This coming Sunday is the last day of the year. Come this next Monday morning we’ll be pointing to the New Year and what we trust will be more promise and possibility than what we experienced over these past twelve months. Of course, a lot of how things will play out will hinge on how some things have already gone. Yesterday can be a springboard into tomorrow, or it can be a ball and chain that keeps us from experiencing our heart’s desire.
2017 has been a good year at MBBC in so many respects. While we began the year somewhat slowly in terms of participation because of some truly horrendous weekend weather, we managed to gain some traction as the year progressed, welcoming more members than we lost and implementing a host of Vision 2020 initiatives that heretofore were only a dream. Both of those positive developments bode well for even more good to come our way in those areas.
But there is another area in which the jury is still out – our ability to fulfill commitments we have made to key mission partners. Because we “backload” our budget expenditures in recognition of how the majority of our ministry revenue comes in during the last weeks of the year, we always wait until the first of the year to see if we finished the year “in the black” and are therefore in a position to release the dollars we vowed to provide to our mission partners. While we have had positive cash flow the first eleven months of 2017 (in large measure because of an unexpended budget), we still are significantly behind in our budget revenue so that we have put a contingency plan in place to make the ends meet, which we obviously hope we won’t have to implement. Our preference is to see sufficient funds come in to enable us to meet our mission commitments and fully fund some of the other capital improvements we would like to accomplish in 2018. However, those decisions will depend on the response of our membership this last week.
So, here’s my appeal. Many of you are in a position to do more through our church because of a strong market in 2017 and perhaps some other financial assets that unexpectedly came your way. If your mailbox is like mine, you’ve been inundated with such appeals from other organizations, entities, and causes, most of which are truly wonderful ones. But I’m asking before you give additionally to any of those very worthy endeavors that you would consider something additional through Mountain Brook Baptist Church so that we can make good on what we’ve committed to those partners who help us extend our church’s witness far beyond the walls of our church. By doing so, we will be finishing this year faithfully and positioned for an even better one ahead in which God’s grace, which is always sufficient for our every need, and our generosity in response to it will make us an even better church and a more effective people in doing all that God has given us to do.
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow” (Ecclesiastes 5:4).