Recently, we’ve I’ve been talking about the importance of keeping our focus on God’s mission. I’m convinced that as we discover God’s mission, we will have a better understanding of why God calls us to be a strong congregation. The leaders of our congregation and I hope that we will focus our attention on turning away from 34 years of decline. We hope that as a congregation we will dare to be transformed, so that we can be a church home of choice for people of all ages. We believe that God calls us to greatness.
But, to be the Church at its best, we need your financial support, now as ever, more than ever. If we are going to turn from a 34 year decline we will need to do some pretty hard work. Raising funds for ministry is hard work that can easily derail our efforts to focus on what matters most. Money doesn’t matter most to the church… Yet, when a ministry isn’t funded at a level to do what people expect from the Church, it causes us to struggle. Money struggles in the church divert our attention from what matters most: following Christ in ministry to the world around us.
We need to focus not on money, but on mission. To do this well, we need to make sure that money concerns do not divert our attention. God, in God’s wisdom, calls us to tithe: to give ten percent of our income to do ministry. If all of us dared do this, we could change the world. We could dream enormous dreams as a congregation and we could accomplish them easily. If all of us trusted God enough to give 10% of our income, as God calls us to do in the Scriptures, we would find our lives greatly enriched: we would all know the joy of living lives of generosity. We would find that our fears of scarcity would be replaced with joy because our priorities would shift.
God calls us to be the church at its best. Today we ask you to extend your hands in generosity so that what we do together in the name of Jesus Christ can make even bigger impacts. For us to move out of the 34 year decline that is our recent history, we need to be set free from our biggest concern. While none of us can make this happen on our own, when we work together, in the name of Jesus Christ, we can make it a reality.
Recently, you picked up your offering envelopes for the year. Please use them regularly. Consider using the Simply Giving program to make your offerings automatically from your own account. Do all that God calls you to do. Generosity is a spiritual gift that has the power to transform our congregation.
What is God calling you to give? Please prayerfully consider this question as you give each week.