And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good. — Gen. 1:31
Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you”. — Hebrews 13:5
Not that I seek the gift; but I seek that fruit which increases to your credit. — Philippians 4:17
Money and the kingdom of God
How should we think about money in the kingdom of God, and more specifically, in missions? Whole books have been written, and more probably need writing. We strive to remember three things:
- The “stuff” God made the world is good, not evil (cf. Genesis 1:31).
- Stuff should not control us (Hebrews 13:5).
- People who give toward our ministry are providing for our material needs, but there’s a more important transaction going on: they are converting their material goods into eternal fruit (Phil. 4:17).
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Practically, here are three things to know about how the finances of our service with Wycliffe work:
- We are legally employees of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Wycliffe is an interdenominational, non-sectarian, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit mission organization.
- Wycliffe is a “faith mission”. This means we are, the eyes of the IRS, “deputized fundraisers” for Wycliffe, and our salary is paid from donations to Wycliffe that are “preferenced” for our ministry. Our actual compensation varies accordingly, month by month.
- Wycliffe sets a “ministry budget” for each of its family units.
- Our “base salary” is tied to the 75th percentile of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ figures for earnings by clergy members, not on seniority, education, or level of responsibility.
- Donations to Wycliffe that are “preferenced” for our ministry account cover…
- Our health insurance and retirement savings (15%)
- Social security and taxes (10%)
- Ministry expenses (6%)
- An assessment for administrative costs (10%)
- Our “take home pay” (59%, or what is left after the above)
For more information about Wycliffe’s financial accountability, see wycliffe.org/about/financial-accountability.