 2007) have shown new growth in our giving patterns. I believe that our ministry changes, which are embraced by some and intensely disliked by others, have repositioned us for a stronger mission to many more churches and leaders. To the praise of our gracious God we have not been buried in the process. (Some told us we would never survive the changes we made but by God's grace the opposite has been the case.) Our work is uniquely settled now to serve the whole Church, not just a small Reformed part of it. Indeed, I have never personally been more excited about the future of ACT 3. I feel free, totally empowered and very ready to move ahead with some things that can do even greater good for many more people, churches, schools and missions. I want you to know that your part in all of this, if you have supported us, has been very important.
While Anita and I pray about these matters daily we know that many of you will also pray with us and do all that you can, as the Lord leads you, to help us at the end of this year. I wanted to publicly share some of these personal details and assure you who do give of my appreciation for your past help and to let you know that we do need it again in any amount that you can give in the next few weeks. I also hope that many of you who have never given to ACT 3 will consider a one-time gift at our secure site. Some of you might even think of becoming recurring donors when you visit the site.
I believe that the desire to give to any kingdom work comes from God alone. The amount is determined in the heart. I make no other appeals but that you prayerfully do whatever you "purpose in your heart to do." This is the freedom we all have in Christ and I respect that with all my heart and do not presume anything in writing this public appeal.