Many Reasons to Give Thanks [A Financial Update]
Hello Church Family,
I hope you’re having a great week. I’ve been praying very specifically for you, that God would give you eyes to see His grace in fresh and powerful ways.
An old pastor that I know tells the story of moving into a new house with an unfinished garage. Every time he went into the garage he noticed the bare two-by-fours and the jagged cinder blocks left exposed. For twenty years he lived in the house and never made a single attempt to finish the space.
But over time the sight of the unhidden beams and shadowy walls began to bother him; so he would occasionally complain about it to his wife. “This is depressing,” he would utter under his breath.
One summer the pastor’s adult son, Dan, came home for a visit and, hearing his dad’s frustrations, he took it upon himself to install insulation and drywall in the garage. Dan had never worked with drywall and had to learn how to hang the sheets the hard way, by trial and error. Not surprisingly, the finished project was far from smooth, nor did the new surface remotely resemble the work of a professional. In fact, the pastor wasn’t sure if his son’s efforts actually helped at all. But he still took great delight in that newly-remodeled garage because it was a gift given out of love. Dan wasn’t trying to manipulate his father or pay him back for years of sacrificial parenting; he wasn’t trying to manipulate or earn his father’s favor. He was just eager to show his love. And despite the flawed (and unpolished) overture, the old pastor was deeply pleased.
I wonder if this is not how God looks at our financial offerings to Him. He doesn’t need our money; he possesses all the wealth in the world. It’s not as though, by contributing, we’re helping God accomplish His mission. Nevertheless, he takes tremendous pleasure in our generosity when we give to Him out of love. The Scriptures tell us plainly: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
There are many things I appreciate about Northpoint. Somewhere on that expansive list is this: The people of this church give financially out of love for God. Put another way: The way you give makes evident your love for your Savior. It’s obvious in your consistency. It’s unmistakable in the joy you take in supporting the ministries of this church. So, let me be quick to say: Thank you.
As you can see by the chart below, with about a quarter of the fiscal year in the books, our giving is above both ’14-’15 giving and ’14-’15 budgeted income:
‘14-‘15 Giving (thru 14 weeks): $416,918
’15-’16 Giving (thru 14 weeks): $479,487
’15-’16 Budget (thru 14 weeks): $469,920
Part of the positive influx is due to the continued increase in membership we’re experiencing, by God’s grace—we added some thirty-three news members at our last congregational meeting—and part of it is a result of some in our congregation re-evaluating how they’re doing in the grace of giving and making changes, as the Lord has led them.
It is true that we are striving to do more disciple-making this year than at anytime I can remember. We are prayerfully expecting great things from God, and we are seeing Him work.
We are partnering with a new church plant in Gaborone, Botswana that has already seen over 100 people come to Christ. We’re training pastors in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma and then releasing them into their respective villages where the work of multiplication is taking place. And we’re seeing God do some remarkable things in our own community, as well. Just a few months ago, we baptized twelve converts to Christ.
We’re also praying and making plans to launch a new church in Riverside in 2016. We want to see more people confess Christ as Lord, more relationships restored, more children rescued, and more “weary and burdened” people finding true rest in Jesus Christ.
Of course, in order to accomplish our (growing) ministry goals, we depend on your consistent giving. So please continue what you’re doing! The end of the calendar year is right around the corner. Let’s finish this year strongly and plead with God to do “more than we could ever ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
With a gratitude heart,