Why are we having a “Why Forefront” Campaign?
As we’ve talked about, Forefront Brooklyn and Forefront Manhattan decided to split our finances for 2017. Before 2017 we worked under one budget with both locations’ giving going to the same bank account. We operated under one combined budget.
As we separated our finances we found some good news, that with a few cuts Forefront Brooklyn was in fact a self supporting church. That means that we’re not receiving any financial help from outside churches or organizations, and we’re not receiving financial help from Forefront Manhattan. We’re able to cover staff salaries, rent, and about 2,000 dollars a month in ministry expenses.
That being said our margins are slim. We want to operate in such a way that we don’t have to make more cuts but can build into our ministries and families while maintaining financial stability. We’re praying that this campaign will create a financial margin that allows us to make upgrades to our kids’ area, to make positive changes in the ministries that serve our whole church, and keep us from tightening our belts further.
What is the Goal for our "Why Forefront" Campaign?
We’d like to raise $60,000 with 12% of all that is raised going towards our Refugee Relief Fund.
The money raised will go towards:
Improving our Kidstuf area by providing new equipment, new curriculum, and creating a more aesthetically pleasing area for kids and families. You can learn more by clicking here.
Funding our Forefront Brooklyn ministries, which include but are not limited to, supporting our lay leaders, paying our staff to help care for and disciple our community, paying for events including outings and retreats, and helping to cover the almost $2000 in monthly expenses ranging from coffee and bagels to paying insurance, and purchasing new signs.
As you know, rent in this city is crazy. Some of the money given will go toward renting our Roulette space each week and towards renting spaces for events throughout the year.
Why are we having another campaign after we raised money last year in our “Together in This campaign?”
Our "Together in This" campaign did its job. Our community raised money that allowed both Forefront Brooklyn and Forefront Manhattan to continue to operate in its full capacity. In fact, much of the money given to our TGIT campaign allowed Forefront Brooklyn to become the self supporting church that it is now.
Our TGIT campaign also helped us to make up the parts of the budget affected by the planned end of outside giving from our generous benefactors. It put us in great shape and allowed for us to make this financial split without incurring large cuts in salary, expenses, and ministries.
TGIT put us in a position to move forward in a positive direction, and our "Why Forefront" Campaign allows our church, Forefront Brooklyn, to continue to make strides towards living out our just and generous vision. This is our opportunity to create growth and stability in our church.
Explain the Refugee Relief Fund.
The start of our church coincided with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. We recognized the need and were able to raise money to help victims of Sandy all over the East Coast. We started a relief fund because we recognized that our money would be best used if we were able to give it to multiple organizations, causes, and people.
In the same way we recognize that there is a wide swath of refugees in need of help. One organization that we've partnered with in the past, CAMBA, helps settle refugees in and around the city. We also know that there are major needs on the Syrian border where hundreds of thousands are in need of supplies to simply live. We want to be able to help refugees in every time and capacity. There are other organizations in NYC and throughout that can use our help. Just like with Hurricane Sandy, we want to use this money when and where it’s needed without limitations.
The money we receive will allow us to act swiftly when CAMBA notifies us of new refugee families who are settling in NYC. It also allows us to use our resources to immediately help ongoing needs in places like the Syrian border though the work of our friends at Gather for Goats.
Why isn’t there an option to personally support refugee families?
Simply put, we didn’t want our community to have to choose between supporting our church and supporting refugee families. Instead, we decided that it was more effective for our community to both support Forefront and know that as we support our church, we’re also supporting refugees in our city and beyond.
For those who are interested in personally supporting refugees, we encourage you to join Greater NYC Families for Syria and participate in the great work happening with them.
Why are we giving 12% to support refugee families?
Throughout the years Christian tradition has dictated a tithe of 10%, which stems from Jewish Levitical laws of the Old Testament. We know that every dollar counts and in some ways, 10% of our giving is a sacrifice for Forefront Brooklyn. CS Lewis had a popular quote that goes like this,
“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”
Although it sounds like a trite number, giving a little more, 12% of our total puts us in a position of truly trusting God with our provisions. We want to practice what we preach, and we hope that our community’s generosity spills over to others.
What do we do if we exceed our goal of $60,000?
Our hope is that we get an abundance, which will allow us to reimplement effective ministries like MidrashNYC, Marriage and Singles Retreats, and Leadership Retreats. Our hope is that we’re able to add those ministries back into the life of Forefront. Remember, whatever we get above our goal allows us to give even more to Refugee Relief.
What happens if we do not reach our goal of $60,000?
As I’ve previously stated, our church will not close. We’re ultimately a self supporting church. However, I also stated that our margins between giving and expenditures are quite slim. Any decrease in giving will ultimately result in the tightening of our budget even further. These cuts will most likely come in the form of staff salary reductions, which unfortunately hamper our staff’s ability to effectively serve the church.
What can we do to help?
Pray for our church. We say it every week. Prayer matters and makes a difference. Pray that our church aligns with the calling of God and that we work to bring God’s kingdom to this earth.
Thanks so much for all your help and support! I’m amazed at the way God has used our church community over the past 5 years and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for our future!
- Jonathan Williams, Lead Pastor