Finance Report

Chase Bethel

Board Member & Chair of the Finance Committee

“Oh Lord, I want to be in that number,
When the Saints go marching in.”

For some of us, “talking numbers” can be stimulating. For others, it can make our eyes glaze over. Even as I most closely relate to the former grouping, I must admit that writing an impact report about church finances can feel a bit superficial when the key number is that we’ll all be in that “number”…when the saints go marching in.

But since we must, what do you think is the most critical number to look at in measuring the bridge’s annual impact from a financial perspective?

Given the cultural impact of profit-driven capitalism and the significance of private-sector employment in the overall economy, you may be tempted to focus on the annual operating surplus of $138,295; however, I think the best measure is to look at the total ministry investments made during the year. For example, if you were to browse our Audited Financial Statements for the year ending August 31, 2022, that number would be $1,571,630. Accounting conventions require us to label this figure our total “expenses”, but for practical purposes, this line item is probably the best answer to the question: “What have you done with what God (through His people) gave you?” Through our pastors, enabled by resources to bring their ministry plans to fruition, we had a total impact of $1.57 million on our community and our world. This is to say nothing of God’s multiplier effect on that investment through the lives it touched.

On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank each person who gave faithfully and sacrificially, so that we could have had such a material impact on Markham and our broader world during the past fiscal year.

So, if a surplus isn’t the best measure of impact, then why generate one? Simply put, the disruptions of the past year—and in particular, the outbreak of the COVID Omicron variant in early calendar 2022—caused some ministry plans to be cancelled. While in some non-profit organizations, there may be a mad rush at the end of a fiscal year to spend monies to give the outside appearance of maximizing impact, our Board does not see such a practice as exercising good stewardship. Instead, we redeployed our year-end operational cash balance of $553,609 into a combination of ministry plans for the coming fiscal year and our new building.

Ultimately, we desire to gradually recover toward and even exceed the bridge’s prior peak financial impact that was achieved before the pandemic in the year ending August 31, 2000. That year, our total investment (or “expenses”) was $1.67 million. A big part of how we can achieve this goal is to reclaim prior levels of general fund giving, given that the funds received through tithes and offerings account for 94% of total income.

In the past fiscal year, general fund giving accounted for $1,598,987 relative to a total operating income of $1,709,925 (electronic forms of giving, including pre-authorized debit, Pushpay and e-transfer account for ~80% of giving). Our prior peak giving totalled $1,740,715 for the year ending August 31, 2020; therefore, we ended last year at approximately 8% below the giving achieved in the past. I am confident that the bridge, being a 4Gs church (gather, give, group, go), will grow our impact from where we are today. I’m glad we can all partner together to see it happen by the grace of God.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our Lead Pastor and the Board for their confidence in the Finance Committee’s work on finances at the bridge. I also thank the committee members: Tim Jenkins, Michelle Lai, Kenneth Mo, Chrissie Shum and Cynthia Yoon. Appreciation also goes to Janet Hum and Cynthia Yoon for leading the bridge through a successful year-end audit.


Chase Bethel

Board Member & Chair of the Finance Committee

Bridge Impact 2021-2022