“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
These words of Jesus challenge, convict and call us to commitment, for it is commitment that is at the core of our relationship with him. God is completely committed to us (John 3:16) and calls on us to respond in kind. Sometimes, though, we get distracted and need to be reminded. Joshua, Samuel and Nehemiah each challenged their generation of Israelites to give themselves completely to the one true God and this call to commitment was a focus of Jesus’ teaching.
With these things in mind the elders have designated November 18 as Commitment Sunday for South Fork. While we want each of you to commit your entire lives to Him, we are going to ask you to commit in 2013 to specifically: pray for our congregation without ceasing; to use your time and talents to serve others; to deepen our relationships with one another; and to give financially. All of these areas are important but I understand that it is natural to focus on the money. So, below is a brief explanation of what we are asking and why.
The elders desire to be good stewards of the money that you give. To do this we need your help. With an uncertain economy and several families having moved away, it has been difficult for us to come up with a realistic budget, evidenced by the fact that we are currently over $30,000 behind this year. Planning (or purposing) your giving is a Biblical concept (2 Corinthians 9:7) and we pray each of you is doing this now and in the future. We are asking that on Commitment Sunday you share with us what you have purposed for 2013 so that we can be better stewards.
Some important things you need to know about this process are: the giving part of the commitment cards will be kept completely confidential, only one elder will see them; we will not be tracking your giving during the year; and we understand if life circumstances change and you are unable to give the amount you planned.
The elders will share more about Commitment Sunday in the weeks to come. In the meantime we ask that you pray for this important day and that you study, pray over and meditate on the Scriptures listed below. May God bless us as we continue to seek Him and His desire for our congregation.
In Christ’s Service,
Phil Stapp for the elders