As I said in an email to all our supporters this has been a moving and humbling time for me personally and for the CVM team. It’s tough asking for help. You wrestle to know if it is right or not. With so many deserving causes out there and with many people feeling financially under pressure you just don’t want to ask. I guess, being totally honest it also makes you vulnerable, not just to complaints from people, but vulnerable personally. I’ve learned a lot in this last couple of weeks.
In truth we had never asked directly for help in our history. Sure, we have standing order forms available and sometimes at events we ask for a donation but never so directly or bluntly.
I suspect that as a result people thought that we are well provided for financially. The truth is that since before I took over the helm of CVM we have had barely any reserves (only ever enough to wind up the charity) and sometimes none at all. And yet each month there are big demands on CVM for our time and resources. Much of this is because we are pioneering. The nature of pioneering means that you have to go out on a limb or as in the case of the Levite priests crossing the Jordan you have to put your foot in the water before the waters part (Joshua 3:14-17). You just have to trust that God is with you and that He has called you to step out.
Since I became the leader of CVM I’ve started every month not knowing if we will have cash enough in the bank at months end! Many people never realised CVM existed in that manner until we emailed for help. After 20 months I felt that we needed to shout; it was closer than ever before.
We basically have ongoing monthly overheads that need regular income, mostly to do with evangelism with some office costs. However, we have been trimming back many overheads to ensure that we keep the front line activity going. We are, as one example, moving into a church office for free initially and then on a greatly reduced rent. Currently I have three people working from my front room! We are also cutting back on some staff costs, meaning that some people are giving up their income and other people are picking up extra work.
Let me share with you the current activity require monthly funding:
- We part fund and resource the Cardiff Men’s Convention which is now the biggest single event in Wales. We employ a worker in partnership to ensure that the churches who send men to it develop an effective work amongst men. We do the same all over the UK via a network of regional staff.
- We produce high quality evangelistic resources such as “Scratch” and for the world cup a resource called “Scorchio!” that includes exclusive interviews (with Kaka for example). Where churches have no money (such as in poor urban or rural areas), support means we can get these and other publications into men’s hands for free. We provide these resources at very low cost with the aim of resourcing as many church and work groups as possible.
- We have a small and talented web and media team who are working on some high impact evangelistic websites that men can use with their mates and some innovative work tackling the porn industry head on. When you see the output you will see that no one else is doing what we are doing in this area. We have to step out to break new ground. This team can also produce small projects for churches to help their outreach.
- We fund chaplaincy in places like boxing gyms and snooker halls; areas the churches really struggle to reach into. We have funded an Anglican vicar to do this in one area who gave up his parish to get amongst men. If we hadn’t provided money he wouldn’t be doing what he does and see men coming to faith on a regular basis.
- A number of us are funded to train and equip churches all over the UK. Just last week I drove 1000 miles and spoke to over 150 leaders (including Bishops and denominational leaders) on the issues facing men and what can be done about it etc. The same week also saw presentations to numerous churches. We are booked up over a year in advance.
- We are developing outreach courses for men and DVD resources etc. that are very high quality such as a Fathers Day pack.
- We are the partner organisation to Sorted Magazine.
- We resource over 1000 partner churches (and growing).
- Maintain a national database of high quality speakers for men’s events.
- We consult leaders on gearing church up for men.
I guess that’s just the tip of the iceberg and it costs money. To do it well isn’t cheap. We are admin light and divert as much money as possible to evangelism.
These monthly commitments require monthly income. If you are able to set up a standing order for £5.00 a month or more, that would make a tremendous difference. In fact 1000 men giving £20.00 a month would mean that mission to men in the UK would thrive from here on.
CVM is a unique ministry. We are about pointing men to Jesus. Pure and simple. We want to do it well and we aim to make a big impact. That impact will come from a small team that stimulates a mass grass roots movement. Thanks for standing with us. Please continue to do so.