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Yes, This Should Challenge Some of Your Paradigms…

December 29, 2008
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — The members of Waterfront Community Church attend weekly services in a high school auditorium. Their contemporary Christian music rock band practices at someone’s home. And the pastor relies on a laptop and Starbucks for an office.

The nondenominational suburban Chicago church operates on a shoestring budget and under an unusual financial setup so it can stick to a mission: Give 100% of offerings gathered from the collection plate to those in need.

“We found how little we know about the people around us. We started asking around, ‘What are the needs of the community?”‘ said the church’s pastor and founder Jim Semradek. “When you present that need to people, they’re very responsive. People have very generous hearts.”

Churches typically use at least part of the money collected at worship services for administrative costs, including heating the sanctuary and paying the pastor’s salary.

Waterfront is instead funded by eight sponsors; half attend the church and the others are outsiders who support the mission. Their combined contributions, along with some fundraising, pay for renting the school auditorium and salaries. In addition, several of the church’s nearly 200 members donate their services as accountants and financial planners to make it all work.

Not only does Waterfront give away what it collects, it also develops relationships with the people who benefit.

Read the whole article HERE

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