Giving. It is one of the greatest blessings we can receive as a
follower of Jesus. Paul reminds us of what Jesus said, “It is more
blessed to give than to receive.” Those who have made giving a part of
their Christian journey can attest to the beautiful reality of that
simple truth. We encourage you to embark on the journey of grace giving – whether it be as simple as tithing or as challenging as trusting God
with all of our possessions. We believe that God, who has given us
everything we have, has given us this opportunity to make an impact in
our community and beyond. Whatever you give, we hope that you find great
joy in the act of giving and look forward to hearing how God has used
your gifts and increased your joy.
Opportunities to Give
After God blessed Abram with a great victory over Chedorlaomer and
the kings, Abram returned a 10% portion of that blessing to God through
Melchizedek King of Salem (Genesis 14:17-20). Abram modeled simple faith in
God by giving a tithe as an act of worship. Abram was a friend of God;
those of us who want to honor God with our lives and nurture our
friendship with God do well to follow his example.
Offerings are gifts that go above and beyond our tithe. It is a
chance for us to stretch out in faith to impact those around us. As
many others can attest, it is often during these times that we see God
most at work and draw close to Him. We encourage you to find
opportunities to give beyond what is normal for you – maybe even what
feels safe – and watch how God uses it to touch the lives of others and
in turn you, yourself, in ways beyond what you thought possible.
In a number of cases throughout the Bible, a
transformational season in a person’s life is marked by God Himself
giving that person a new name. This is connected to a new sense of
God-given identity, and a new God-given mission. This is something
similar to what we believe God is doing in the midst of our church.
After a year-long journey of prayerful evaluation and reflection, our
church adopted an upgraded statement of mission, values, strategy and
measures in April 2012. Our new mission statement is: “We glorify God
by inviting neighbors to find a home in Christ together.” Following
this decision, our leadership asked a task force to evaluate our
name in light of our mission statement. At a church-wide meeting on September 16, 2012, in a remarkable display of unity, our church voted 98%
“yes” to make a transition from name-review to name-change. We have since embarked on a journey of receiving a new name that better reflects our identity and mission in our harvest field. In order to mark this new
season in the life of our church, we initiated a capital campaign
entitled “New Beginnings.”
In order for this vision to become a reality, we must set aside what
encumbers us from previous obligations. This includes debt…debt to our
general fund, and debt to our mortgage company. We do not believe we can
carry out our calling in the way God is leading with these obligations.
Further, we believe audio/visual upgrades on our church campus will be
vital to our ministry in 2012 and beyond. Therefore, we are calling upon
those who make up our church family to consider how God may be leading
to pledge funds over and above regular giving to this initiative. In
making a new creation, God cancels all our debts in Christ. We believe
it is time to trust God for the cancellation of all our debts as we
receive a new identity and new mission in Christ. We initially decided to trust God
for $200,000 in this capital campaign, but realized that was a man-sized goal. Our new God-sized goal is $300,000.
According to the counsel of our financial advisory team, our church
does not have a spending problem; however, we may have a giving problem.
The trends in our giving patterns do not always match up with the
principles of grace-giving described in the Scriptures for followers of
Jesus Christ. This campaign would serve to challenge our people to give
graciously, as God leads. “So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a
beginning to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge,
in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel
in this grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:6,7).”
I would like to ask those of you who are friends of our church to
begin praying for this ministry initiative. God is able to multiply the
loaves and the fishes; the power resides not in us but in Him. We are
asking you to make an investment in eternity in and through our local
church. Spiritual work must be done in God’s power and must rely on his
provision. It is through prayer that our own hearts are brought into
alignment with God’s heart, and we become convinced of the part that He
wants us to play in this effort.
We have recently added online giving to
make it even easier to participate in grace-giving. Whether you are
looking to set up your tithe on a regular basis or just want to give a
one-time gift, all of this can be done here. Watch the video below for
more information or click on the link to get started.