In the great commission, Jesus didn’t say to preach the gospel and baptize people “except when budgets are tight.” He said it without exception.
By Don Corder
If anything became clear during the global pandemic in 2020, it was that the Church universal was not on as solid of ground as many thought. Parishioners who attended once a month or less now had a reason to not attend at all. Donors suddenly were unemployed or under-employed and many simply stopped giving or else reduced their gifts.
During the pandemic, several of my clergy colleagues were forced to close their churches. Some of those churches could not survive the drop in revenue and never reopened. Then came the Paycheck Protection Program. My staff at The Provisum Group reviewed the initial offering and discovered that, yes, the PPP was for churches, too, and began applying for the relief program for all of our clients. For a few of my church partners, it was the only thing that helped them stay open in the initial months of the pandemic.
Now we are at a new chapter in the life of the church. A pandemic still rages, but most churches have reopened their doors. Not as many people have returned and most church services look different. The only thing that is consistent is that giving is down and budgets are tighter. While some churches have done well, many pastors are trying to determine if they can keep some of their staff members or if they should cut programs and outreach.
In the great commission, Jesus didn’t say to preach the gospel and baptize people “except when budgets are tight.” He said it without exception, and he promised that if you did so, he will be with you always.
For that reason, I believe that this second round of PPP money could be manna from heaven. For those churches that endured the pandemic and the downturn in giving, I believe that the fact that the PPP is still available to churches is God showing his favor.
In this round of PPP, there are a few new rules that you must follow to apply, but the forgivable nature of the loan remains unchanged. New with this round of the program is the requirement that an organization may get a second loan so long as:
- They are not a publicly-traded company
- They do not employ more than 300 people
- They experienced at least a 25% drop in revenue in at least one quarter in 2020
For almost every church, they meet requirements one and two but the third one is one where you need to examine your finances. If you qualify, the government not only will likely approve your loan but will make it easier to forgive. If you take less than $150,000, all you need to do is submit a one-page letter certifying the number of employees you kept employed and an estimate of how much of the money was spent on payroll.
While some churches are closing their doors, you could use this money to keep your staff employed and also use your existing funding from tithes and offerings to invest in programs to connect with your community and neighborhood. People are hurting who have lost loved ones or jobs and many don’t know where to turn. Your church can be that place of refuge.
The Provisum Group can help if you don’t know where to begin. Our team would be happy to talk to you and walk you through the general information about the program. I would encourage you to take this step and see what God can do with the money in your community.
So our lawyers can sleep at night, we have to state the following: Neither the author nor The Provisum Group are attorneys or financial advisors, so the information above is not to be considered as legal or financial advice. The author encourages you to pray and seek legal or financial advice before entering into any financial or banking relationship on behalf of your ministry.