The 2006 session of the Central Texas Annual Conference is now over. We concluded on a hot Wednesday afternoon in Waco.
Hot as it was outside, it remained fairly cool inside. the closest thing to dissension was a couple of representatives from smaller churches pleaded, during discusison of the budget, that we are straining smaller churches. Both mentioned the old addage that “you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.”
Interestingly, though, earlier in the day, we heard a similar whine on behalf of the big churches. The new pension plan that has now been accepted by our conference, has the larger (more accurately, the higher paying) churches paying a far lower percentage on their salaries toward the overall pension than are the smaller (lower-paying) churches. The leadership of the Board of Pensions defended this by throwing out some utterly irrelevant stats about what a high percentage of the overall apportionments these big churches pay. Awwww, poor, poor, big churches….
The truth is, churches, no matter their size, pay a fairly eqivalent amount of apportionments as a percentage of their overall budgets. So, yes, churches that spend more money on themselves pay more apportionments.
I think that no matter what size your turnip is, the addage is likely still true. Perhaps we are beyond the time of pitting “big churches” against “little churches.”