Mars Hill Church operates as a very lean organization. A great deal of weight is carried by unpaid volunteers, all the way from greeters on Sunday up to full-time, non-paid elders. We serve a very generous God, and we respond as best and consistently as we can through generosity, stewardship, and fiscal responsibility. In our constant effort to be frugal and stretch all available resources, we ran a list of the 20 largest categories of spending by the church. One was particularly surprising: bank fees that ate up almost $10,000 our monthly budget. Those are the fees we pay each time you all make (generous) donations and tithe offerings by credit or debit card. What may be news to some of you is that a dollar given to Mars Hill may be less than a dollar that can be used as a church. Banks don’t give away airline tickets for free (or toasters or anything else), and they charge retailers, the IRS, and even churches fees to transfer the money from one account to another. Here's the breakdown on how much Mars Hill receives depending on your donation method:
What would you do with $10,000 a month? As a church, we could hire several more staff members, or plant two more churches, or purchase a building for our Albuquerque campus. By using an automatic bank withdrawal (ACH) from your bank account, you are able to still give regularly and also allow 100% of your tithe to be used for the mission. (Straight cash and check work perfectly, too, obviously.)
We know we live in a cashless society, we strive for convenience, and we want methods to track our finances; online giving fits all of those desires. In this instance, though, while everybody's hearts are in the right place and we praise God that many faithful people continue to worship God in this way, it's just the method of giving that's interfering with those gifts. We'd rather it didn't.
In that spirit, we'd like to encourage you to consider changing your monthly donation method from a credit or debit card to an ACH withdrawal.
If, on the other hand, you're really focused on maximizing those airline miles (although we would like to point out that mileage points expire while treasure in heaven doesn't) and not too phased by the idea of some of your tithing dollars going to the airlines (not included in your checked luggage fee), you could also up your normal contribution by a few dollars to make sure your full intended gift does indeed make it to the church.To set up an automatic bank withdrawal, email email@example.com and request an authorization form. Pastor Tim is Mars Hill's executive pastor and oversees its management and financial operations. He also serves as pastor of families and leadership development at the West Seattle campus.