Despite a stagnant global economy, the South Pacific Division’s finances are in good shape, according to Division CFO Rodney Brady.
Presenting at last week’s Division year-end meetings, Mr Brady said, “We’re financially strong with our working capital and we’ve got enough liquidity that we’re fairly resilient at the moment so that’s good.”
While many of the world Church’s divisions have struggled with tithe growth, the South Pacific Division (SPD) has recorded 11.32 per cent growth between 2017 and 2018, and a five-year average growth rate of 3.42 per cent. Mr Brady credits this to the work of the SPD stewardship department and the introduction of the e-giving system.
“E-giving has been a real positive,” he said. “In the Australian Union Conference, 31 per cent of people are now using it to return their tithes and offerings, which is a really good figure.” [pullquote]
Despite this, tithe has grown at just half the rate required over the past five years to keep up with inflation and membership growth, presenting some serious challenge in the years ahead. A further challenge will be the General Conference’s recent decision to institute tithe parity for all divisions.
Growth in Division (non-tithe) income has increased by less than 1 per cent over the past five years due to record low interest rates and other factors.
On a positive note, the SPD has the second highest percentage of tithe being spent on frontline ministers and staff when compared with the other world Church divisions. Also encouraging is the fact that major offerings across the SPD increased by 7.19 per cent between 2015 and 2018.
“We can rejoice and celebrate as we see how God has led and provided for the Church,” Mr Brady concluded. “We need to give God the glory for what He has done in blessing members with income to return tithes and offerings and the blessings we have seen across the SPD.”