I’ve mentioned many times that The Seed is undergoing many changes. We have more adults than youth now, and many university students have started working. In anticipation of this change continuing, our leadership team submitted last year to KSC leadership the proposal of The Seed becoming financially autonomous. After many presentations and meetings, the plan has passed officially as of last Sunday.
As a result, the Seed will begin to manage its finance starting from next year. It means that we will be managing our bank account (under Mokmin Church), counting/depositing our offerings and setting/approving/executing our budget. For now, we are starting partially autonomous by covering our rent and ministry expenses.
Some might fear whether we are becoming a separate church. But this change is purely administrative change that does not affect how our church is structured. Our church model is One Church Two Congregations, and we already exist and function according to this model, with each congregation being autonomous in its administration. But here are the reasons why we pursued autonomy in the area of finance as well.
1. Autonomy creates identity and ownership.
English speaking ministry is often considered as a department in Korean immigrant churches. But if this continues, it is tough for English speaking members to form a strong identity of its own. So either they leave the church to create that identity themselves or remain but stay unmotivated. When you cannot dream about your future as an autonomous individual, it is challenging to get motivated. It is why we are very clear about calling The Seed as ESC (English Speaking Congregation) to give ourselves a clear identity as an autonomous congregation. Financial autonomy strengthens this identity and creates a greater sense of ownership.
2. Autonomy creates growth.
Becoming financially autonomous increases responsibility and accountability in the area of finance. We become responsible only when we are given a responsibility to manage something significant, namely finance. As long as we are on an allowance, we will never learn the need to be financially responsible and accountable because everything will be provided for us regardless of our contribution.
3. Autonomy increases influence.
The Seed is slowly becoming a multi-cultural congregation. We believe financial autonomy will communicate an unspoken message to our non-Korean VIPs that we are not just a department of Korean church but a mature, autonomous congregation where they can belong and grow, regardless of their ethnic background.
We know this move is a challenge for all of us. But we are also very excited about the potential growth it will bring. But above all, through this change, we hope to become more effective in bringing the gospel to a more diverse group of people.