giftBaptists Today/Nurturing Faith has a serious cash flow problem that must be addressed soon and well. I write this to our readership with hesitation and hope.

Hesitation comes from not being an alarmist. Yet the reality of our current financial condition needs to be communicated widely.

Hope comes from the repeated affirmation of those who deeply value this uniquely independent publishing ministry that seeks to provide an informative and inspiring news journal along with quality Bible studies and other resources for congregations.

It would be unfair to ask for your help without explaining the situation at hand and the intentional efforts to chart a healthy future.

We got behind in renewing and enlisting annual pledges that have been the lifeblood of this publication for many years. While many supporters have been very faithful and generous, the gifts received in recent months have not been enough to cover expenses. Therefore, we have depleted our reserves.

The Together Campaign, led ably by volunteers Drayton and Mary Etta Sanders, is producing much-needed pledges and promises of estate gifts that can ensure the future. However, immediate funding is needed to cover costs while the campaign continues to grow.

Directors and staff are facing this financial situation in forthright and responsible ways by their own sacrificial giving and by reducing operational costs to the bare minimum. Honestly, any further cuts would harm the quality of our work or the persons who do it.

Organizationally, we are lean, effective and held to high accountability — carrying out the best practices of a non-profit organization.

It is important to know that the expanding Nurturing Faith publishing ventures — Bible studies, books, resources and experiences — are assets, not liabilities. Revenues from this ministry expansion — often done in collaboration with other organizations or sponsors — are very helpful and continuing to grow.

Income from subscriptions and advertising and other sources does not cover all the expenses, even though Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith runs an efficient organization. So what is needed to address our current operational needs and to ensure long-term viability?

We need:
• Immediate gifts (to relieve cash-flow concerns)
• 3-year pledges (to anticipate income while enlisting more supporters)
• Monthly contributors (to cover ongoing expenses on a regular basis)
• Estate gift planning (to grow the endowment to meet long-term needs).

Also, we need some heroes — individuals, organizations, foundations — who will make larger gifts to restore our reserve fund that enables us to deal with the operational ebb and flow.

Neither income nor expenses comes in at the same rate each month. We need to fill three buckets: our operational fund, reserve fund and endowment fund to empower and ensure our effectiveness.

Despite my own hesitation, and that of those who guide this ministry as directors, we are informing you of these needs — believing there are those who value this ministry and wish to be a part of its success.

In sharing this information informally, some faithful readers of the news journal and Nurturing Faith Bible Studies have said, “We didn’t know there was a real need.”

There is — and it must be addressed soon and well.

We have many faithful, generous (even sacrificial) friends. We need more.

Honestly, our circle of Baptists is not as large as those who have vacated historic Baptist understandings and practices of freedom. But that makes our cause even more important.

Be assured that, with your help, we are envisioning and planning for a bright future. Our ministry continues to evolve as times and technology change. We are hard at work in charting a course that is faithful and forward-looking.

Now you know of both my hesitation and my hope. If you share such hope for the good health and ongoing effectiveness of Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith, please express that hope in the form of practical help at this time.

Enclosed in this issue is a response card and envelope. If you have any questions or want to discuss ways to be supportive, please call us at (478) 301-5655. Or you may email me at editor@baptiststoday.org.

The future can and will be bright with more hands joining together in strengthening this work to which many of us are deeply committed. BT

pierce_johnny15_optBy John Pierce