Thursday, September 27, 2007

I just sent out this email to our entire church

Dear Trinity Family,

I’ve taken some time during the last couple days to pray about whether I should send out this message (and if I do) how I should go about sharing this information with all of you. Please know that as your pastor, I care about you very much and I want our entire church and the individuals that make up our church to be honoring God with every aspect of their lives.On Sunday we talked about the discipline of Giving Sacrificially. I shared the ways that giving to God first shapes us as followers of Christ. If you missed the message or would like to reread it, I can email the manuscript to you. One of the benefits of sacrificial giving is that it funds the mission of our local church in bringing the Kingdom of God into our little corner of the world. Your sacrificial giving supports internal ministries like curriculum for our kids’ department and rent for Madison Elementary as well as external ministries such as funding the church planting and missionary efforts of our denomination.

Trinity Family has an open book policy toward how we allocate our funds. If you’d like to see the church budget, I’d be glad to email you the spreadsheet. In setting our annual budget, our Advisory Council took the average monthly giving from last fiscal year, $8,400/month, to set the budget for the current fiscal year (July – June). During the first two months of this fiscal year (July and August) we were already $1,100 behind budget. After the first four of the five Sundays in September, our giving has been $5,306.22, putting us 3,093.78 behind our September needs heading into the 5th Sunday of the month.

Jesus’ teaching that how we spend our money points to the values of our heart (Luke 12:34) compels me to continue challenging us toward sacrificial giving. There’s nothing I want more than to see our church live with a 100% commitment to Jesus in every area and a huge obstacle toward that reality is our money management. There is no doubt in my mind that if we all respond with obedience to Christ we can bust through the $8,400 a month we brought in last year as well as bringing in the $3,093.78 we need this Sunday.

I also know that it’s scary to put God first. I’ve never struggled with the discipline of tithing but I have struggled with the discipline of Sabbath rest. It’s hard for me to trust that if I honor God by taking a day off, he’ll give me the strength to finish my work with the remaining 6 days. Let me be honest in saying I haven’t always obeyed God with a Sabbath, but when I take a Sabbath (and manage my time well the other 6 days) He always makes up the difference. The same is true with the discipline of sacrificial giving that as we give to God first as well as being responsible with the remaining resources, God will always meet our needs.

I struggled with whether to share this via email or to wait and share our need this Sunday in person, so I’ve decided to do both. I will talk a bit more about this on Sunday, but I also wanted to prepare you for Sunday by letting you know we’re $3,093.78 short heading into the last Sunday of the month. We CAN give $3,093.78 this Sunday! I’m praying for you as individuals and for our church as a whole. Let’s be obedient to God, let’s put him first with our money and then let’s enjoy watching how God uses our obedience to transform our “little corner of the world.”
God bless,

Donnie Miller

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