In response to feedback from across the EPC received in the denomination’s 13 spring presbytery meetings, the National Leadership Team (NLT) is revising its recommendation to the 37th General Assembly. The updated recommendation is “The administration and strategic initiatives of the General Assembly ought to be supported by the per-member giving of EPC churches.”
The recommendation followed a nearly two-year study by the NLT on a fundamental question, “What is the best way to fund what God is calling the EPC to be and to do?”
As described in the April 2017 edition of “The Jeremiah Journal,” Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah’s monthly video blog, the earlier recommendation included two components:
- Including the four strategic initiatives (church planting, church revitalization, global movement, and effective biblical leadership) into the EPC overall operating budget. The initiatives have been funded from undesignated reserves since their launch in 2015.
- Changing the funding model from Per Member Asking (PMA) to 1 percent of a local church’s operating and outreach budget, and that those contributions be “expected.”
Jeremiah noted that the “vast majority” of feedback on the first component was positive.
“We are a connectional denomination,” he said, “and we want to support all EPC congregations (large and small, new and old, resource-rich and resource-challenged) as they seek to carry out the Great Commission.”
However, Jeremiah acknowledged that the response to the second component was mixed.
“While many were enthusiastic about simplifying our contribution model, there was a significant amount of feedback about the word ‘expected,’” he said. “So the NLT met with leadership at the Office of General Assembly on May 23rd to review all the feedback.”
Following that review, the NLT removed the second component of its recommendation to the Assembly.
“We will continue to promote the EPC as a mission- and vision-driven church, and to encourage financial participation by all our churches,” Jeremiah said. “In addition, anyone is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions or comments.”