Investors' Report | Spring 2020

Spiritual Multiplication • Kingdom Flourishing

GOD IS FAITHFUL ...

AND SO ARE YOU!

Despite the impact on our lives from the global pandemic, we are so thankful to be able to report that financially, Perimeter is in a unique position. Actual giving to the church in the first three months of 2020 is not only equal to what we had budgeted—your giving has surpassed what we had projected.

Actual Giving: 

$6,863,287

Projected Giving:  

$5,389,673

Surplus:

$1,473,614

Why do we have such a large surplus?

When it became apparent that this pandemic would have a devastating effect on our healthcare system and the economy as a whole, Perimeter members reacted not in fear—but with faith. In those first critical weeks, several members notified the church that they would be paying on their Rooted to Flourish pledges early, to ensure that the church had the resources they felt might be necessary during the crisis. These advance payments on pledges totaled about $1.2 million—the vast majority of the surplus that we have right now.

What does this mean to the church's long-term finances?

This advance giving is a huge blessing! It means that we are in a position to respond quickly to needs—such as supporting our local ministry partners who are on the front lines of the crisis and facing needs they were unprepared to meet. However, this also means that funds we had anticipated receiving later are already in.


So ... what does that mean?

It means that we can't be spending this excess unless we absolutely have to. The weekly operating budget of the church is approximately $370,000. This first quarter Rooted to Flourish "surplus" that we have right now will only cover about one month of our operating needs if giving levels were to drop off.

What can you do?

The biggest thing you can do now is to continue to give faithfully out of what God is giving to you.

We realize that many of our members may be significantly affected by the economic shutdown, which is devastating many industries that are huge employers in Atlanta—like entertainment, hospitality, and travel. But, to the extent that resources are available, we ask that you give faithfully and with trust that God will use what you have given to bless people and enable flourishing in His kingdom—even in the midst of crisis.

Deacons Fund

Grows To Meet Need

In addition to increased Rooted to Flourish giving, the church has also seen a surge in giving to our Deacons Fund. When the financial impact on Atlanta businesses became apparent, a church member pledged a $250,000 match to new donations to our Deacons Fund. Because of that match, more than $604,000 has been added to the Deacons Fund in the last six weeks. Wow! What a testament to the faithful giving of our members and your response to the heart of God for those who are in need.
 
The Deacons Fund is designed to provide emergency aid to the family of church members who have an immediate financial need. If you or another church member has a need, click the button to can learn more about the Deacons Fund.

We are beyond blessed by the church’s desire to lean in and care for one another during “such a time as this.”


Meet Stacey Earnest, Our New CFO

While all of us have been focused on the pandemic, a very important—and long-planned—transition was happening at Perimeter Church. Gordon Moore, the church's first and only CFO made his planned transition to focus on Stewardship and other congregation-focused financial ministries. And Stacey Earnest, who has been the church's Pending CFO for several months, officially transitioned into the CFO role in March. 

We wanted to take a few minutes and give you a glimpse of our new CFO—and the first woman ever to serve on the church's Executive Leadership Team. 
 
1. What's your backstory? Where are you from? 

I’m from Mississippi, and I graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in accounting. I practiced as a CPA in Memphis, TN, with the accounting firm now known as Ernst & Young. After that, I worked in the corporate tax department at the headquarters of International Paper Company. My husband and I then went back to law school at Ole Miss together. I practiced law for three years with a law firm in Jackson, MS, before coming to Atlanta. 
 
2. Tell us about your family. 

My husband, Steve, and I have three adult sons. Lee is an attorney in the Atlanta area, Cole is in sales in Chicago, and Houston is preparing to attend medical school at the Medical College of Georgia at its Athens campus. All three boys went to Perimeter School and were raised at Perimeter Church.


3. How long have you been at Perimeter Church? What brought you here? 

My family has been here for over 23 years, since January 1997. My husband was transferred with his job at Bellsouth from Mississippi to Atlanta.
 
4. Your first job with Perimeter was with Perimeter Christian School. You were there for a long time! What was your role there, and how do you feel it prepared you for being CFO of the church? 

I was on staff at the school for 16 years. When I left, I was in charge of all administrative functions, with direct responsibility for financial functions. I have worked closely with the Church’s accounting department for years and have developed a good working relationship with other departments within the church.
 
5. How do you feel your background in both finance and law will aid you in your role as CFO of a large church? 

I really feel that God has woven all my past experiences together for this role. I am so thankful for my experience with the church as well as my past experience in accounting and law and pray that He will use it all for His glory.

6. How do you feel about taking over for Gordon Moore?

Gordon has been incredibly generous with me and is a wonderful mentor and role model. I don’t think I could ever “fill his shoes”, but I am so thankful to be able to learn from him and continue to get his advice and counsel as he moves to a stewardship role in the fall.
 
7. What other ministries/groups are you involved in at Perimeter? 

I am a discipleship leader and love working with the Women’s Ministry and getting coaching and equipping through them. I also have been blessed to work with Community Outreach in my role as a Board Member for Friends of Refugees.

You can reach Stacey at SEarnest@perimeter.org. Please reach out to welcome her officially to her new role!


Anxiety and Depression in the Age of Corona

Were you one of the thousands of people who tuned in to watch Robbie Sherrill give a masterclass on dealing with anxiety and depression during this crisis? If not, click on the link above to watch, and feel free to forward the link to any family or friends you think might benefit from her message of hope, faith, and self-care.

Robbie's visit was part of a special Tuesday Night Prayer hosted by Jeff and Rachel Norris. Join us every Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM for a time of worship and prayer with your church family. You can watch and participate in the gathering via Perimeter Church's Facebook live stream.



Who's Watching Virtually?

Let's Run The Numbers

Ever wonder how many people are tuning in to our online services, prayer meetings, and IF? Those little numbers you see next to the eye icon on Facebook live don't tell the real story. (All numbers are approximate.)

Sunday Services

  • Easter Sunday: 9,000 viewers
  • April 19: 6,000 viewers
  • April 26: 6,200 viewers

Tuesday Night Prayer

  • April 14: 3,500 viewers
  • With Robbie Sherrill on April 21: 4,000 viewers
  • With the Popes on April 28: 2,600 viewers (so far!)

Investigative Forum

  • Week 1 (April 19): 2800 viewers
  • Week 2 (April 26): 1600 viewers

Partners in a Pandemic:

Perimeter's Community Outreach Ministry Lives Up To Its Name


It's the stuff of nightmares for many of Perimeter's ministry partners. 

  • There's a pandemic, and people are told to stay at home until further notice.
  • Thousands of businesses close, and hundreds of thousands of Georgians go from employed to unemployed in a matter of weeks — if not days.
  • If you were already unemployed—good luck finding a new job. 
  • Schools close, and suddenly families who are struggling to meet basic needs now need laptops and reliable internet for their children to "attend" school.
  • Now that those kids are at home, they're not getting fed at school twice a day. Schools are trying to help with food, but distribution isn't always reliable. 
  • And if you are lucky enough to keep your job ... who's going to be home with the kids while you're away?

Few people saw this scenario coming. And even if they had, it's doubtful that ministries could have ramped up quickly enough to handle the astronomical need that caused lines at food co-ops in Norcross, Duluth, and North Gwinnett to go out the door and around the building on the first day of Gwinnett County's spring break.

But when our ministry partners came to us, struggling to respond, our Community Outreach and Kingdom Investments ministries—in partnership with individuals and groups within the Perimeter family—all rallied together to support the organizations who were on the front lines serving our community.


Community Outreach Ministry Fills The Gap

It is impossible to list every way that the Community Outreach (CO) Ministry is supporting our community partners. Here is just a sampling of what the CO team has been up to these last several weeks:

  • Helping stock co-op shelves—CO has been coordinating shopping trips on behalf of our food bank partners. Volunteer shoppers will purchase and deliver the most-needed foods to co-ops whose shelves were stripped bare in a matter of days. 
  • Helping supply volunteers—CO helped organize and communicate with Perimeter members who were able to volunteer at co-ops stocking shelves, doing administrative work, and serving clients. And CO staff are actually volunteering themselves three days a week!
  • Locating translators—CO staff were able to match Duluth Hands of Christ with translators who spoke Mandarin to help with a new group of families who needed help. In addition, they mobilized five new Hispanic translators for the Norcross Co-op.
  • Feeding the staff—Our ministry partner staff and their volunteers are working around the clock these days. CO is partnering with Perimeter Connect Groups and discipleship groups to provide lunch for partner staff and volunteers once a week. Volunteers pick up the food and deliver it and thank them for their hard work.

Perimeter Family Steps Up

Even though Georgians are supposed to shelter-in-place, the Perimeter family knew that ministries providing food to the poor are just as important—if not more so—than grocery stores. Therefore, keeping them running at full-steam was most definitely essential. In addition to serving in the ministries, shopping, and running errands, Perimeter members are serving in many other ways:

  • 225 bags of food and $2,125 in gift cards were donated and distributed to the Norcross Coop, Duluth Hands of Christ, Meals by Grace (Forsyth), and North Gwinnett Coop
  • 27 tablets/laptops were distributed to Berkeley Lake Elementary, Duluth High School, and Summerour Middle School.
  • Both the Community Outreach and Women's Ministries are encouraging people with sewing skills to make masks for healthcare workers at Emory Johns Creek Hospital—or for anyone who needs one! 

For more information on how you can serve our ministry partners at this time, visit the Community Outreach Ministry's serve page. There you will find:

  • information on serving
  • what types of food donations are most needed
  • instructions for how to make masks for those who need them.

Emergency Funding For Ministry Partners

Soon after the impending crisis became clear, Kingdom Investments—the grant-making ministry of the church—made a significant grant directly to the Community Outreach Ministry. The purpose of this grant was to enable CO to support our partner ministries financially without having to go through the usual, lengthy grant request process. 

"These financial grants are not being made haphazardly," said Jim McCoun, Director of Kingdom Investments. "We simply gave Debra Potter, our Community Outreach Ministry Director, the authorization to support organizations that we are already partnering with, already investing in, without having to jump through a lot of hoops. Because of this funding, our partners were able to respond much more quickly to the tidal wave of need around them and serve their constituents well in a time of crisis." 

"These funds were a godsend," said Debra. "Our partners were drowning. Lines of people in need were out the door and around the building. They had nothing left to give. We were able to come in and say, 'What do you need right now?' and get it for them. God was providing for them in a very real, very necessary way through the generous giving of the Perimeter family."


What's Next

Once the immediate crisis is over ... once stores and restaurants and schools and businesses are able to re-open ... what happens then? Will the church be able to smile and say, "Our work here is done"?

No. Most definitely not.

"There will be long-term recovery efforts taking place for months, even years to come," said Debra Potter, Director of the Community Outreach Ministry. 

Because of the pandemic, there will be people with medical bills they cannot pay. Past-due rent. Jobs that may not return in time to save them from a financial crisis—or at all. 

"We will definitely be part of a second wave of assistance that will be needed to address food insecurity, housing stability, and educational needs," said Debra.

Stay tuned for more ...

Want To Know More?


Also feel free to contact Gordon or Jim for information about Rooted to Flourish or for answers to your questions:
 
Jim McCoun
Director of Kingdom Investments and Stewardship
jimm@perimeter.org
Work: 678.405.2145

Stacey Earnest
Chief Financial Officer
searnest@perimeter.org
Work: 678.405.2115


Click below to see previous Rooted To Flourish investor reports.