Some Recent "Herald of Truth" Statistics
In a December 23, 1968 supplement to the CHRISTIAN CHRONICLE, some interesting facts are related concerning the "Herald of Truth." The brotherhood radio and television program has expanded until its staff consists of 35 full-time workers and 4 part time employees. Churches donating to put on a radio and a television program need to keep in mind that 39 salaries have to be paid before any broadcasting or telecasting will be done.
How much "total response" comes from the Herald of Truth? They do not get the millions of pieces of correspondence that you might suppose. The report states, "Counting requests for sermons, Bible course enrollment, questions asked, etc., in 1967 there were 27,000 response 'indicators.' During the first six months of 1968, the total was 23,000." In 1967, they got about 500 pieces of response-indicator mail a week. That is about ten letters a week for each employee they have.
How many churches contribute to "Herald of Truth?" "Approximately 3,000 congregations or about 30% of the churches with which we are in contact." Furthermore, it approximately 10,000" individuals" made contributions in 1967. Their income was 30% from individuals and 70% from churches. The poor little church out in Abilene successfully begged $1,307,119.85 in 1967.
Of this $1,307,119.85 which they begged, 8.14% went to beg more money. They spent $106, 399.55 of the churches' money to beg more money. They report that 5.72 % was "allocated and spent on overhead." That amounts to $74,767.26 for "overhead." For "overhead" and fund raising, $181,166.82 a year was spent. That is about $3500 a week.
If you would like to compare the I relative efficiency of the "Herald of Truth" and the
United Christian Missionary Society, consider these figures. The "Herald of Truth" reports 5.72% expenditure for "overhead," while the Missionary Society reports 1.68% Administrative expense. Fund Raising for the Missionary Society amounted to 5.19ol, while "Herald of Truth" fund raising costs 8.14%. For "overhead" and fund raising, the "Herald of Truth" spent 13.86%. For the same items, the Missionary Society spent 6.78%. It would have been 7.08% cheaper to raise and administer this money through the Missionary Society. In other words, it would have saved $92,544.10 to have had this money raised and administered by the United Christian Missionary Society. And it would have been no more unscriptural!
Perhaps the most astounding part about the most recent "Herald of Truth" report is that Highland is now contributing a little over 4% of the money it spends. They now contribute 4c and beg 96c of every dollar they spend on this project. The last I knew, Highland's local contributions were about $400,000 a year, or $8000 a week. But she still begs 96c out of every dollar she spends on the "Herald of Truth." But she is doing better. In some past years she has contributed only one-half of 1% of what she spent.
The church where I preach is not comparable in size or wealth to the Highland Avenue church in Abilene. While our contributions average about $400 per week, Highland's average about $8000. But if we were disposed to be as big beggars (percentage-wise) as Highland, we could carry on a program costing $10,000 a week. We could contribute 4% of the amount ($400), and beg 96% ($9600), and the brethren would think we were doing a great work.
The CHRISTIAN CHRONICLE advertising supplement says that it is all right for 3000 churches to function through one eldership, "as long as such cooperation is voluntary." The Missionary Society makes the same argument. And the Society is much cheaper! Meanwhile . . . . God's churches will continue to do God's work in God's way.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIII: 8, p. 2