Budget, Values, & Giving in 2014-15

It’s with gratitude to God for what He has done and with anticipation for our next chapter that we offer this year’s budget projections, the values behind them, and a clear invitation to join together in funding what lies ahead.

Steward Team has recently approved our FY 2014-15 (July 1 – June 30) budget at $220,300 that calls for a monthly increase in giving of $5600.  This increase reflects our commitment to hire and resource the staff necessary to help us faithfully live out the vision He’s given us.

Key additions to this year’s budget include:

  1. Salary and benefits for Dave Kludt, Pastor of Community Formation
  2. A salary increase for Elizabeth Hunnicutt, Pastor of Worship
  3. The inclusion of paid child-care for ODC Kids

As Steward Team, we believe in this investment in our Staff for three reasons:

  1. Increased Soul-Care & Formation :: We want to see an increase to and deepening of the soul care and development of The Open Door Community.  Our staff team exists to support, encourage, and release the community to care for & contribute to the formation of one another.
  2. Deepened Experience of Spirit :: We want to deepen in our experience of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit increases among us.  We believe that God has strategically placed Jer, Dave, and Elizabeth here and now, each with a unique set of gifts, to guide us in this deepening.
  3. Expanded Mission & Movement ::  We want to see Spirit-saturated Circles of Jesus followers embedded throughout the East Bay who are Rooted in Christ, Woven together as family, Extending sacrificial love, and Cultivating others to be and do the same.  Our staff team exists to equip, resource, and mobilize those Circles.

We believe strongly that this investment in staff and this increase in budget is necessary and that all that is needed to fund our future already exists within our community.  Will you join Steward Team in giving courageously and consistently as a response to what God has done for us and as a way to join Him in what He’s about to do?

Here are the three primary ways to give monthly to The Open Door Community:

  1. An offering box is available at each gathering.
  2. Mail your contribution to 860 Bancroft Road; Walnut Creek, CA 94598
  3. Online at (“The Open Door Community”; ID: 812-632-9836)

Thank you for your courageous generosity that has made this next step possible.  For questions concerning Dwolla or to inquire further about giving to The Open Door Community or our budget, please email Brendan (Treasurer, Resource Team).

Humbly Yours,

Open Door’s Steward Team :: Ben Johanson, Rebecca Olson, Brendan Cheney, Kara Lynch, Tony Collins, Charlene O’Brien, & Jer Swigart

New Circle: Economic Discipleship

On February 6th, we'll be launching a Circle that will utilize Dave Ramsey's resource, Financial Peace University, to help us to think, plan, and practice biblically with our finances.  By the end of this 9-week Circle, you will be equipped to budget, give, save, invest, and spend wisely. Contact Nathan to RSVP & pre-order the resources for this Circle.

Take a read of the McKnelly's story.  It's a journey from debt to freedom and generosity:

What would it look like if we trusted more in God than in earthy things? What would it mean to make ourselves accountable for the money that God has entrusted to us?

Hebrews 5:13 says - Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

In 2011, our family found ourselves in just over $20,000 in debt. None of this was what some would call "good debt" like owning a house or getting a degree, but was from credit cards and car loans. We borrowed all this money and had nothing to show for it, but large interest payments and barely making ends meet at the end of the month.  It was misuse of God's money, plain and simple. When we found ourselves with only $30 dollars left at the end of the month and all of our cards maxed out.... We decided to go to a finance class and get our spending under control. Through that class, we heard about the infamous Dave Ramsey and we were intrigued. After reading his book The Total Money Makeover we signed up for his online version of Financial Peace University. After taking the course we got on a budget, seeded our first emergency fund with $1000 and started throwing as much money as we could at our debt. We were debt free in April of 2012!

In our whole adult life, we were never able to make the claim of being debt free. Since getting a loan for our wedding, we've always had debt looming over us... so you can imagine how freeing it was to write that last check and be able to cut up all of our credit cards. We'll never be in debt like that again!

When we were in debt, we weren't able to give to our community. When we started our budget we were only able to give 1% of our income to tithes, and it was embarrassing. Essentially we were saying that our love of money & desire for stuff was more important than God, our own formation, the formation of our community, and the transformation of our context.  We were poor stewards of the resources God had entrusted us with. When we were finally out of debt and able to write that first full tithe check, we felt like we heard God more clearly and no longer felt like we had a dark cloud of dread looming over us. We could freely worship and freely give because we weren't wasting our money on stupid stuff.

We want that for our community. We want the subject of finances not to be a source of dread, but of opportunity to give to His cause. Whether that be through tithing, mission work or giving the homeless guy down the street a warm meal. Worshiping God with our finances results in our formation and the flourishing of our context. Join this Circle and experience freedom.

ODC Quarterly Budget Update

Friends of The Open Door Community: As the first quarter of our fiscal year has come to a close, we wanted to update you on our financial outlook.  But before we do, just a couple of reminders:

First and foremost, our perspective of money matches our perspective of every other resource God has given us.  It is His...He has entrusted it to us to steward it well...and the way that we steward it contributes to our becoming.

Second, our fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.  Therefore, our quarters breakdown as follows: July-September (Q1), October-December (Q2), January-March (Q3), and April-June (Q4).

Third, while there is an offering box located in the back of our gathering space every Sunday evening, we recommend utilizing Dwolla, our online giving resource, for your generous contributions.

Fourth, our total annual budget is set at $161,050.  Our monthly giving need, therefore, is $13,420.

July Giving Projected :: $9,256  July Giving Actual :: $17,477

August Giving Projected :: $14,236  August Giving Actual :: $14,436

September Giving Projected :: $10,068  September Giving Actual :: $15,830

Currently, we have $38,731 in our "Reserve" account and $7,639 in our "Future" account.

Thank you for our ongoing generosity to God in what He's doing through The Open Door Community.  As always, if there are any questions or if you need anything from us, please do not hesitate to email.

Respectfully submitted,

The ODC Resource Team

Timothy Halls, Treasurer

Brad Zeller, Accounts Receivable

Greg Wang, Accounts Payable

Tyler Hargan, Budget Analyst