Hawkinson: 2016 Budget – investing in Mission Priorities, Resourcing Local Churches

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 27 2015) – Presenting a $24.7 million budget for approval to the 130th an Annual Meeting of The Evangelical Covenant Church, Paul Hawkinson, treasurer and executive director of finance, emphasized that the denomination can provide more resource for local churches.

paul budget presentation“We recognize that the more we can provide local churches with resources that matter in a local setting, the more we create a compelling case for our own support,” he said.

He noted three specific areas related to local church finances that are being discussed to better support congregations: enhanced pastoral compensation and housing resources, suggested minimum local insurance standards, and materially lowering the processing cost for congregations for online credit card and echeck giving.

In the budget discussion, he emphasized four overall financial themes: increasing board-designated mission reserves to continue to sustain ministry, continuing to sustain long-term health of benefit plans, increasing percentage investment in mission and ministry (and away from administration), and reimagining extended economies of the denomination’s many affiliated ministries.

The delegates approved the budget, which contains both the operating and directed missions activity.

The operating budget represents the ongoing activities of the core mission priorities and mission support teams. The 2016 budget calls for a ministry investment of $16,324,000.

The directed mission budget represents an array of missions that are supported solely by donor-designated gifts but which would not be possible without the infrastructure and support provided by the core operating budget. The directed ministry budget is $8,365,000.

Hawkinson shared that 65 percent of the operating budget comes from local church giving and donor support and that rises to 80 percent when directed giving is considered.

Following are the dollar amounts approved for the 2016 Mission and Ministry Budget allocations (Figures are rounded):

Operating Budget

-Start and Strengthen Churches – $3.1 million

-Make and Deepen Disciples – $1.17 million

-Develop Leaders – $1.77 million

-Love Mercy-Do Justice – $542,829

-Serve Globally – $5.16 million

-Communications – $1.29 million

-Shared services – $3.28 million


Directed Mission

-Covenant Kids Congo – $600,000

-Short term/project missionary – $2.2 million

-Missionary in-country project – $750,000

-Covenant World Relief – $1.5 million

-Paul Carlson Partnership – $2.5 million

-Friends of World Mission – $280,000

-Kingdom Builders – $150,000

-Women Ministries projects – $65,000

-Sustaining Pastoral Excellence – $100,000

-Covenant Orientation – $220,000


Projected Sources of Income

-Local church giving – $8.7 million

-Individual donor support – $1.8 million

-Fees and expense allocations – $4.6 million

-Bequest and reserve transfers – $469,000

-External communication sales – $420,000

-External rental income – $310,000


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  • I am disappointed that there was no coverage of the public opposition to the budget, based on the “defunding” of two church plants who are “welcoming” churches. The ECC has prided itself on its diversity, yet LGBT people are clearly not included in this diversity.

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