[This first appeared at LifeChurchNC.com]
July 31, 2015
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a particular thought circulating in my mind that has honestly just been bugging me – something that has convicted me greatly, troubled me deeply and burdened my heart significantly. (That’s always a great way to start a weekly post that you hope you can encourage someone to actually read based on the first sentence, huh?) This all came about as a result of conversations I’ve had recently with several individuals (both inside and outside of our church), along with several groups that I meet with regularly, which includes my LifeGroup and local pastoral gatherings. Several of these conversations I’m referring to came as a result of questions and observations related to the quarterly budget update we provided recently.
So, now that I’ve hopefully perked your curiosity a bit, here’s what’s been bugging me:
It’s not enough to be a financially generous church. We absolutely must continue to strive to be a face in our community – especially among the poor, the suffering, the marginalized, the down-and-out, and everyone else who does not have a voice to speak-up for themselves.
As we’ve seen in recent months, in particular through our James and Haggai series, this is what Scripture refers to as acceptable religion before God, things that matter most to the heart of God that; things that would be considered to be Kingdom Priority.
Now, before I go further, this should in no way discourage us from seeing the impact we’ve made together as a church over the past year as we have fully embraced an identity as a life-giving church, especially evident through our financial generosity. Since August 2014, we have had the joy of financially partnering with and supporting a number of local and global ministries, giving away nearly $75,000 during that time. And each month since January 2015, we have given away a total of 13% of our monthly budget. That’s incredible! (To see a list of these partnerships, see our OUTREACH section below or CLICK HERE). This includes being able to support several short-term mission-trips for our college students and young adults, along with providing the financial resources to begin the drilling of a well for Ten Thousand Homes in South Africa that will better serve their campus, providing clean water for staff and those whom they are serving in the community. (More news about this in the coming weeks!)
I can never say it enough – How proud I am to be part a church that’s making this kind of impact around the world! And I hope the same is true for you!
However, it’s not enough to simply give of our financial resources. Let’s be honest: As much as it can sometimes hurt to give financially,
it’s oftentimes easier to give financially than to give of our time and our relationships. Giving to the poor is one thing, but being involved with the poor is a completely different dynamic. As a church made up of followers of Jesus along with those who are spiritually seeking, it is critically important for us to actually know the poor, not just know about them.
So, what do we do? Good question. The answer always begins with me and my willingness to step-out of my own comfort zone to get myself and my family involved with opportunities to serve the poor locally. Stop waiting on someone or something else before you act. Perhaps God has put this burden on your heart so that you will be the catalyst to make something happen! We’ve provided a listing of opportunities here.
In addition, we as a church will continue to and more aggressively begin to seek-out specific opportunities to be a more prominent face in our community together, especially among the poor. One of the ways we would like to go about this is by establishing our Missions Team here at Life Church – a goal we’ve had for some time now.
If you are interested in serving on this team, please let us know by shooting us an email HERE!
May we strive together to become known as the face of Jesus among the poor, the hurting and the broken in Salisbury and Rowan County. Doing so is not only essential to our mission as a church; it’s honestly a non-negotiable as followers of Jesus.