How are you doing? CGP can help you figure that out

If you started the year with a new financial secretary he or she is probably pretty depressed seven Sundays into the new year.  He or she may have taken the total amount pledged, divided it by 52 and figured that was what you would receive each Sunday.

Or you may a pastor who, while, new to your church, has served several others and is concerned that he’s not seeing the same giving patterns he is used to.

Folks with church finance experience know that both of these are really pretty common.  Some churches have strong December giving.   Others start the year with a big surplus as tax-wise givers may give a good chunk of their 2011 pledge in December of 2010. 

But it does beg the question:  “How do we know how we’re doing?”

The good folks at the Lewis Center for Church Leadership have invented a handy tool.  It’s the Congregational Giving Profile, or CGP.

I know, right now you’re at the edge of your seat saying “gosh, Brian what is this handy tool and how can it help me in my church?”  Of course some of the guys reading this blog got as far as “tool” and have already left for Aisle 7 at Home Depot, but they’ll come back.

CGP allows you to enter each week’s offering (as well as Christmas Eve and other special giving) into the program for the last three years.  From that information it will plot your giving trends.  So as you enter your 2011 data it will tell you how you’re doing, not based on the 1/52 formula, but compared to your individual church’s giving patterns over time.

It’s pretty affordable, just $39 plus shipping and tax.  For under fifty bucks you can get a handle on how you’re doing.

It can also help you time expected major purchases, as you see when in the year giving is the strongest and, presumably, the digits in your checking account are darker black and not red.

It won’t break the bank and I think that any new affordably-priced tool to give you a better handle on your finances is worth the investment.  To learn more or to order, just follow this link.

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