Evangelism and Financial Management?

by Jac La Tour, ECCU Communications Manager
(Originally published as a post within ECCU’s former e-publication, The Buzz.)

A couple weeks ago I spent several enjoyable hours shooting a video at Calvary Chapel WestGrove, an ECCU member ministry that’s having considerable kingdom impact in Garden Grove, California. Since moving to their current facilities in 2001, the church has grown from 800 to 2,100 in weekend worship attendance.

This kind of growth gets your attention, but it’s the story behind the numbers that’s most compelling. I learned it simply by asking Church Administrator Philip Mensalvas how God has worked through their ministry in this changing economy.

“Evangelism is our mission,” Philip said. “That’s the focus of everything we do.” So how has the economy affected their pursuit of that mission? “We’ve continued to grow,” he responded, “and giving has remained strong.”

This is not the experience of many churches today, so I asked what he attributes this growth to. “Oh, it’s God’s grace,” Philip said. “It’s all God’s grace.”

In some contexts that comment could come across as cliché. Not here. I’d been hearing specifics of how God has been gracing this church with success in both their mission—evangelism—and their management of the financial resources to pursue that mission. God’s grace is an appropriate way to summarize what I heard.

Philip and others on the church staff talked about steps they’ve taken to control expenses. Then they talked about an ambitiously generous missions budget. They also spoke of the huge step of faith the church took by borrowing the funds to purchase and renovate present facilities. Then they recounted the delight of paying off that mortgage ahead of schedule last year.

God’s grace.

Every ministry’s story is different. This one clearly illustrates that staying on mission and staying committed to sound financial management are essential to complete mission fulfillment. God is honored by both commitments.

If you’re interested in seeing and hearing more about this story, the video is scheduled to appear on our website (homepage and video section) on July 1.

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