Stewardship: A Look at Building up the Body of Christ

July 4, 2016

Last week, Sioux Falls Seminary’s 2016 fiscal year ended.  Often the only people who pay close attention to a fiscal year are boards, presidents, auditors, and chief financial officers.  A fiscal year is used for accounting purposes to measure financial performance.  We are celebrating another strong year.  Today we pause to reflect on Ephesians 4:12 and the many ways in which God has provided for Sioux Falls Seminary as we equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.  We invite you to praise God with us for the abundant blessings we have received.  Here are just a few.

During this past fiscal year, we experienced another strong year in tuition revenue.  We celebrated some ministry changing gifts that allowed us to begin a partnership with the Cameroon Baptist Convention as well as pay down debt.  Sioux Falls Psychological Services had a record year.  Combined with conservative spending Sioux Falls Seminary will have another year with a positive change in net assets.  This positive change is something many other seminaries have not been able to realize.

Why do fiscal years and financial reports matter?  Because stewardship matters.  Everything we have belongs to God, and it is our job to manage it well.  Stewardship is about more than dollars and cents.  Jesus had a few things to say about money, and I like to think of a budget as a mission statement.  Whether it is your personal, church, or ministry budget, where and how money is being spent is a good indicator as to what a person or organization cares about.  A wise steward puts together a plan to optimize what he or she has been given.  And that’s what we try to do at Sioux Falls Seminary.

On July 1, we turned the page and are now focusing on a new fiscal year.  We have created another conservative budget that aligns with our strategic plan.  We have plans to continue stewarding our resources well.  I would invite you to pray with us for this new year.  Pray for students who will take their first and last courses this year.  Pray for Sioux Falls Psychological Services as they offer hope to the individuals, couples, and families they serve.  Pray for the many faithful givers who sustain our ministry.  Pray for those same ministry changing givers that allow us to eliminate debt and change the future of theological education.

God sustains Sioux Falls Seminary.  I have had the opportunity to review Sioux Falls Seminary audits and financial statements for the last several years.  Those statements tell a story of stewardship.  Time and time again, I can see God at work, providing for the seminary and our students.  As Chief Financial Officer, I am thankful to be a part of what God is doing in and through Sioux Falls Seminary.

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