You did it! More theologically on point, God did it through you. Several months back Hope was lagging far behind its budget and facing the imminent need to tighten its ministry “belt” and forgo some great ministry opportunities. And then God’s people prayed, listened and responded. The result? We had a record giving year for Hope Chapel. We didn’t meet budget, which was expected due to the large increase we had embraced, but we did receive $727,647, about $20,000 more than last year and the highest amount in our short 16- year history. Way to go. God is good.
I find this so, so encouraging on several fronts: 1) It indicates that Hope’s future looks bright. I say this because our giving wasn’t the only record we set last year. We also had a record number of baptisms. To me this indicates a priceless congregational trait, good stewardship…dollars are being translated into ministry impact. Good stewardship, faithfulness to the Gospel, and God’s faithfulness, means a healthy future is ahead. Amen…let it be.
2) Meeting the financial goal took all of us, which is how the church is supposed to work. Some of you God has blessed with well-paying careers and sizable incomes and you stepped up with some sizable gifts. Others of you were like me and only able to give more modestly, perhaps feeling a little bit like the widow from the Gospels who was only able to give mere pennies. But God put it altogether, used it, and the mountain was moved. In this we can learn a great lesson, one important for Hope’s future. It isn’t the size of the gift or anything else that really matters, but the degree of faithfulness. Let’s stay faithful.
3) I also see in it signs that Hope has the number one ingredient required to be used of God in a great way…an obedient heart. You accepted the challenge to ask God what He wanted you to do. God then showed you. And you obeyed! When we remember that God never asks us to do great things for Him, but simply asks us to obey Him so that He can do great things in and through us, we can all find great reason to believe the God will do great things in and through Hope in the future. God loves doing great things through those whose heart are fully His.
I do want to conclude with the challenge to remain faithful in your giving. It is not a healthy thing for a spiritual family to have to dig itself out of a financial hole on a regular basis. I am confident we won’t get there if you keep doing what God has instructed you to do. Kingdom Fruit will follow!
Again, thanks for your faithfulness.