A New Year Begins Today
Dear Church Family,
I hope you’re enjoying your summer and finding refreshment by taking a break from the normal routine.
Unlike the calendar year, which (naturally) runs from January through December, Northpoint’s fiscal year goes from August 1 to July 31. Which means that a new ministry year (2014-2015) begins today, complete with new opportunities, expectations, and challenges.
First a word about last year: your investment in God’s kingdom paid off in a significant way! Because of you, the Gospel of Grace is spreading throughout Southern California and the world. Because of you, lives are being changed forever—from India to Spain to Tuba City, Arizona (all places that we recently sent short-term teams). God’s work has been evident. For example, just think about our last baptism service: 14 people on 1 Sunday publicly declaring their allegiance to Christ. I can’t wait to see what God does in the next 12 months.
One of the financial challenges that we face this year is increasing our giving in order to meet the (growing) goals of our church. We want to see more people confess Christ as Lord, more relationships restored, more children rescued, and more people living with the freedom and joy that can only be found by faith in Jesus Christ.
We praise God that last year’s (2013-2014) giving was virtually identical to the previous year’s (2012-2013) contributions. At a time when many churches are seeing a significant drop in contributions, God has kept our giving strong. And we’re grateful. However, last year our giving was slightly below budget (roughly 5 percent). We need to remedy this in order to continue the emphasis on discipleship and mission that has come to characterize our current ministries.
If you haven’t recently evaluated your giving pattern, this is a perfect time. It’s a new year. An opportunity for a fresh start.
We take inventory in plenty of other areas in our lives. The effectiveness of our parenting. The strength of the batteries in our fire alarm systems. The performance of our personal retirement portfolios. How loving we are as a spouse. How disciplined we are in our personal spending. Why not evaluate how you’re doing at the grace of giving? Are there sacrifices that you could make that would allow you to increase your kingdom investment? Are there ways that you could contribute more to God’s redemptive work?
As we’ve seen in our expositional study through Genesis over the last six months, one of the most obvious consequences of living by faith, or “living in light of our eternal reality” is: radical generosity. Those who really believe in God’s goodness and trustworthiness are generous with their possessions.
Does that describe you? Are you radically generous? If not, why not consider talking to the Lord about it? Think about what God may do through your contributions. Think about what potentially life-destroying pitfalls you may save yourself from. You may be surprised at how God works: both in you and for you, in building His Kingdom.