North American Division Votes Request for Tithe Parity — NAD Year-end Meetings Day 5


(George Tichy) #21

Benefit? What benefit? Can anyone tell us at least one, any one, benefit of having the GC?
There is no benefit, but only cost instead!!! And lost of disturbance caused by that totally irrelevant agency.


(George Tichy) #22

Elmer, you know that this is not going to happen while those people at the GC remain there, right? Repeal & Replace is past due!


(Ian m fraser) #23

I just suggested a solution on Adventist Today. Move the GC to a low cost of living country in Africa and pay ALL personnel on the basis of the local low cost of living. This can be derived from the tithe per member in the local area.


(George Tichy) #24

Brilliant!
I wrote several times about moving the GC to their beloved Africa. But never thought about the “low cost of living.”
But then,… no more flying around the world? …:wink:


(Ian m fraser) #25

Yes there is no need for the GC to be based in the USA with its very high cost of living. Costs of all support services and personnel would be much
Lower in many areas of Africca.


(Ian m fraser) #26

Thousands of missionaries could be sent from Africa. To convert NAD members to the great blessings of MH.


#27

Frank, that would not be an accurate picture of the use of funds. As noted, out of a billion dollars, 847 million went back to local conferences and unions, a portion of that is used for evangelism. And, as noted out of the 174 million left over 67 million went to the GC, which a portion went for overseas evangelism. Of the 107 million left it went for a variety of “mission-driven” purposes including “Guam Micronesia - Our Mission”, Projects (which certainly could be evangelistic, etc. I can say that this year, our particular church received a significant grant from our union and a smaller one from our conference to engage in a large community outreach program that provided benefits to close 700 local families that were not SDA.

You can look at it that admin cost 22 million out of 107 million, a very bad percentage, or look at it as 22 million out of 1 billion - a very good percentage. Neither of those tells the whole story.


(Thomas J Zwemer) #28

Years back as VP at PUC was also treasurer of the Campus Church.Occasionally the Church expense offering was less than required to run a large student body church. He without concent converted tithe into local expense. More power to him is my view. the tithe is not specifically ordained by Scripture except to the temple. I believe that includes the local church. so I say NAD go for it.


(Frank Peacham) #29

Thanks for straightening some facts out. Yet, I don’t see 22 million as a small amount. I wonder what the line items were spent on? That is not revealed. I don’t believe that this example is a sign of spiritual growth, in which leadership could lead out in revival. Sometimes I think we forget that every dollar received is charity funds, not money earned by sales or business activities.

Leaders are to example to the flock.To show they can live on less, so that they can give more to churches and public projects that create a better society. I am sure if the NAD earned 50-60% less the Division would likewise spend less on just themselves. Let’s hope so.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. Heb 13:5


#30

Hi Frank, thanks for the thoughtful response, I appreciate that. I’d like to respond to your points in kind.

  1. Details of 22M not revealed. You’re correct, they are not revealed, that is simply a snapshot. I suspect that if you contact NAD Treasury Dept. you can get a copy of the full financials. Since I haven’t read the entire report, I can’t say as to whether they are being prudent with the funds or not. But based upon my reading of other financial reports of the church, I’m not prepared to automatically assume they aren’t prudent just because of the amount.

  2. Don’t see 22M as a small amount. Well, not a small amount to me either. But compared to the work, perhaps that’s a different story. NAD represents 1.1 million Adventists and several thousand churches. It handles the work in 12 countries with 850 schools and 13 universities. Half of the volunteers to mission fields around the world came out of the NAD. When given the scope of what they do, I’m not prepared to say if that number is too high without knowing the underlying facts.

  3. Leaders should be an example and live on less. I haven’t done the work to see how much the NAD Executives earn. I have however spent 6 years as a local church Finance Dept. head (lay person, not paid), and currently serve at our local church school and finance committee and my spouse works at the school and I have seen local and regional salaries. I can tell you that they are not overly compensated as compared to the local job market. Our teachers are paid substantially less than public school teachers.

From the salaries I have seen in church administration, it is normally less than salaries for comparable positions in the secular world. And, while I don’t think we should pay too much, and I do think that that robust accounting and auditing is called for, I also think it’s reasonable that someone working for the church should earn enough money to pay for themselves and their families expenses and be able to put enough aside that when they stop working that they are not penniless and dependent upon others to pay their bills.

I live in Southern California. The low-end cost to purchase a home is $500K. To rent a 3 bedroom place (depending on where you live) is easily $2,500 per month. Someone might find a place for cheaper if they lived an hour away from their work - but is that a good steward of their valuable time if they are commuting 10-12 hours a week? Time that could be spent in the tasks they are assigned for? Shouldn’t they get compensated enough that they and their families can live in safe housing in good neighborhoods?

Regarding expenses, I can tell you at the local level the churches and schools undergo an annual audit. I’m sure that the conferences, unions and divisions do as well. I have read those audits and they help expose waste, bad practices, etc. I’m guessing that the NAD President spends a significant time traveling throughout the Division to visit local constituents. When it’s at distance he generally flies and stays in a hotel. Should we insist that instead of fly 3,000 miles he drives 5 days each way in order save some money? Normally those are working trips and require time in the hotel doing “administrative work” on his computer and phone. Shouldn’t he be able to stay at a hotel that provides the kinds of amenities conducive to doing good work? I don’t mean staying at the Ritz. I do mean it’s easier to stay at a place where your room has a nice desk, good lighting and high-speed internet versus the cheapest flea-bag motel.

My apologies, I’ve gone too long. I don’t know if the 22M is being used correctly or not. I’m just not prepared to assume that it’s being wasted or not spent carefully without knowing the details, just because it’s such a large number to me.

Blessings to you and have a great evening.


(Frank Peacham) #31

Your answer it probable the better part of wisdom. Yet, I have been a member of the Conference Committees and have never seen a detailed financial report. They are given in large snap shots. Money has a corrupting influence, unless oversight and accountability are required.

I guess I have seen an often repeated problem–lack of transparency on the part of Conference/Union/Division/GC expenses. Local churches as a rule give a detailed financial report of every dollar spent and received. Tithe are charity dollars and every member deserves to follow debit charges, if they so wish.