Take a few minutes to review the following questions about the Compelled by Love capital initiative. You may discover you have a question or two you didn’t know you had! We want everyone to be as informed as possible about the three exciting years ahead of us. The answers you find here may also help you respond to questions others have in the months to come.
Q: What is the current financial condition of Preston Trail?
A: God has led the people of Preston Trail to be wonderfully generous. Based on our recent history, we project giving to our ministry fund this budget year (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) to be $8.9 million. This budget covers all operating expenses for the church. As of September 1, 2017, we had more than three months’ expenses in cash reserves, which the elders view as adequate to support ongoing church operations.
Our Elder Team has set a goal of not allowing our annual debt service to exceed 20% of our annual budget. Currently, the mortgage on our new facility is $14.2 million. Our annual debt service on the mortgage is 15% of our yearly income, which falls well within the elders’ guidelines. To put this into perspective, if someone makes $100,000 a year and has the same debt-to-income ratio, their house payment (principal and interest only) would be $1,250 per month. The Elder Team views this as a reasonable and prudent use of mortgage debt to accomplish our mission of reaching people for Christ in this season of rapid growth in our region.
Q: Will the church take on any additional debt in Phase 2 of our campus development?
A: Our goal is to fund Phase 2 with little or no additional indebtedness. If we reach our goal of $16 million in commitments to the Compelled by Love initiative, our current projections are telling us we would be able to pay for everything in full and not need to incur any additional debt, which is our hope and prayer! If we fall short of $16 million, however, the Elder and Financial Advisory Teams will confer with our architects and other project representatives to determine the final scope of the project and any additional debt that could be incurred within the guidelines stated above.
Q: The Next 15 Vision challenges us to think beyond our Frisco campus, yet most of the funds raised within the Compelled by Love initiative are allotted for Phase 2 construction. Is this out of proportion?
A: Here’s something to keep in mind: 100% of all the money received in our Compelled by Love initiative will go to fulfilling our mission—helping people find and follow Jesus. We believe this axiom: the light that shines the furthest shines the brightest at home. When we are faithful in reaching our closest neighbors, God will bless us with more passionate people and resources that will in turn resource our multisite launches, national church plants, and Engage partners.
Through Compelled by Love, $3 million will be set aside as seed money for a more permanent location for our McKinney campus, and $1 million will be invested over the next three years in our Engage partners, both here in North Texas and around the world. We will fold our annual Project Engage Christmas Offering into the Compelled by Love initiative. Over the last three years we have increased our giving to our partners at a significant pace. In 2014 we shared $65,000 with our partners. We raised our commitment to them to $100,000 in 2015. And last year, we doubled our gifts to $200,000. With the Compelled by Love initiative we will be investing over $300,000 each year in our joint efforts.
Please note, no matter the ultimate outcome of our Compelled by Love initiative, we will set aside the $1 million for our partners. If adjustments must be made, they will come from the Frisco or McKinney expansion.
Q: What about Paul and Jim? While they look incredible for their age, are they going to be around to lead the church through the Next 15 Vision?
A: Under the direction of the Elder Team, a ten-year succession plan was initiated for Paul and Jim in 2015. That means, God willing, that they will be leading in a significant capacity for the first eight years of the Next 15 Vision. The goal of all the elders, including Paul and Jim, is that God will provide an extraordinary leader to whom the mantle of leadership can be given and that the Next 15 Vision will provide a challenging vision for Preston Trail as it begins a new chapter in its history.
Q: Are there additional ways to give more towards Compelled by Love?
A: Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give towards Compelled by Love. You might have some stock, property, or other items of that nature. You may have some stored resources that God has blessed you with in the past that he may be calling you to give during this time. Please let us know if you need assistance with facilitating gifts of property or stock.
Q: What if I have never even given to Preston Trail Community Church before? Should I start now?
A: If you've never given to Preston Trail before, this might be a great way to start. We would be very appreciative of any commitment you’d be willing to make in support of this important initiative. As you do, we hope that in time you will come to see that supporting the ongoing ministries of our church is just as important as our Compelled by Love initiative to the work of God in the world. As the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8:7, our prayer is that you will “grow in the grace of giving” through this experience.
Q: What if I am severely in debt? Am I still supposed to give?
A: If you find yourself struggling with debt, our first recommendation would be to find freedom through the biblical principles taught in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Our Care Ministry would love to help you take a next step toward financial freedom—email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Even as you do that, however, we would suggest you make even a small commitment to Compelled by Love, as an expression of your trust in God to provide for you. Such a tangible demonstration can be a significant way to help you learn that trusting in God really does open up the windows of heaven (Malachi 3:10)!
Q: What if I am new around here?
A: We’re glad you’re with us! Whether you are a new Christ follower, or are just new to this church, welcome to the Preston Trail family! We want to encourage you to jump into a Connect Group, because we believe that real life change happens best in the context of authentic relationships. Our groups meet in locations all around our community and provide a place for you to connect, grow, and take next steps in life with others. You can find out more about our groups at the Welcome Center in the atrium, or online at prestontrail.org/compelledbylove.
Compelled by Love is the first phase of a 15-year vision for our church. We believe that the local church is the hope of the world. Therefore, the investment of our generosity into the local church has greater impact than any other endeavor. We would love for you to make Preston Trail Community Church your home and for you to join us for the Compelled by Love Initiative.