On February 5th of this year my wife, Kendra, will have been married to me for 25 years. I know what you are thinking, she deserves a medal or something. And I would agree. She has been forced to live in four different states (while often visiting the state of confusion) having had at least 13 different addresses in those years, has had to leave jobs and friends she loved along the way, and endured child birth two times. And those are the easy things.
Yet at the end of the day Kendra tolerates, accepts, and even provides love and care for me. Even while knowing me better than anyone else. It is because of this familiarity with me that she often provides insightful commentary. Even volunteering crucial information I need, but may not want to hear. Like…she will say, “I know you were a communications major, but you don’t always communicate very well.”
Now, she says it with a smile, and I receive it with a smile because… she is right. I have a tendency to start a conversation with her in paragraph number four, the first three never have cleared my brain into the outside world. I just assumed she had heard everything I had thought in my head. Other times, outside of the home, I try to make something clearer by offering information and invariably make it more difficult to understand.
Take, for instance, an interview I gave for an article in last year’s Pathway (Dec 11th, page 16, “FBC Willard benefits from new MBF loan program”). I was talking about the MBF Church Loan program and said I wanted to make it simple. Then I mentioned our 25% debt to loan ratio as a qualifier.
That statement is correct. But, then, I tried to explain it and absolutely butchered the explanation of those terms. I said that we would only loan a church 25% of their annual receipts. That is not correct, and does not even make sense. That would mean a church that has a budget of $100,000 could only borrow $25,000. What I meant to say was a church might qualify for a loan when the annual payments on the loan do not exceed 25% of a church’s budgeted receipts.
In other words, the 25% should not refer to the loan amount, but rather to the loan payment. I know many of you were able to understand what I meant to say, but I wanted to take this article to correct any misconceptions I created by my miscommunication. (Plus, it is always healthy to admit when we were wrong about something, though I would rather not do that in print all of the time.)
Why was the correction necessary? Because the difference in amounts is significant. We typically apply a rule of thumb of being able to loan a church roughly three times their annual budget not 25% of it. So, the church with a $100,000 budget we would be able to offer a loan of around $300,000, not $25,000.
I hope that clears up any confusion that I created related to our church loans.
One final note, as we begin 2019, we are pleased to announce our newest product, an FDIC insured cash savings account for churches, ministries, associations and charitable entities. As of press time, this high interest bearing account currently has a 2.47% interest rate. Funds in this account are available within 24 business hours with no account minimum required.
So, if your church is not getting that rate or better on your savings account, give us a call and let us get your money working for the Kingdom. We want to partner with you!
Dr. Neil Franks is the President of the Missouri Baptist Foundation and leads a team of dedicated professionals who seek to use their skills to “develop, manage and distribute” financial resources for the Advancement of the Gospel. He, along with his team, are available for preaching, teaching and consulting with churches, small groups and individuals who wish to make a lasting impact on the world.