We live in a day of dishonesty and deceit. People claim to be one way but then act in ways that are totally opposite. That is why when someone acts in a sincere way, it’s important to acknowledge it and to say thanks. I feel compelled to do that with respect to our church because of our fellowship’s strong response to a recent appeal to provide support to those affected by the recent hurricanes.
You may remember that some weeks ago we invited members to make a gift toward hurricane relief. At that time I was hopeful that we might generate several thousand dollars of support to the $5,000 that our Missions Committee had already designated for such relief out of their contingency funds. But I was overwhelmed and overjoyed when I saw that our congregation ended up responding with gifts totaling $12,325, which have been divided equally between those victimized by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
What that response told me was that our church is serious about being who we say we want to be, a people “who love God and live with grace and generosity.” Our church’s gifts to hurricane relief represent our putting effort into our prayers and practice to our faith. You can be certain that God is pleased when His people respond in ways that reveal how seriously they take the leadership of His Holy Spirit.
The response told me something else as well: that nothing is beyond our ability to leverage God’s blessings in ways that advance His Kingdom in our world. I think this is an important point to make at a time when our church has just adopted a ministry plan steeped in Vision 2020 proposals and is now considering how we might commit ourselves to such a plan by making a pledge to that end.
You will be hearing more about that effort from our Stewardship Education Team and others they enlist to assist them in this appeal. Our hope is that we will see 100% of our membership commit to some type of pledge to our 2018 Ministry Plan. I know that few churches would ever attempt such an audacious goal, but then MBBC has always been ready not just to dream big but also to invest ourselves in generous ways to make those dreams become reality.
So, thank you for what you’ve done with your sacrificial giving to an apparent need such as this recent appeal for hurricane relief. And thank you as well for what I trust you will see is also a real need to position our church to “keep seeking the Lord’s instruction that we might prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:5). I don’t doubt for a moment that you will generously give yourself to such a challenge because that is who our church is; and for such generosity not only am I thankful, I can’t help but believe God is thankful too.
“Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else” (2 Corinthians 9:13).