Tom Vance shared a message from our shepherds this past Sunday morning, an update on our Commitment Cards and a call for all of us to participate in this important part of our planning and Budget process. As was shared Sunday, at this point we have far less participation this year than last. Which is surprising to me because the process worked so well last year. Here are a few thoughts.
This process is a Biblical process. Paul exhorts the Corinthians throughout 2 Cor. 8-9 and in 1 Cor. 16:1-2 to put a lot of planning and purpose into their giving. Clearly, God expects us to give deliberately, on purpose, from grateful, cheerful, willing hearts. Please read these passages and prayerfully consider the teaching of God’s Word on this important and critical part of our life in Christ.
This process is a wise process. It makes sense for our planners and leaders to have an idea of what to expect from our congregation as they plan the year’s expenditures.
This process is an effective process. As we saw last year, this process works! We were able to finish above our budget after finishing well under budget the year before. Perhaps this has caused us to lose a sense of urgency regarding our giving and our budget in 2014, not being as scary behind as we were entering the 2013 budget year. But what we don’t want to do is to face that same crisis again when we finish out this year and are making plans and commitments for 2015. If you haven’t done so already, turn in your card ASAP.
Our elders and deacons and other ministry leaders do a great job trying to do their important work while being conscious of our limited resources and realizing a great sense of responsibility to our Lord and to our church. I know you join me in commending them and sharing our appreciation for all the good works they so effectively do to enable our South Fork church family to do so much for the cause of Christ.
Joyce and I will be away this weekend. We will be in San Antonio to spend some time with her mother and her family. And we will also spend a few days in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with our daughter Amanda, her husband Paul, and our beautiful little grandson Isaac. Joyce and I and all our family appreciate so very much your cards, your words of encouragement, and especially your prayers. These last several years have had more than their share of difficulties for our family, and we are so very thankful for the blessing of having you as our church family to go through this time with us. We are excited about the great things God has in store for us in the years ahead as we continue to serve our great God together and as He works in, on, and through us.
In our absence this Sunday you will get to hear from one of the great ministries that we support through your giving. We have been a partner with Agape ministries for many, many years. This Sunday morning Joe Hall with Agape will deliver our sermon and I know it will be a blessing for you to hear his message and be prayerful for this good work in the weeks and months ahead. Scripture is crystal clear on the call to help orphans and widows, the poor and suffering, and others in need. Thanks for your heart to serve others.